Sam Allardyce wants West Ham United to be more ruthless when playing on home
Sam Allardyce wants his West Ham United side to rediscover that killer
instinct at the Boleyn Ground following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Doncaster
Rovers. The Hammers could not capitalise on Kevin Nolan's 9th-minute opener
as their visitors fought back to nab a 73rd-minute equaliser through James
Coppinger. Chances then came and went at both ends with Jack Collison firing
agonisingly wide in the dying seconds for Big Sam's side. "Like the last
couple of home games we couldn't finish the opposition off when we had the
opportunity and then we become a little bit nervous," Big Sam said. "We
should have won it at the death with Collision's effort 12 yards out but he
put it wide. Chances like those are the difference between three points and
The Hammers could have been out of sight in the first ten minutes had
Ricardo Vaz Te's strike not been ruled out by referee Andy D'Urso and
Carlton Cole's effort found the back of the net instead of the crossbar.
Sadly for the hosts the lively-looking Vaz Te was forced off with a
hamstring injury shortly after and his departure seemed to take the wind out
the home side's sails. "We lost Vaz Te who was causing them a great deal of
problems down the left hand side. We had to play George McCartney at right
back due to the absence of Joey O'Brien and a few others. We haven't got all
the squad available at the moment as we would like but we should still have
had enough quality to beat Doncaster. "We played on Wednesday night and they
played on Tuesday which makes a physical difference in the latter stages of
the match. We were good, bad and indifferent in this game but if you win
that doesn't matter. "Everyone gets nervous at this stage of the season and
it's just about seeing the game off. We got the goal early doors and what I
am most disappointed about is that we didn't go on from there and score
It was West Ham's second 1-1 draw in the space of four days following the
stalemate with Watford on Wednesday evening. Although the two draws mean the
Hammers remain unbeaten at home since 3 December, Big Sam knows they must
start turning the draws into wins if they are to achieve their promotion
goal this season. "We became a little nervous and lost our fluency allowing
Doncaster back into the game. We had the golden chance at the end but we
didn't take it and we are just not good enough at home at the moment. "It's
a shame, after our results against Millwall and Southampton we haven't been
able to push on."
West Ham must now hope their fine away form continues when they travel to
Yorkshire to face Leeds United on Saturday. Big Sam will be hoping to use
the coming week to patch-up some of the injuries his squad face with Julien
Faubert, Joey O'Brien and Papa Bouba Diop all missing the Doncaster game
through injury. "We knew March was going to be a difficult month with having
to play the postponed game against Peterborough. The difficulty is we have
injuries we don't need right now. Against Doncaster we have been forced into
changes that we didn't want to make. O'Brien and Faubert both dropped out
and we need players available to play. "We want to have our best players on
the pitch and at the moment we are not able to do that so we are all
suffering. This problem didn't seem to be on the horizon a few weeks ago but
we have and we must make sure we deal with it."
West Ham 1 Doncaster 1
10 March 2012
Last updated at 18:57
James Coppinger earned Doncaster a precious point at West Ham as Sam
Allardyce's team slipped further behind Championship leaders Southampton.
Kevin Nolan tapped in on nine minutes to give the Hammers an early lead. But
the visitors were inspired in the second half by El-Hadji Diouf, who set up
Coppinger to equalise late on. The Senegal winger could have won it when he
tested Rob Green but the draw moves second-from-bottom Doncaster level on
points with Coventry. West Ham remain second in the table, three points
behind the Saints, but they are level on points with third-placed Reading,
who beat Leicester. They thought they had the perfect start in the first
minute when Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the net but the Portugal striker
was adjudged to have fouled full-back Pascal Chimbonda. Just a couple of
minutes later, Carlton Cole rattled the bar with a vicious strike and it
looked as though the Hammers were set to run away with the game when Nolan
poked home from close range. But Doncaster got back into the game when Simon
Gillett steered the ball to Coppinger, who made no mistake with his finish.
The relegation-threatened side could have won it late on when Coppinger set
up Diouf, but the former Liverpool, Bolton and Blackburn man was unable to
get a clean connection on the ball and West Ham keeper Green turned the ball
Allardyce on... Doncaster Rovers
Filed: Saturday, 10th March 2012
By: Staff Writer
It was short and sweet from Big Sam tonight as he reflected on another
frustrating afternoon in tonight's post-match press conference...
Sam: Dean Saunders described the first fifteen minutes as a battering. What
happened for the last hour (or so)?
Well, we didn't finish the opposition off when we had the opportunity - via
maybe a refereeing decision or two. Vaz Te's goal in the first few seconds,
I didn't think that was a foul. A penalty on the hand ball; Carlton Cole hit
the bar; Nobby Nolan scores. And then the big turning point for me was Vaz
Te going off injured, that stopped our biggest and most dangerous threat
against the opposition and we lost our fluency going forward in terms of
attacking. Finally, I wouldn't say it was a struggle but we weren't as good
as we should have been and I think in the end, like always, you could always
slip [up] and if you slip [up] they might score. At 1-0 I'd have liked the
players to have seen it out, but they didn't.
We made our substitutions when we felt it was the right time and then got
the golden chance to win the game right at the very end - and missed it.
It's not the end of the world. It's disappointing because it's happened
three times now - I don't count the draw against Southampton because that
was like a win with ten men after 15/20 minutes, that almost felt like a win
on the night, a fantastic performance. I didn't expect it, but it's here.
If we had won two out of three at home and we drew three away we wouldn't be
moaning. But because we've won two away and drawn today at home, we are
moaning. It's always in reverse of what you want - I'd much prefer to win
two and draw one at home and draw three away - but we haven't, we've done it
So we're disappointed but we've got to stay patient, keep our nerve and not
get too anxious or panic. That then will hopefully get us over this little
blip we've had and [we can] move forward and get a victory next time out at
You mentioned substitutions there; you took Nolan off, was that a tactical
Tactical and [because he was] tired. He played at Cardiff and then again on
Wednesday. Those who played the whole game on Wednesday - because you've got
to remember that Doncaster played [on] Tuesday night, not Wednesday - we
wanted fresher legs on, if you like.
And then we changed of system because we wanted to try and win the game. We
wanted to put the two up top and Jack hadn't played on Wednesday. It gave us
the opportunity to win it when we changed it, but we didn't win it with
Jack's chance. But there we go.
[El Hadji] Diouf's a player you know very well, he caused you a few problems
today, didn't he?
He's a Premier League player, you know. You've got a Premier League player
playing in the Championship via his unfortunate reputation. That's why he's
playing at Doncaster and not in the Premier League because of his reputation
- not his footballing ability - his reputation isn't allowing him to play
What was the matter with Vaz Te?
Henderson set to sign
Filed: Saturday, 10th March 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United are set to announce their second new signing within 48 hours
with the arrival of Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson. The 23-year-old
Irishman is understood to have undergone a medical at the club and, KUMB.com
understands, will be confirmed as a West Ham player imminently. Henderson -
who was withdrawn from the Portsmouth squad that were beaten 2-0 at Brighton
this afternoon - began his career with Aston Villa but joined Burnley on a
free transfer in May 2007 having failed to make a single appearance for the
Premier League club. Loan spells at York, Weymouth, Wycombe, Aldershot and
Yeovil followed before he was snapped up by Pompey last summer - since when
he has gone on to make 27 apeerances for the financially-stricken club.
West Ham are just one of a string of clubs who have been running the rule
over the promising goalkeeper this season, with Newcastle United also linked
with him back in January. Yesterday it was announced that Henderson's
current club have been advanced a figure of around £800,000 by the Football
League which should ensure they complete their league programme this season.
That was also good news for West Ham who faced losing the six points they
had taken from wins against Pompey home and away this season, should the
troubled club be liquidated before the end of the current campaign.
West Ham Utd 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Filed: Saturday, 10th March 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham's home jinx struck again as a late equaliser from James Coppinger
secured a point for relegation-threatened Doncaster. However it could have
been even worse for West Ham had Rob Green not come to the rescue - as he
has so often this season - by pulling off a World-class save from serial
spitter El Hadji Diouf as the game entered its closing stages. Yet again the
Hammers proved hugely frustrating in front of their home support and
predictably left the ground to a chorus of boos following a second half
performance that bordered on the inept. However it had looked so different
just 45 minutes earlier when Sam Allardyce's side had gone into the
half-time break a goal ahead having battered the visitors from the start.
United had taken a well-deserved eighth minute-lead when Kevin Nolan was on
hand to turn a corner into the net with a smart finish after the Hammers had
made an impressive opening to the game. Allardyce had made a number of
adjustments to the team that were held to a 1-1 draw here by Watford just 72
hours earlier - and that policy had almost paid immediate dividends when
Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the back of the net inside 60 seconds. Sadly
the Portuguese forward - who was to last just 25 minutes before pulling up
with a hamstring - saw his effort ruled out by referee Andy D'Urso,
presumably for offside, although there appeared to be very little - if
anything - wrong with it.
Meanwhile Carlton Cole, who had an otherwise poor game couldn't have gone
any closer when his fifth minute volley cannoned off the crossbar. At the
other end Robert Green has barely been troubled in the opening half, with
the visitors - whose star player Diouf was mercilessly booed throughout and
serenaded at one point with a chant of 'you only spit when you're winning' -
registering just one effort on goal. However it was to prove a different
story after the break as West Ham once again paid the price for failing to
make the most of their early chances. From the beginning of the half it was
clear that all was not well and Rovers - who remain one place off the bottom
of the table - were beginning to push West Ham deeper and deeper as the
inventiveness and drive that had been sp apparent at the start of the game
was nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps the only surprise was that it took Dean Saunders' side so long to
equalise - but it was still a massive kick in the teeth when the goal
eventually arrived. A deep cross evaded both James Tomkins and the otherwise
peerless Green and Gillett's touch was enough to leave Coppinger with a
simple task of putting the ball over the line. In the end West Ham were
lucky to take anything out of the game and but for a simply stunning save
from Green at the death, Rovers would have been celebrating all three points
tonight. Boos greeted the final whistle; it would be difficult to criticise
the supporters for that after a fourth successive home game without a win -
and such a poor performance to boot.
Fortunately perhaps the Hammers - who somehow remain in second place in the
Championship, level on points with third-placed Reading - now look forward
to three away games in out of the next four, with only the home fixture with
Middlesbrough coming between trips to Leeds, Burnley and Peterborough for
the re-arranged clash at London Road.
That could well prove to be a blessing in disguise, because West Ham simply
cannot cope with the challenge of playing in front of their own fans at the
Saunders rues missed chances
Rovers boss seeks killer touch, Allardyce bemoans decisions
Last Updated: March 10, 2012 6:49pm
Doncaster boss Dean Saunders fears their failure to take their chances will
cost them, while Sam Allardyce is refusing to panic. Doncaster picked up a
precious point in a 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing West Ham, but the
Yorkshire outfit could have taken all three points after missing several
clear chances for a surprise win at Upton Park. James Coppinger cancelled
out Kevin Nolan's early opener and only a good save from Rob Green late on
prevented El-Hadji Diouffrom earning Doncaster a priceless win. The draw
leaves Rovers four points adrift of safety and Saunders has warned his
players they need to start taking their chances if they want to have any
chance of staying up.
"That's been our Achilles heel to be honest, missing chances. Looking back
we should have won the last nine games but haven't because missed chances
have cost us," he said. "We're fighting for our lives and some of those
players are fighting for their careers. I've asked them who they would
rather play, the teams coming down from the Premier League next season or
the teams coming up from League Two. "Unfortunately we just haven't had that
little bit of luck which probably would have seen us sitting in mid-table
now, rather than in the bottom three. "But I stood on the touchline today
with pride at how we fought back from a bad start. Sometimes you are
cringing but it was just pride here. West Ham are a very good side and will
probably get promoted. "Giles Barnes has put a header wide and then at the
end the goalkeeper has made a brilliant save to deny Diouf."
Allardyce is also under pressure after the Hammers failed to win at home for
the fourth game in a row and the Hammers chief claimed referee Andy D'Urso's
decision to rule out Ricardo Vaz Te's early goal summed up their luck. "We
just didn't finish them off when we had the chances early on and that has
cost us," bemoaned Allardyce. "Vaz Te has scored in the first minute and I'm
not sure what was wrong with it and then maybe we should have had a penalty
with the handball so decisions haven't gone for us in this game.
"We are not going to panic but you would always like to win your home games.
The Southampton draw felt like a win but the three draws have been
"But we'll just keep going and keep fighting. We need to just keep our heads
but it's not the end of the world. "If we'd won two at home and drawn three
away people would be saying we're on a good run but because it's the other
way round we're all little bit disappointed and I can understand that."
Henderson set for Hammers
Mullins also set to leave Pompey as club try to raise cash
Last Updated: March 10, 2012 8:33pm
Portsmouth have confirmed Stephen Henderson is set to join West Ham United
on loan with a view to a permanent deal and the goalkeeper is poised to be
followed out of Fratton Park by Hayden Mullins. Henderson has made 27
appearances for Pompey since arriving from Bristol City last summer, but is
the latest casualty of the club's need to raise funds. The 23-year-old was
left out of the squad for Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion
and has been undergoing a medical with promotion hopefuls West Ham. Pompey's
administrator, Trevor Birch, has confirmed the Championship's bottom club
will receive a 'significant' fee for letting Henderson head to Upton Park.
"Stephen Henderson will be joining West Ham on loan with a view to a
permanent contract," said Birch in The News. "We still need money to get
past the end of the season. It doesn't just stop then, so I am trying to get
in that extra cash which pushes it even further and gives even more time to
achieve what we need to achieve.
"I cannot divulge how much we will receive (from West Ham), it wouldn't be
right to. But it's a significant fee. We wouldn't be doing it otherwise."
Mullins was also omitted from the squad to face Brighton and Pompey boss
Michael Appletonconfirmed the experienced midfielder is set to join another
club on loan. Appleton said: "I left Hayden out because there's an
opportunity for him to speak to a club over the weekend. "I didn't want him
getting too mixed up with what was going on off the field, so I gave him a
breather. "Stephen is at West Ham for a medical. It's a loan with a view to
Hammers held by roaring Rovers
Last updated: 10th March 2012
West Ham lost ground at the top of the Championship as they were held to a
1-1 draw by a relegation-battling Doncaster outfit on Saturday. Kevin
Nolan's ninth goal of the season capped a dominant start for the hosts but
they took their foot off the gas and were punished when James Coppinger
levelled in the 73rd minute. The hosts looked to have got off to a flying
start when Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the net inside the opening minute
but the Portuguese was penalised for a foul on Pascal Chimbonda. It took
just another two minutes before the Hammers threatened again as Carlton Cole
collected a pass from Jack Collison and rifled a 20-yard effort against the
crossbar. The inevitable breakthrough came after nine minutes as Nolan
stabbed in from close range after Rovers failed to clear their lines
following Henri Lansbury's shot. Dean Saunders' men briefly relieved the
pressure when El-Hadji Diouf broke away down the right but his threatening
cross was plucked out of the air by Rob Green just as Mamadou Bagayoko was
closing in. Sam Allardyce was forced to make a change midway through the
opening half when Vaz Te went down clutching his hamstring. He was replaced
by Sam Baldock. With the home side beginning to lose some of their impetus,
Doncaster sensed an opportunity to get a foothold in the game and
Coppinger's powerful strike, which Green had to palm around the post,
underlined their increasing threat. They continued to grow into the game
after the interval, with Diouf providing their most promising outlet. The
Senegalese whipped in a free-kick which Giles Barnes nodded narrowly wide.
The Hammers sought to reassert their authority with a prolonged spell of
pressure but Rovers pressed the ball well, restricting the space the hosts
had to work in.
When Doncaster won it back they caused panic in the penalty area as
Coppinger's cross was left by Green before James Tomkins eventually took
charge of the situation to clear to safety. But with 17 minutes to go the
visitors deservedly drew level as Simon Gillett kept the ball alive in the
box and Coppinger capitalised to steer it in from close range. Upton Park
held its breath when Coppinger delivered for Diouf with five minutes to play
but he could not make clean contact with his shot and Green turned the ball
away for a corner. The draw extends West Ham's unbeaten run to seven matches
but Southampton'svictory over Barnsley means they are three points behind in
the race for the title. Doncaster, meanwhile, are still fighting for
survival after taking six points from their last four games.
Vinny's Doncaster Report
Vinny 7:29 Sun Mar 11
West Ham Online
West Ham United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Another frustrating performance saw West Ham again drop points at Upton Park
for the third successive home game. With Reading winning again they are now
level on points with only goal difference keeping us in the top two. This
display left a lot to be desired despite an excellent start to the game and
promotion does not seem as certain as it perhaps was a few weeks ago.
Of course this result hasn't decided anything but the last two home games
gave us a chance to cement a place at the top of the league and without
being disrespectful to both Watford and Doncaster, these are teams we should
be beating and beating well. With the size of our squad and the options
available we should be putting this type of team away with ease.
We just cannot seem to break teams down although with Vaz Te on the pitch
those opening fifteen minutes suggested we were going to run riot. When Vaz
Te was forced off injured that was pretty much it from us in an attacking
sense and like all these teams who have managed to get a result at the
Boleyn this season, they grew in confidence as the game went on.
What Doncaster has was a player who made things happen in El Hadji Diouf.
This horrible little man had the creativity to spark his team into life and
we have no such player (this could be Vaz Te in time). The substitutions
from Allardyce were puzzling and whilst not the sole reason we did not claim
all three points they certainly contributed. I had no issue with Baldock
coming on as I think he has been a little unlucky in the last few months.
Before his injury he was scoring a few goals and looking a threat. He came
back from injury had a decent game at Sheffield Wednesday although his
display was marred by a missed penalty. In the time he was out Allardyce
brought in Maynard and Vaz Te which made it difficult for him to get back
into the side.
But anyone who has seen Sam Baldock play knows that he is not a left winger
and his best attribute is being in the right place in the right time to
score goals. The next chance was also a strange one with Henri Lansbury
being replaced by Gary O'Neil. I can only presume Lansbury was injured
because he was having a decent game and covered a lot of ground. O'Neil on
the other hand is such a uninspiring footballer he offers so little to the
side and is average at best. I have nothing against O'Neil but this change
hindered our second half performance.
But the change that leaves me scratching my head was to remove Kevin Nolan
(our joint top scorer and a midfielder) and bring on recent loan signing
Danny Collins who is a defender. Now you can argue that by doing this Taylor
moved into midfield with Baldock going up front with Cole but at that time
things were a bit desperate and we really needed a goal to win the game so
if Nolan had to come off then it needed to be Maynard coming on or Morrison
at worst. If Nolan wasn't injured then I fail to see how the inept Jack
Collison remained on the pitch.
We play like a rugby team. We force the ball forward and try to bundle the
ball over the line. We play long balls forward and attempt to force the
opposition back. We play diagonal passes from the back knowing the worst
case scenario is that it will go off for a throw and we can push players
forward. We have no width, players playing out of position and other
players not offering enough throughout the game. Like against Watford we
play long balls forward to a player who is as bad a target man as you are
likely to see. But even when Carlton Cole does win a header it is flicked on
to no one as he has little support.
If we has scored a last minute winner I would like to think that I would be
raising the same points as I am not in the same boat as many that the result
is simply the most important thing.
I don't expect West Ham to play like Barcelona but come on, there has to be
more to our football than this. This is just horrible to watch and so
f*cking boring. I don't buy this notion that West Ham fans are a bunch of
moaners, I believe we do have a valid complaint that the style of play
served up is just not very good.
Allardyce made a few changes to the side who struggled midweek against
Watford. In defence, Joey O'Brien was not included in the squad and at right
back was actually George McCartney with Matthew Taylor dropping to left
back. In midfield, Julien Faubert was also not included in the squad with
Jack Collison and Ricardo Vaz Te coming into the starting eleven. This saw
Vaz Te on the left, Collison on the right with Noble, Nolan and Lansbury in
the middle. Carlton Cole was up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation and
you can tell me it was 4-3-3 till you are a blue in the face but it wasn't
and it never is.
Included on the subs bench was Ravel Morrison the young midfielder signed
from Manchester United in the January transfer window and recent loan
signing from Stoke City Danny Collins. No goal keeper was named on the bench
again. On the bench for Doncaster Rovers was former Hammer Herita Illunga
who was released earlier in the season.
We started the game exactly how you would have wanted us to – in blistering
fashion. Within the first thirty seconds we had the ball in the net. It was
a really good move with Kevin Nolan playing a perfectly weighted pass
through to Ricardo Vaz Te who went shoulder to shoulder with the defender
Chimbonda and lifted the ball over the onrushing keeper. But whilst the West
Ham fans celebrated the goal had been ruled out for a push by Vaz Te by
referee Andy D'Urso.
On the fourth minute mark our early domination continued when a ball forward
found Collison who in turn found Cole in the area in space and the striker
took a first time shot with his left foot which crashed off the cross bar.
Vaz Te was causing problems for Doncaster on the left hand side and was
fouled a couple of times but the ref waived the appeals for a free kick away
implying Vaz Te had dived. Another good move moments later involving Vaz Te
saw Lansbury cleverly dummy the cross and it found Cole who turned and
attempted a shot with his left foot but scuffed it horribly.
But just one minute later we would score a deserved opener.
A shot from Lansbury was blocked and found its way to Vaz Te who put in a
delightful cross for Tomkins at the back post whose header down caused all
sorts of chaos as Cole attempted to bundle it over the line but it was
blocked but on hand to finish was Kevin Nolan from virtually the goal line.
This was Nolan's 9th goal of the season and his reputation as a goal scoring
midfielder is validated once again. At this stage it really was a question
of how many were we going to get but on 21 minutes Vaz Te went down injured
and was forced to come off. Our lack of attacking prowess can be traced back
to the loss of Vaz Te and he was replaced by Sam Baldock.
Doncaster has their first shot of the game on 25 minutes with Gillett
putting his shot way over the bar and was certainly not the best a shot
could get. As the half went on we had really run out of steam and Doncaster
were slowly seeing more of the ball and beginning to knock it about. Just
before the half time whistle was due to be blown an almighty penalty appeal
went up from the West Ham players as Tomkins won a back post header which
appeared to have struck the arm of a Doncaster player but D'Urso gave
We kicked off the second half with Taylor playing a long ball forward with
the ball skipping off the turf ahead of Nolan and out for a goal kick. This
was to be symptomatic of our second half display. Diouf was taken out by a
poor challenge from Noble and he put the cross into the area for one time
West Ham target Giles Barnes to head wide.
Doncaster were clearly growing in confidence and it was very much "well if
you're not going to attack, we will" and they took some risks and get bodies
forward. A volley towards goal from Barnes was blocked and fell to Habib
Beye who got in behind Taylor and his cross was deflected towards goal which
Green kept out with his legs and put behind for a corner. The Doncaster
support (which was quite good and more numbers than the dismal Watford
effort) were beginning to believe this game was not over yet.
From an attacking sense we were offering little and a free kick in to the
area by Noble which saw Cole head just over was about as good as it got.
Lansbury was taken off on 57 minutes and replaced by Gary O'Neil who went to
the right hand side with Collison moving into the middle. Our calmness at
the back was beginning to wane and panic in the area on 66 minutes saw
Tomkins misjudge a cross but it was eventually dealt with by the number 5.
If anyone was going to get the next goal in the game it was going to be the
visitors and their pressure paid off on the 73rd minute as they found an
A loose ball put the ball into the path of Diouf whose cross eluded Tomkins
and Green for Gillett to get a boot to it and James Coppinger was on hand to
finish from close range to make it 1-1.I couldn't believe that we had got
ourselves in this position and was extremely annoyed at the way we had
applied ourselves in this second half. On 80 minutes Kevin Nolan was
replaced by Danny Collins who went to left back with Taylor pushing forward
as we went to a 4-4-2.
But it was Doncaster who looked more likely to grab a winner and they so
nearly did when they broke forward with Chimbonda crossing low into the area
for the unmarked Diouf to stab goalwards only for Robert Green to make a
fantastic save and claw the ball away. We should be thankful we have Robert
Green at this football club. Four minutes of added time were awarded but it
just was never happening for us although a ball into the area by Noble was
cleared only as far as Jack Collison who turned his shot wide from 15 yards
out. It was a frustrating end to a frustrating game and we have dropped
points yet again on our home turf.
As I am not a moron I did not boo at the end, but this wasn't good. It
wasn't good at all.
His save late in the game made sure we did not lose this. His catching from
crosses and corners was spot on and he attempted to distribute the ball as
quickly as possible.
In recent weeks he has been performing really well but this was in his
proper position of left back. For some reason he was at right back in this
one and when he went forward he had to keep checking back to get it on his
left foot which just delayed and in most cases prevented an early cross into
Excellent in the first half and looked very calm and collected. In the
second he was misjudging the flight of the ball and his distribution was as
bad as it could have been.
Continues to dominate opponents in the air and marked the Doncaster forward
Bagayoko out of the game which saw him being taken off by the Doncaster
manager Dean Saunders.
Playing in a position he has played many times before he didn't have a great
game and struggled with Diouf for most of the game.
Another in the long line of poor performances by Collison this season. He
does not get involved enough, bottles out of challenges and does so little
you wonder why he is even playing.
Poor display from Noble whose quality on the ball was his main problem in
this one. He was slow to release the ball and his crosses in to the area
were very inaccurate.
He ran his socks off throughout his time on the pitch and scored a goal
which makes him joint top scorer. This was a better display than against
Watford where he was awful.
I thought he had a decent first half and really put in a good shift. He
worked hard and was winning quite a few challenges. Better.
Ricardo Vaz Te
He was out best player despite being on the pitch for only 20 minutes. He
made it all happen, he was the creative spark and when he went off, our
attacking progress went with him.
Poor again although the service was pretty bad. He isn't a target man and he
struggled to make anything happen with the long balls towards him. He wanted
the ball to his feet and at times he would control the ball and lay it off
nicely then others he would fall over or foul an opponent. Simply put,
Carlton Cole has not scored enough goals since December and this is not good
Sam Baldock (on for Vaz Te 25 mins)
Am I alone in thinking Baldock is not a left winger? We can debate whether
he is actually good enough some other time but if you are going to play
Baldock at any point you play him as a centre forward.
Gary O'Neil (on for Lansbury 57 mins)
Nothing performance from a nothing player.
Danny Collins (on for Nolan 80 mins)
Subs Not Used: Morrison, Maynard
Man Of The Match: Ricardo Vaz Te
Doncaster Rovers :Ikeme, Chimbonda, Beye, Martis, Spurr, Coppinger, Bennett,
Barnes, Gillett, Diouf, Bagayoko
Subs; Hird, Ilunga, Oster, Robert, Hayter
Attendance: 34, 650
Three points off the top of the league with a game in hand on the leaders
doesn't make it sound quite so bad but I think if we had simply been unlucky
in the last two games we would be looking at it in a different light and
this report would not be so dour and bordering on depressing. But we were
not unlucky and we did not deserve to win this game.
Next Game – Leeds United (a) Saturday 17th March 3pm Kick Off
We put pressure on ourselves with our failure to win home games as we now
have to go and get a win at Elland Road which is not an easy place to go to
at the best of times. I thought they battered Southampton a couple of weeks
ago and were very unlucky not to have won the game let alone lose it. If we
want to win the League then we need to pick up maximum points in as many
games as possible. We need to start this by beating Leeds.
"Like the last couple of home games we couldn't finish the opposition off
when we had the opportunity and then we become a little bit nervous," "We
should have won it at the death with Collision's effort 12 yards out but he
put it wide. Chances like those are the difference between three points and
one." "We lost Vaz Te who was causing them a great deal of problems down the
left hand side. We had to play George McCartney at right back due to the
absence of Joey O'Brien and a few others. We haven't got all the squad
available at the moment as we would like but we should still have had enough
quality to beat Doncaster. "We played on Wednesday night and they played on
Tuesday which makes a physical difference in the latter stages of the match.
We were good, bad and indifferent in this game but if you win that doesn't
"Everyone gets nervous at this stage of the season and it's just about
seeing the game off. We got the goal early doors and what I am most
disappointed about is that we didn't go on from there and score more." "We
became a little nervous and lost our fluency allowing Doncaster back into
the game. We had the golden chance at the end but we didn't take it and we
are just not good enough at home at the moment. "It's a shame, after our
results against Millwall and Southampton we haven't been able to push on."
"We knew March was going to be a difficult month with having to play the
postponed game against Peterborough. The difficulty is we have injuries we
don't need right now. Against Doncaster we have been forced into changes
that we didn't want to make. O'Brien and Faubert both dropped out and we
need players available to play.
"We want to have our best players on the pitch and at the moment we are not
able to do that so we are all suffering. This problem didn't seem to be on
the horizon a few weeks ago but we have and we must make sure we deal with
Season 2011/12 Scorers and Red Cards
Carlton Cole - 9 (9 League)
Kevin Nolan - 9 (9 League)
Mark Noble - 7 (7 League)
Sam Baldock - 5 (5 League)
Jack Collison - 3 (3 League)
Ricardo Vaz Te - 2 (2 League)
Winston Reid - 2 (2 League)
John Carew - 2 (2 League)
Frederique Piquionne - 2 (2 League)
James Tomkins - 2 (2 League)
Own Goal - 2 (2 League)
Papa Bouba Diop - 1 (1 League)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (1 League)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (1 League)
Henri Lansbury - 1 (1 League)
Julien Faubert - 1 (1 League)
Frank Nouble - 1 (1 League)
Nicky Maynard - 1 (1 League)
Gary O'Neil - 1 (1 League)
George McCartney - 1 (1 League)
Scott Parker - 1 (1 League)
Junior Stanislas - 1 (1 Cup)
Callum McNaughton - 1 (vs Aldershot home)
Frederique Piquionne - 1 (vs Portsmouth home)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (vs Reading away)
Jack Collison - 1 (vs Reading away)
Kevin Nolan - 1 (vs Millwall home)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (vs Southampton home)
Robert Green - 1 (vs Blackpool away)*
*rescinded by FA on appeal
Twelve Things We Learned From the Doncaster Game
March 11th, 2012 - 12:37 am by Iain Dale
West Ham Till I Die
1. West Ham's whole performance changed after Vaz Te went off. He was on
fire and after his departure we showed nothing.
2. You don't put in a good performance when the manager plays three players
out of position. McCartney at right back was inexplicable.
3. You don't get the best out of Matt Taylor by playing him at left back.
4. Jack Collison did not deserve to be back in the team. His form of late
has been lamentable and today's performance was a shocker.
5. We learned again that Rob Green is a world class goalkeeper, as his late
save on the line proved.
6. The defensive partnership between Tomkins and Faye continues to impress.
For once the sponsors got the Man of the Match right.
7. Sam Allardyce's replacement of Kevin Nolan with Danny Collins was
headscratchingly incomprehensible. The situation screamed for Maynard or
8. Apart from Cole's effort early on which hit the bar, neither he nor
Baldock had a single shot on target that I can remember. In fact, I can't
remember their goalkeeper being seriously tested. Quite something for a team
second from the bottom.
9. There was a very strange atmosphere at Upton Park today. Perhaps we
learned that you don't get a good atmosphere by letting in kids for a quid.
10. El Hadj Diouf may have had a decent game, but he is still a poor excuse
for a human being.
11. The panic button should not be pressed just yet, but the tactical
ineptitude and lack of fire shown today needs to be addressed quickly.
12. You might not believe it, but we are unbeaten in eight games. No,
And here's one to make up the Baker's Dozen…
13. Can anyone explain the point of Gary O'Neil? He's not a right winger, he
never runs at the left back, he's never once changed the course of a game
and he rarely scores. In fact I am at a loss to know what he really
contributes. OK, he's only made 8 starts and 6 sub appearances, but even so.
West Ham and Reading target Pompey stars
Published 08:02 10/03/12 By James Nursey
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is trying to exploit Championship rivals
Portsmouth's woes with a double swoop for Stephen Henderson and Jason
Pearce. Debt-hit Pompey are in administration and Hammers want to take
goalkeeper Henderson on loan, plus defender Pearce. The Londoners' promotion
rivals Reading, meanwhile, are want to take midfielder Hayden Mullins away
from the crisis at Fratton Park on loan ahead of a permanent deal.
*Portsmouth are being given special permission to sign Derby midfielder
Chris Maguire on loan, writes Alan Nixon . Derby are happy to let Maguire go
out for first-team action, while stricken Pompey badly need more bodies as
their relegation-threatened squad gets thnner by the week.
Wasteful West Ham are punished by Doncaster
Steve Blowers at Upton Park
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Championship: West Ham 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Wasteful West Ham United were held to a fourth-successive home draw as
relegation-threatened Rovers grabbed a point to leave Sam Allardyce's side
holding onto an automatic promotion place on mere goal difference, ahead of
Reading. After bolting out of the starting gate the Hammers should have been
home and hosed by the break but their shocking second-half performance was
far from thoroughbred and Dean Saunders' well-travelled assortment of waifs
and strays somehow fought back to force a dead heat. After Ricardo Vaz Te
had a goal disallowed in the opening moments, skipper Kevin Nolan gave Big
Sams side an eighth-minute lead with his ninth goal of the campaign but
instead of sprinting out of sight, West Ham recklessly released their
vice-like grip on this game, allowing James Coppinger to rescue a late point
for the side sitting in 23rd spot in the Championship.
The Hammers may have kicked off in second place and unbeaten in their last
half-a-dozen games but following his side's disappointing 1-1 draw against
Watford in midweek, Allardyce made a trio of changes.
Wednesday's late saviour Vaz Te, Jack Collison and Henri Lansbury each came
in for Joey OBrien, Julien Faubert and Nicky Maynard, who was stood down to
the bench alongside Ravel Morrison and new, on-loan signing Danny Collins.
And with just eight seconds on referee Andy D'Urso's watch, Vaz Te thought
that he had carried on from where he left off, when he put the ball in the
net but the Essex official opted to rule the effort out for a push on a
defender and deny the Portuguese poacher the fastest-ever goal at Upton
Park, where Charlton Athletic's Jim Melrose had taken a whole second longer
to open the scoring in November 1986.
Then, on four minutes, Carlton Cole sent a rising volley crashing onto the
besieged Carl Ikme's crossbar before also over-complicating things in the
danger zone following Collisons surging run.
Certainly, the high-tempo Hammers were cutting through dishevelled Donny at
will and, with just eight minutes on the clock, the inevitable breakthrough
arrived, when James Tomkins met Vaz Te's deep left-wing centre with a
downward header back across goal, which Ikeme palmed onto Cole's toes before
the alert Nolan gleefully bundled over the line.
That ninth strike of the season saw the West Ham skipper join Cole at the
top of the East End scoring charts but when Vaz Te hobbled away midway
through the half to be replaced by Sam Baldock, there was finally some
respite for the visitors, who had extended their undefeated run to three
matches with a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening.
Although on-loan Frederic Piquionne netted on his Donny debut at the City
Ground, he was now ineligible to face his Hammers team-mates and that had
seen him replaced by Mali international Mamadou Bagayoko, while former Upton
Park defender Herita Ilunga found himself on the bench following his
permanent move to the Keepmoat Stadium, 24-hours earlier.
Apart from forcing Robert Green to turn aside Coppinger's scorching
25-yarder, though, Rovers failed to threaten the Hammers' keeper, who spent
the opening 45 minutes, alongside the claret and blue fans in the watching
the action unfold at the other end as spring sunshine left a feel-good
factor hovering over an expectant East End.
But Dean Saunders clearly rallied the Yorkshiremen during the interval.
Firstly, El Hadji Diouf floated over an early corner that Giles Barnes
nodded over and then the mercilessly-booed Senegal international set up
fellow countryman Habib Beye, whose low angled shot into the near post was
scrambled behind off Greens knees.
Gary ONeil replaced the subdued Lansbury, while John Oster came in for an
equally anonymous Bagayoko as Rovers began to enjoy their best spell of an
afternoon and West Ham their worst.
Abdoulaye Faye was now finding himself becoming increasingly occupied
against competitive compatriot Diouf, who forced the gallant Green to pluck
the ball off his studs.
Then on 72 minutes, the stunned youngsters in the Kids-for-a-Quid crowd of
34,650 were justifiably looking for their pound coins to be refunded, when
Diouf raced down the Rovers right before sending a low ball into the
six-yard box where the groping Green could only look on in horror as Simon
Gillett toe-poked to Coppinger, who bundled home.
And after Nolan was replaced by Collins for the final ten minutes, only a
brilliant one-handed save by Green prevented yet more embarrassment for
Allardyce, who then saw Collison agonisingly drill inches wide with
virtually the last kick of this archetypical game of two halves that leaves
the second-placed Hammers clinging onto an automatic promotion spot by a
Hammers: Green, McCartney, Taylor, Tomkins, Faye, Collison, Vaz Te (Baldock
25), Noble, Nolan (Collins 80), Lansbury (ONeil 56), Cole. Unused Subs:
Rovers: Ikeme, Chimbonda, Martis (Hird 75), Beye, Spurr, Coppinger, Gillett,
Barnes, Bennett, Bagayoko (Oster 61), Diouf. Unused Subs: Hayter, Robert,
Referee: Andy DUrso
Attendance: 34, 650.
Coppinger halts nervy Hammers
GEOFF BROWN SUNDAY 11 MARCH 2012
Adam Lallana's two goals gave the Championship leaders Southampton a 2-0 win
over Barnsley and Saints now lead by three points after second-placed West
Ham were held to a fourth consecutive home draw, 1-1 by Doncaster Rovers.
Reading, third, moved level on points with the faltering Hammers after a
comfortable 3-1 home win over Leicester City.
Saints and the Royals were rarely troubled in their wins but at Upton Park,
after Kevin Nolan prodded in to cap a bright West Ham start, the hosts were
unsettled when Ricardo Vaz Te went off with a hamstring injury. Rovers
rallied and merited the point earned by James Coppinger's close-range
"We just didn't finish them off when we had the chances early on," the West
Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, said. "We are not going to panic. The
Southampton draw felt like a win but the [other] three draws have been
West Ham United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1: match report
By George Saunders, at Upton Park6:00PM GMT 10 Mar 2012
West Ham lost ground on leaders Southampton at the top of the Championship
after relegation-threatened Doncaster fought back to hold them at Upton
Park. James Coppinger's late strike cancelled out Kevin Nolan's opener to
condemn Sam Allardyce's side to a fourth consecutive home draw. Despite
starting the game in fine fashion, West Ham struggled after striker Ricardo
Vaz Te's early departure to a hamstring injury. Allardyce said: "We didn't
finish the opposition off when we had the opportunity. The big change was
Vaz Te went off injured and that then stopped our biggest and most dangerous
threat and we lost our fluency going forwards."
West Ham, who now trail Southampton by three points, started at a furious
pace. Vaz Te had a goal ruled out by referee Andy D'Urso after 13 seconds
for a push on Pascal Chimbonda, a decision Allardyce believed was incorrect,
before Carlton Cole crashed a volley against the bar. The breakthrough
arrived in the ninth minute, Nolan stabbing home after Carl Ikeme had made a
spectacular save from James Tomkins' header. However, the lively Vaz Te then
had to be withdrawn, and with West Ham's attack blunted Doncaster soon
grabbed a foothold. Rob Green tipped Simon Gillett's long range drive wide
and saved at his near post from Habib Beye early in the second half. The
visitors deservedly levelled in the 73rd minute, Coppinger pouncing on a
loose ball in the six-yard box after Gillett had turned El-Hadji Diouf's
delivery back across goal. Green then made a stunning save to deny Diouf
seven minutes from time, before Collison blazed wide of a gaping goal in
added time. Rovers manager Dean Saunders, whose side remain 23rd, said: "We
should have won. I thought we were going to get battered in the first ten
minutes, but we changed the shape and looked better straight away."