Sunday, February 9

Daily WHUFC News - 9th February 2014

Quickfire Nolan double downs Villa
Kevin Nolan scored twice as the Hammers defeated Aston Villa 2-0 on Saturday

Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United moved out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three as two
goals inside the opening 177 seconds of the second half sent them to victory
at Aston Villa on Saturday. After notching twice in last week's victory over
Swansea City, captain Kevin Nolan was at it again with another brace in
double-quick time. He notched his first just 18 seconds into the second
period, then profited from a Fabian Delph error to make it two just a couple
of minutes later. A 12th clean sheet - the most in the top flight this
season - meant Villa could not find a way back despite building up the
pressure towards the end of the game.
Adrian was rarely called into action, although the woodwork did save the
visitors twice en route to a precious three points. Missing Andy Carroll
after an Independent Tribunal upheld his three-match ban following the No9's
dismissal against Swansea last week, Carlton Cole was given the nod up front
by manager Sam Allardyce. The blustery conditions did not make things easy
for either side with neither able to build up a head of steam in the early
With 14 minutes on the clock former Villa man Stewart Downing looked to
silence the home boo-boys as he cut inside from the right and went for goal,
but fired over the top. Villa's first real opportunity arrived six minutes
later when they broke from a Hammers corner and Andreas Weimann looked to
feed Gabby Agbonlahor, but his touch was heavy and the ball run away for a
goal kick. The Hammers then produced a spell of pressure, with Matt Jarvis
twice racing clear down the left, only to be denied by last ditch tackles
from Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker. Downing also wasted a great chance when
Jarvis picked him out with a low ball across the box, but Ryan Bertrand
applied enough pressure to ensure the winger could not make contact. West
Ham were looking the more likely scorers, but Ashley Westwood slammed a
volley wide on 42 minutes after Leandro Bacuna's cross fell invitingly for
him. The scoresheet remained blank as the half-time whistle blew, but it
would not stay that way for long as the Hammers made a whirlwind start to
the second period.

Marco Borriello was introduced from the bench, and just 18 seconds after the
restart the Hammers were celebrating the opening goal. After establishing
possession high up the pitch from kick-off, Downing laid square for Nolan,
whose clever flick deflected off a defender and left Brad Guzan helpless. It
got even better for the away side just two minutes later when Delph was
guilty of dwelling on possession for too long on the edge of the box, and
Nolan pounced to rob him and slot past the exposed Guzan. Villa responded by
introducing Marc Albrighton from the bench on 56 minutes and he had an
instant impact, clipping a ball into the box which only just evaded
Benteke's run. The wideman was a whisker away from reducing the arrears
himself midway through the half when his thunderbolt from range thudded
against the post and hit Adrian's back before flying wide. Villa hit the
woodwork for a second time five minutes later when Albrighton crossed for
Benteke, whose looping header had Adrian scrambling across his goal and
struck the top of the bar. The home side were knocking at the door but were
unable to break through a Hammers defence which by now included three centre
halves with Winston Reid making an appearance from the bench, Benteke tried
his luck with an acrobatic overhead kick which whistled over the crossbar as
time ticked down and the Hammers stood firm to record a vital three points
and make it back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since
promotion in 2012.

Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton (Albrighton 56), Baker, Clark, Bertrand (Bennett
73); Bacuna, Westwood, Delph; Weimann (Holt 71), Benteke, Agbonlahor
Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Sylla

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney; Nolan (Nocerino
68), Noble, Taylor; Downing, C.Cole (Borriello 46), Jarvis (Reid 74)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Collison, Johnson
Goals: Nolan 46, Nolan 49
Booked: Collins, Taylor

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 36,261 (3,030 away)

Adrian aims to keep it clean
Goalkeeper Adrian is not resting after keeping his fourth clean sheet in
five Barclays Premier League matches

Adrian is in the mood for more clean sheets and more victories after
Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win at Aston Villa. The West Ham
United goalkeeper was in unbeatable form for the third away game in
succession as the Hammers made it four clean sheets in five matches. While
his defenders ensured he faced just one shot on target - after allowing none
against Swansea the previous weekend - Adrian was in commanding form
whenever called into action. The two times he was beaten, the woodwork came
to the Spaniard's deserved rescue from Marc Albrighton and Christian
Benteke, while Kevin Nolan's two smartly-taken second-half goals ensured
back to back Barclays Premier League wins for the first time in nearly three
years. "It's unbelievable!" said the No13, who is fast becoming a cult hero
among the Claret and Blue Army. "It's another three points and another clean
sheet. That's three away matches with a clean sheet now and that's the way
we have to go forward. "It was very important to win again and for us to
keep another clean sheet."

After a busy night at Chelsea, where West Ham drew 0-0 despite the Blues
unleashing an amazing 39 shots - eight on target - Adrian was protected well
by his outfield colleagues for the second away match in succession. "For me,
this is perfect! As a goalkeeper, you rely on the other players for help and
at Villa I didn't have to make too many saves. It's important because the
team defends very, very well. "The whole team is defending well. Every
player is doing his job and this is important. If you have a good defence,
then you can have chances to win the game, and we're doing that."

For Adrian, his patience has been rewarded. After waiting for his chance as
Jussi Jaaskelainen started the season in impressive form, the 27-year-old
has come into the side and made a starting place his own with a succession
of assured performances. "I am really happy. Every time I play and finish
the match, I hear my name being sung by the supporters, which is
unbelievable. "I've only been here for six months, so for this to happen and
for the West Ham fans to do this is spectacular. For me, the fans have been

Now, Adrian is targeting a fifth clean sheet in six matches and another
important Barclays Premier League victory when Norwich City visit the Boleyn
Ground on Tuesday evening. Although he already knows no match in this
division will be easy, the former Real Betis Balompie favourite is adamant
West Ham can go into the game with confidence after picking up ten points
from a possible 15. "I am only thinking about the next match in my head. We
have another big game on Tuesday because now we have got out of the bottom
three and the West Ham fans are happy at the moment. "We have to keep them
happy by winning again."

Big Sam hails match-winner Nolan
Sam Allardyce hailed Kevin Nolan after Saturday's 2-0 Barclays Premier
League win at Aston Villa

Sam Allardyce hailed match-winner Kevin Nolan after West Ham United
continued their fine run with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa. After dominating a
goalless opening half, Nolan scored twice in the space of four minute at the
start of the second period to fire the Hammers to their first back-to-back
wins since their return to the Barclays Premier League. With the team
defending superbly throughout, the manager was also able to celebrate a
record-setting 12th clean sheet in 25 league games, and seventh in 13 on the
road. The victory lifted West Ham out of the relegation zone and, with
Norwich City to visit the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday evening, Big Sam is now
targeting three in a row. "It was absolutely brilliant from the players," he
confirmed. "Our first-half performance gave us a huge amount of
encouragement with the way that we started the game and the way we continued
to break down Aston Villa's defence. "The disappointing thing, which I said
to the players at half-time, was 'You can't keep going like this without
scoring, otherwise you might pay a heavy penalty. For all the good work you
have done, you haven't put the ball in the back of the net so make sure, if
you do get a chance, put it in the back of the net'. "On their first-half
performance, I think Villa were there for the taking and Kevin Nolan put it
away in the first few minutes of the second half with two superbly-taken
"I think the arrival of the two Italians helped. If you get the right
service to Marco Borriello, I think we've got a talented player on our
hands. Carlton Cole did a really good job and was constantly fouled by Aston
Villa's centre-halves, but didn't get a lot of protection from the referee.
He caused lots of problems.
"Our wide men got in behind Villa's defence on a consistent basis and it was
just the goals that were missing, then Kevin came up with the goods. That's
four goals in two games and that's pretty sweet for him and us all. "We got
another clean sheet, which was great for the defensive back line that coped
with all the long balls Villa pumped down the middle in the second half. We
defended superbly well."

The manager said Nolan yet again illustrated his talent for coolly finishing
chances when other players might panic and miss. The captain's first goal
was a neat flick from Stewart Downing's low cross just 18 seconds after the
break. The second, three minutes later, saw Nolan rob Fabian Delph before
rolling the ball past goalkeeper Brad Guzan. "He passes the ball into the
net. He is composed and is not up tight. I thought Matt Taylor was going to
get a third too, but his shot was cleared off the line at the far post.
"Kevin's ultimate strength has always been in the opposition penalty area.
He is a top-class Premier League player, always has been, and he has proved
that again."

While Nolan will take the headlines, West Ham as a whole showed they could
win without the suspended Andy Carroll. The striker started a three-match
ban following his controversial sending-off against Swansea City, but his
absence was not felt thanks to the form of Cole and strong debutant
Borriello in attack. "Kevin has scored without Andy, as well!" enthused the
manager. "I think we put in eleven or 12 crosses and on at least three
occasions, we had a player running at their goal to try and score. Even
without Andy we were a threat. "When Villa came on strong in the second half
and threw caution to the wind, we went five at the back. They put Grant Holt
on and we put Winston Reid on so we could handle all their big aerial power,
and we defended the last 20 or 25 minutes or so of all their long balls
pumped into the penalty area. "It was a thoroughly professional performance
in the last 25 minutes and a very good performance in the first 50."

For the manager, a run of ten points out of 15, three straight clean sheets
on the road and back to back league victories were all rewards for the
patience he has shown during an injury-ravaged season. "People kept saying
we weren't doing this and that and I kept telling them why and now I have
proved that I was right - that once the team came back from injuries, they
would get better in terms of performances and results. "Ten points out of
the last five games is a pretty good spell at the moment and Tuesday is on
its way against Norwich at home, and can we continue it as long as we can?
"While we are out of the bottom three, we are not satisfied because we have
only got 25 points from 25 games and we need more points than games on the
board as quick as we can."

Finally, when asked for his highlight of a memorable day at a stormy Villa
Park, the manager pinpointed the performance of his in-form skipper. "Kevin
has scored two critical goals at a period of time when we had similar
chances in the first half but missed them all. When we needed him most, he's
put the game to bed for us and that tops the lot for me. "The rest of the
lads did well and he did the hardest bit, the bit he is paid for, and he's
done his captain's bit too, to get us a very precious three points."

Nolan thrilled to repay Hammers
West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan was delighted to help the team secure another
three points on Saturday

Back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins and back-to-back two-goal hauls
gave West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan double the reason for celebration
at Aston Villa on Saturday. His quickfire brace, scored within the opening
three minutes of the second period at Villa Park, secured the first
consecutive top flight league wins for the Hammers since March 2011 and
hauled them out of the bottom three. It also gave the No4 the opportunity to
repay the faith shown in him after a difficult winter, which has seen him
sent off on two occasions, and he was delighted with the positive impact he
made. He explained: "It's the first time we've got back to back wins since
we've been back in the Premier League and we're delighed because it's been a
tough old season with all the injuries and suspensions. You're seeing now
what we're all about. "When we've got everyone fit and when we've got
everyone playing we're going to get results everywhere. I think this is the
start of a good run between now and the end of the season and if I can keep
chipping away and get a few more goals then hopefully that'll be a little
way of paying back the stupidity that I suffered over the last month. "I'm
feeling really good. Eamon Swift [fitness coach] worked tirelessly with me
and Monte [Mathew Monte-Colombo, strength & conditioning coach] in the gym
too. I worked my socks off because I wanted to show that when I got back in
the team I was bang at it. I knew that I could give the team goals once I
was back in it. "I've worked with the gaffer since I was 17 years old and I
can't thank him enough for everything he's done for me, especially over the
last month when it's been really tough. "I really knew when that happened on
New Year's Day that the lads and the gaffer had my back and I was
overwhelmed by it. "The last couple of weeks, with the goals, that's my
little way of trying to give a bit back for the support they've given me."

Another clean sheet - the Hammers' twelfth of the campaign - meant Villa
could not find a route back into the contest once Nolan had given them a
mountain to climb and once more he had praise for the defensive effort. He
said: "It was a great start to the second half and it gives you something to
hang on to. We've been good away from home this season and with the clean
sheets it just needed someone to put the ball in the back of the net. "I
have had chances over the season, but it just hasn't been falling right for
me but now I feel confident and I'm really looking forward to games. "The
camaraderie that's been shown over the season to be able to stay in there
has been brilliant. On Saturday again you've seen the togetherness and
everything we're about. "It's not over yet, we know it's going to be a big
battle to the end of the season but it's one we're all looking forward to."

Nolan has a habit of notching important goals and the two at Villa Park were
no different. He continued: "The most important goals for me are the ones
that win you games, and I'm just delighted that I've been able to get a
copule which have got us on the road to three points with another fantastic
clean sheet.
"For the first I've got Stewie on the ball and then I made a couple of runs.
He's twisted and turned and found me fantastically well and I got a bit of
luck, which I think was well deserved after some of the chances which we had
in the first half. "The second one I just saw an opportunity to jump on him
[Fabian Delph] and knock it away, get it out of my feet early and I fancy
myself every time when I'm one-on-one with the keeper so I was delighted to
see it rattle the back of the net."

On this day - 9 February
The Hammers ran riot with eight goals on this day in 1929

Classic match
West Ham United 8-2 Leeds United
Division One
9 February 1929
There were goals galore at the Boleyn Ground on this day 85 years ago as the
Hammers ran riot against Leeds United. The visitors from Yorkshire netted
twice themselves, but it was to no avail as West Ham smashed eight past
their beleaguered goalkeeper. Vic Watson's personal tally ran to six, while
Tommy Yews and Vivian Gibbins also got in on the act. The win lifted the
Hammers to 16th in the Division One table, and they would go on to finish
one place lower in 17th.

Complete record - 9 February
2008 West Ham United 1-1 Birmingham City (Premier League)
2002 Bolton Wanderers 1-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1994 West Ham United 1-0 Notts County (FA Cup)
1993 West Ham United 3-1 Peterborough United (Division One)
1987 West Ham United 4-0 Sheffield United (FA Cup)
1980 West Ham United 2-1 Queens Park Rangers (Division Two)
1974 Leicester City 0-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1957 West Ham United 3-2 Sheffield United (Division Two)
1952 Coventry City 1-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1935 Plymouth Argyle 0-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1929 West Ham United 8-2 Leeds United (Division One)
1924 West Ham United 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Division One)
Played 12, Won 9, Drawn 2, Lost 1, Scored 25, Conceded 9

Aston Villa 0 West Ham 2
8 February 2014
Last updated at 17:24
By Mandeep Sanghera
BBC Sport

West Ham moved out of the relegation zone as Kevin Nolan scored twice for
the second game on the trot to steer the Hammers to victory at Aston Villa.
Stewart Downing bamboozled Ryan Bertrand before crossing for Nolan to deftly
flick the visitors in front. Two minutes later Nolan dispossessed a hesitant
Fabian Delph before sliding a low shot past keeper Brad Guzan. In response,
Villa struck the woodwork through a long range Marc Albrighton shot and
Christian Benteke header. The home side improved after the introduction of
winger Albrighton but could not prevent an eighth home defeat of the season.
West Ham had failed in their determined efforts to overturn Andy Carroll's
red card from the win over Swansea last week, but they shrugged off the
striker's absence to register a third win from their past five Premier
League outings. The Hammers have improved as players have returned from
injury, while Nolan coming back into the side following a four-game ban has
also proved influential. The visitors were unfortunate not to be ahead by
half-time having had the better of the exchanges in the opening period.
"Kevin Nolan is the West Ham hero for the second game running. Villa created
a few chances in the second half but it came at a time when you knew they
would have more of the game. When it was 0-0 West Ham were the better side."

Former Villa winger Downing failed to connect with a low Matt Jarvis cross
to the far post, while Matt Taylor had an angled shot saved by Guzan. Jarvis
was then sent clean through on the Villa goal but, under pressure from
defender Nathan Baker, the West Ham winger sent his shot wide. Villa
struggled to muster a threat until late in the first half when Hammers
defender George McCartney's clearing header fell to Ashley Westwood and he
powered a strike just wide.
The visitors were undeterred after the break and finally earned a reward for
their efforts when Downing jinked his way past left-back Bertrand and
crossed for Nolan to produce a clever finish. Nolan, who scored twice
against Swansea, extended his side's lead as he robbed Delph just outside
the area before steering in a shot. West Ham then allowed Villa to dominate
possession and almost paid the price. Albrighton, an influential second-half
substitute, saw his 25-yard shot hit the post, while Villa forward Benteke
hit the bar with a header and went close with an acrobatic overhead kick.
West Ham held on for their 12th clean sheet of the league campaign, the most
in the top flight so far this season.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "It was a thoroughly professional
performance in the second half. In the first half in terms of attacking
play, we were excellent but couldn't find a goal. "Kevin came up with the
goods again. That is four in two games and he showed he doesn't need Andy
Carroll to score.
"It is a fantastic win at this stage of the season. For us to put
back-to-back wins together is very important and really does build your

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "Whether Andy Carroll was playing or not, we
knew it was going to be a difficult game. The two goals we lost were really
"There are a lot of teams in there [fighting for survival]. There is no
panic, you just need to try to win more games than not. "You cannot concede
two goals like that and expect to win a game."

Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham Utd
Filed: Saturday, 8th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are up to a nosebleed-inducing 14th place in the Premier League
after securing a vital 2-0 win at Villa Park this afternoon.

And Kevin Nolan is the toast of the East End (and surrounding counties) for
the second successive weekend, after the captain grabbed another two-goal
haul as the Hammers secured a third clean sheet in 10 days.

West Ham's rock-solid defence was responsible for a string of clean sheets
at the beginning of the season but a succession of injuries left Sam
Allardyce having to field a different back four every week, which coincided
with a sharp increase in the 'goals conceded' column.

However that poor spell appears to have been the exception rather than the
rule since the likes of James Tomkins, James Collins and Winston Reid
returned to full fitness - from which the clean sheets have once again

With Chelsea and Swansea having already been kept at bay West Ham were
looking to make it a hat-trick. That they did, whilst Nolan's two goals -
scored within the first four minutes of the second half - ensured
back-to-back wins for the first time this season (exclude the opening day
win against Cardiff which followed victory against Reading in the final game
of 2012/13, that is).

Although the win was comfortable enough in the end, West Ham really should
have won by a greater margin but failed to make the most of a number of
chances in the opening half, with Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing enjoying
the freedom of Villa Park on the flanks.

James Tomkins threatened early on when he nodded a Downing corner narrowly
wide whilst under pressure whilst Carlton Cole wriggled though on goal just
four minutes later before wasting the opportunity.

But West Ham's best chance of the half fell to Downing midway through the
half; the winger somehow managed to completely miss a perfectly weighted
centre from Matt Jarvis, who had been set free by a clever defence-splitting
pass from Mark Noble, with the goal gaping in front of him.

Jarvis himself had a couple of chances as Villa's creaking defence was
opened up time and time again but Brad Guzan, in the Villa goal was equal to
anything the former Wolves wide man threw at him. At the other end Adrian
enjoyed a quiet half with only Ashley Westwood's volley in the closing
stages - which the midfielder fired inches wide of Adrian's post - causing
any concern.

No doubt urged to start making the most of any chances that befell them,
West Ham came out of the blocks on fire - and were in front with 90 seconds
of the restart.

Former Villa player Downing, wide right having been supplied by Matt Taylor
teased his marker before lifting the ball into the six-yard box where a
lurking Kevin Nolan produced the most impudent of back-flicks to divert the
ball into the net.

And Nolan, rejuvenated since his enforced Christmas break was on hand to
smash home his second goal of the afternoon a minute later. Indecision on
the edge of the penalty area by Villa's Fabian Delph allowed Nolan to steal
in and fire the ball beyond a shocked Brad Guzan in the Villa goal.

With a comfortable lead in the bag West Ham, unsurprisingly perhaps given
their predicament, shut up shop thereafter - something to which Villa,
bereft of invention and ideas, had no answer to.

Still, Christian Benteke, a shadow of the player who was attracting envious
glances from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool last year managed to glance
a header on to the bar whilst the Hammers finally got some good luck when
Marc Albrighton's effort rebounded off the post, onto a diving Adrian's
trailing foot and over the bar.

The clean sheet was West Ham's 13th of the campaign - that's more than any
other Premier League club so far this season. Importantly, United have
managed to start scoring at the other end too and for as long as that
remains the case, relegation really shouldn't be an issue - with or without
Andy Carroll.

Chico's a cheat, says Brady
Filed: Saturday, 8th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Karren Brady has added to a growing list of those condemning Swansea
defender Chico Flores. Since the Spanish centre half feigned injury in order
to earn West Ham's Andy Carroll a red card last weekend, a number of
pundits, journalists and other people within the game have hit out at both
Flores' cheating and the FA's inability to act accordingly. And Brady was
holding nothing back when, speaking via her tabloid column, she said: "Andy
Carroll is red-carded for what amounts to accidentally disturbing the
ponytail of an opponent. "Swansea's Chico Flores clutches his face and rolls
around body-popping on the floor like he's been shot. It's one of the worst
cases of bad sportsmanship I have seen in 20 years."

And in the wake of West Ham's failure to have Carroll's subsequent
three-match ban overturned, she added: "Swansea can pick Chico Flores who
pretended that he had suffered what appeared to be at least brain damage
when his ponytail got 'air' brushed by Andy's arm. "I had brain surgery in
2006 - and even then I didn't roll around four times."

West Ham's Kevin Nolan scores two quick-fire goals in win at Aston Villa
Last Updated: 08/02/14 7:16pm

A quick-fire second-half brace from Kevin Nolan helped West Ham climb out of
the drop zone thanks to a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa. Some brilliant
improvisation from the midfielder helped the Hammers break the deadlock just
18 seconds into the second half. He then seized on a mistake from Fabian
Delph just two minutes and 43 seconds later to score his fourth goal in two
Premier League appearances as well as his seventh top flight goal against
Villa to seal all three points.

Best of the match:

Man of the match: Kevin Nolan - The West Ham skipper notched two quick-fire
goals before going off with a groin injury.
Goal of the match: A delightful flick from Nolan helped the Hammers break
the deadlock just 18 seconds into the second-half.
Moment of the match: Marc Albrighton's howitzer from 30 yards thumped
against the post.
Misses of the match: Stewart Downing missed his kick right in front of goal
and then Matt Jarvis drove his sliding right-footer wide of Brad Guzan's
near post.
Stat of the match: Nolan has now scored seven top flight goals against
Villa, more than against any other opponent.
Talking point: Have West Ham dragged Aston Villa into the relegation dog

Facing three key matches against relegation rivals without Andy Carroll's
imposing presence, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce feared the worst. Against
Villa, he need not have worried, not given the club's abysmal home record
this season, and in particular with the talismanic Nolan riding to his
rescue. In Villa's last home match they had come from 2-0 down inside nine
minutes to defeat local rivals West Brom 4-3, but looking bereft of ideas on
this occasion there was simply no way back. Certainly, it was too much for
the home fans to expect another feast of football, especially when you
consider, the West Brom game aside, Villa have mustered a miserable eight
goals in their other 12 league home games.

More enterprising

Instead, it was the visitors who were the more enterprising as Villa failed
again to sparkle in front of their own supporters and provide them with some
warmth on a bitter and windy afternoon. All bar one of the better chances in
the opening 45 minutes fell the way of West Ham, the best of which involved
Matt Jarvis.
It was his third-minute corner that was glanced wide by James Tomkins before
two chances followed just before the half-hour mark. The first saw Jarvis
strike one shot into the side-netting, although Ciaran Clark deserved credit
for getting a foot in that helped it on its way. The second saw Jarvis
seemingly clean through, but this time Nathan Baker nipped at his heels,
resulting in the attacker's effort ending up inches wide. As for Villa,
their first-half highlight involved Ashley Westwood firing in a 16-yard
volley that flashed just beyond the right-hand post. Following the break
Nolan then took centre stage, initially after a few seconds, albeit courtesy
of Stewart Downing's industry as he turned Ryan Bertrand inside out before
delivering a low ball into the heart of the area. Nolan, though, was still
artful enough to produce a cheeky flick with the inside of his right foot
that took a deflection off Clark, wrong-footing Brad Guzan.
For the second goal all the hard work was from Nolan as he robbed a
dithering Delph just outside the area before taking the ball on into the box
and stroking it crisply past Guzan. Two goals down, Villa finally woke up,
instigated by the 56th-minute arrival of Marc Albrighton for Matt Lowton.
With his first touch, a delightful cross in towards Christian Benteke, the
Belgian striker was inches away from steering it home. Albrighton then
rattled a post from 30 yards with a thunderous strike that clipped the
flying Adrian's right leg on the rebound. On another day it might have
ricocheted in, but this time it flew over the net. Benteke then hit the
crossbar with a header, conjured an overhead kick that flashed over and
produced another header that was wide, but it was all too little too late
for Villa as Carroll-less West Ham were left singing all the way back to

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce hails Kevin Nolan impact
Last Updated: 08/02/14 9:38pm

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce hailed the impact of Kevin Nolan after the
midfielder scored both goals in the 2-0 win at Aston Villa. A quick-fire
brace just after the break secured the points for the Hammers as Allardyce's
side made it back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this
season. West Ham squandered a number of first-half opportunities but their
31-year-old captain flicked them ahead just 18 seconds into the second-half
before seizing upon a Fabian Delph error to double the lead. The win sees
Allardyce's men move two points clear of the bottom three and he says the
result was deserved due to the number of chances they created. "It was
really sweet for Kevin to score two goals just after half time because I was
bitterly disappointed we weren't winning at half time," he told Sky Sports.
"We could've really put the game out of sight of Aston Villa had we done
better in front of goal or in the final third the amount of times we got in
behind their defence and in wide positions, getting corners and crosses into
the box. "Not finding the net was something I was hoping we weren't going to
regret today and Kevin started the second half with two outstanding finishes
and he's the reason we're sat here with three points, a well-deserved three
points. "Then there was some outstanding defending after that when Villa
threw three up the middle and we put our three centre halves in there and we
just defended correctly. All the long balls into the box from Villa's
display were masterfully dealt with."

Nolan's double took his tally for the campaign up to six and subsequently
made him the Hammers' top scorer, much to the delight of Allardyce. "He's up
there again," he said. "He was leading goalscorer last season and he's
pulling away from Carlton (Cole) with five now which is nice to see. "Our
goalscorers have started scoring on a regular basis. It really has been a
missing link throughout the whole of the season never mind the injuries to
the defenders in December.
"Aston Villa have been going pretty well themselves just recently and been
scoring quite often so it's a terrific performance and a terrific result for

Speaking of an injury picked up by Nolan, Allardyce said: "Kevin came off
with only a slight groin so I don't think it's going to be too much of a
problem and even more enjoyable, we kept 11 on the field today." The result
also meant that West Ham have now kept the most Premier League clean sheets
so far this season. Allardyce said: "Considering the position we are in the
league, we'd normally have 12 clean sheets and we'd be sitting in the
top-half generally.
"But our season has been not scoring chances created and if we'd have done
that better, we wouldn't have been in such a desperate position through
December into January but we're beginning to pull away from that position."

Victory over Villa 'massive' for West Ham, says James Collins
Last Updated: 08/02/14 8:31pm

West Ham defender James Collins said their 2-0 victory at Aston Villa is
"massive" for the club. Kevin Nolan scored both the goals as the Hammers
chalked up a rare away victory, and maintain his own fine goal-scoring form
- that's four goals in the last two games for the midfielder. Saturday's win
sees Sam Allardyce's men move two points clear of the Premier League's
bottom three. Centre-back Collins said: "We just came here to play our game
and get three points which is massive for West Ham. Villa tried to play
their football but unfortunately it didn't work for them today. "We were
confident, we got a good draw at Chelsea and then we played very well at
home last week. Losing Andy Carroll was a blow but Marco (Borriello) coming
on at half-time changed the game really so we are delighted. "We knew if we
could get Kev scoring - he got two again today after getting two last week -
he's massive for us and if he can carry on scoring between now and the end
of the season, then I'm sure we'll be fine. "We can (get ourselves out of
trouble). It sounds funny but we were always confident. You try not to make
excuses about injuries and decisions and stuff but they were going against
us and now we seem to have turned a corner. "We've had three massive results
on the bounce which has turned around our season."

Asked if his former club Villa can avoid the drop too, he added: "I'm sure
they can. They are a massive club and they've got some big players -
obviously the boys up front, if they can score the goals then there home
form is going to be big. "I'm sure they can turn it around and hopefully
they can stay up."

Guy Demel thrilled with West Ham's 2-0 victory at Aston Villa
Last Updated: 08/02/14 7:57pm

Guy Demel was delighted with West Ham's display after they stretched their
unbeaten run to four games with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa. Kevin Nolan scored
twice for the second game on the trot to secure the win and Demel believes
thay have hit form at just the right time. "We knew if we stuck to the
tactics that we had been working on during the week we may have the chance
to win," he told Sky Sports News. "Although it wasn't easy, the win was
expected "We had some chances first half but we didn't put the ball in the
back of the net so at half-time the manager said just keep doing the same
thing and you will score.
"He (Nolan) was really happy. It's really important to have him in that type
of form. He's really important for us and he played brilliantly today.
"Everybody is smiling now. We are in good form and we have to keep going.
"We're not out of trouble yet but we are going to try and keep up this form
and getting a result at home against Norwich (next game) of course will be

West Ham vice-chairman Karen Brady slams Swansea defender Chico Flores
following Andy Carroll incident
Feb 08, 2014 14:51 By Liam Prenderville
The Mirror

West Ham United's vice-chairman Karen Brady has blasted Chico Flores for his
behaviour in Andy Carroll's red card last weekend. The England international
was given his marching orders in his side's 2-0 win over Swansea for
striking Flores, although replays showed the Spaniard had over-reacted. The
Hammers appealed the decision but an arbitration hearing yesterday decided
Carroll would serve the three-match ban. And Brady has backed Sam
Allardyce's comments on Flores and berated the defender for his behaviour.
She told the Sun: "No offence strikes deeper at the heart of football than
feigning injury in a deliberate attempt to get someone sent off. "Chico
Flores clutches his face and rolls around bodypopping on the floor like he's
been shot. It's one of the worst cases of bad sportsmanship i have seen in
20 years. "Despite our efforts for justice, we will be without Andy for
three matches. "Yet Swansea can pick Chico Flores who pretended that he had
suffered brain damage when his ponytail got 'air' brushed by Andy's arm."
Such was Flores' role in the incident, the Football Association have been
told to crack down on players who simulate injury. The Independent
Commission that rejected Carroll's appeal have made the demand having
already expressed their disgust at the Swans' defender's behaviour.

West Ham star Andy Carroll's World Cup dreams virtually over thanks to THAT
red-card ban
Feb 08, 2014 22:30 By Dean Jones
The Mirror

Andy Carroll's controversial three-match ban has wrecked his chances of
going to the World Cup, writes Dean Jones of the Sunday People. The West Ham
striker will not play again this month following his red card in the
Hammers' 2-0 win over Swansea on Saturday last week. That robs Carroll of
the chance to prove his fitness ahead of England's friendly against Denmark
on March 5, when Roy Hodgson will experiment for the last time ahead of the
finals in Brazil.
Carroll has not played for the Three Lions since October 2012, but boss
Hodgson and his backroom team have been keeping a close eye on the
25-year-old since he returned from injury. He had an outside chance of being
called up to the squad for the Wembley friendly, but there have already been
concerns over his match fitness and a lack of playing time in the build-up
to the fixture means he is almost certain to miss out. The Denmark encounter
is the last time Hodgson will look at fringe players before the finals in
the summer. And that means Carroll, already devastated by the fact his
dismissal by Howard Webb was upheld by an arbitration panel, will have to
come to terms with the fact he is unlikely to be considered for Brazil.
Carroll was a key figure for Hodgson at Euro 2012 but his last outing in an
England shirt was against San Marino 16 months ago. He will now have to rely
on other strikers ahead of him picking up injuries.
Southampton's Rickie Lambert has emerged as the main man in the mould of
Carroll since making his England debut against Scotland in August.

Andy Dunn on West Ham: Andy Carroll red-card row saw Hammers' owners stay as
classy as ever
Feb 08, 2014 22:3012

David Gold and David Sullivan's desperation to avoid having the striker who
can save their club from relegation banned was truly nauseating

Whether posing in front of a personalised helicopter or boasting about
earning 10 grand in a 20-second phone call, you can always rely on West
Ham's owners to stay classy. Whether it's David Gold and his trusty chopper
or David Sullivan on the phone to his stockbroker while showing a journalist
around his sprawling, ever-so-tasteful Essex mansion, you can always rely on
West Ham's owners to stay classy. And sure enough, after being on the
receiving end of a soft red card, they stayed classy. The bleating and
whining – thankfully culminating in an arbitration panel dismissing West
Ham's case – was almost as pathetic as Chico Flores' amateur-dramatics. A
club that should have been buoyed by a couple of decent results suddenly
looked desperate again, embarrassingly reliant on the big man up top. There
are times when that desperation to stay in the Premier League is truly
nauseating, when it leads to the fundamental erosion of principle. And the
principle in the Andy Carroll case was collectivity. Whether you think the
law is an ass or not, you all signed up to the law.

Collectivity is what the success of the Premier League is based on. Would
West Ham, Gold and Sullivan be banking £70million this season if Manchester
United decided to thumb a nose at ­collectivity and opt out of a general TV

Forget all the backtracking guff from Gold about the club being denied
'procedural ­fairness'. The same procedure was followed for Carroll as it
was for every other case of its kind: Man gets red card, club appeals,
review shows referee had not made an obvious error. Get on with it - just as
every other club before West Ham has done.

And the Hammers would have got on with it had the frequently-waved wallets
of Gold and Sullivan not been haunted by the spectre of relegation.And boy,
it is a spectre.

So desperate was this club to avoid it in 2006-07, they used an
'illegally-owned' player to help them stay up. Indeed, Carlos Tevez scored
the winner against a Manchester United team that took the afternoon off on
the final day of the season.

Getty ImagesWest Ham United v Swansea City - Premier LeagueOne-man banned:
Carroll suspension fight tells you what the club think of his team-mates
West Ham were fined £5.5m for breaching third party ownership rules, but no
points were deducted and Sheffield United – now facing relegation to the
fourth tier of English football – went down, having finished three points
adrift of the Upton Park club.

West Ham know a thing or two about fairness, then.

I'm sure they think it is fair that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of
taxpayers' money has been and is being spent on a state-of-the-art stadium
for the club owned by helicopter man and mansion man.

And you know what? The bottom line is that Howard Webb's decision to dismiss
Carroll was not unfair. Very harsh, maybe – the harshness exacerbated by the
shameful antics of Flores - but entirely justifiable by the laws of the

Gold had a chance to fly his 'copter to the high moral ground, to use the
perceived injustice as motivation for the rest of an expensively-assembled

Instead, he sent in the suits to challenge a system all 20 Premier League
clubs consented to and sent a message to his players and manager that they
are pretty useless without the big man up top.



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