Sunday, June 15

Daily WHUFC News - 15th June 2014

On this day - 15 June
A look back into the Hammers archives on this date in the calendar

England 3-0 Denmark
FIFA World Cup Finals Second Round
15 June 2002
West Ham United winger Trevor Sinclair was involved on this day 12 years ago
as England secured their place in the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup
in Japan and South Korea. The Three Lions made their way through the group
stage with draws against Sweden and Nigeria, along with a famous win over
Argentina, to earn a last-16 match against Denmark. Sinclair, then 29,
earned a starting spot on the left hand side of midfield for his eighth
England cap, and Sven-Goran Eriksson's men were soon celebrating as Rio
Ferdinand gave them a fifth minute lead. Michael Owen doubled the advantage
with 22 minutes played and Emile Heskey made the game safe before half time.
England maintained their 3-0 advantage to the end of the contest, but their
adventure was to end in the next round as Brazil came from behind to defeat
them 2-1.

By S J Chandos 15 Jun 2014 at 08:00
West Ham Till I Die

He may not have made the desired impact last season on loan at West Ham, but
Pablo Armero certainly did yesterday in Columbia's comprehensive 3-0 World
Cup victory over Greece. Armero scored the quickest goal, to date, of this
summer's World Cup Finals, before the contest was settled by a second half
strikes from Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez. There may not be many
Hammers connections at this summer's World Cup Finals, but this is one of
the few, no matter how tenuous! I guess it does raise the question of
exactly what went wrong for Armero at West Ham? There were reports that Sam
Allardyce was impressed with the player in training and he did reasonably
well in his few first team appearances, so why did the club not pursue a
permanent deal? Perhaps, at the end of the day, Armero just did not do
enough to convince in his first team appearances last season? Or maybe the
club wanted a deal, but could we not agree a fee with Napoli and/or terms
with the player? It would be interesting to know what occurred on that

Another player that could have been playing for West Ham last season, also
made a positive impact yesterday at the World Cup. Wilfred Bony scored Ivory
Coast's equalizer in their 2-1 victory over Japan. And what a good goal it
was too, a powerful and well directed header from a ball in from the flanks.
How we could have benefited from his goal power last season! The rumour at
the time was that Bony rejected us in favour of an alternative move to
Swansea. However, it has since been suggested that the club actually had a
£8m deal lined up, and the player had agreed the move, but the focus instead
mysteriously shifted to other targets. If true, not following through with
the deal was a very poor decision, as ultimately confirmed by his great
success in front of goal for Swansea last season. It has recently been
reported that it would cost the club something in the region of £19m to
correct that mistake this summer!

It was disappointing that Andy Carroll was left out of England's final 23
man squad. However, it was far from surprising considering Carroll's injury
wrecked season and his poor haul of 2 PL goals. Then there was Ricky
Lambert's superior goal scoring record at Southampton to consider. These
facts taken together, determined Carroll's eventual exclusion. But is Glen
Hoddle correct in his assessment that England may come to regret the absence
of Carroll's power in the air and ability to disrupt opposition defences?
Perhaps, but it is all purely academic now. What Carroll needs to do is
firmly concentrate on his fitness and form and force his way back in to the
frame for the Euro-2016 qualififers and the 2018 World Cup. There is only
one route back to international football for him and that is by scoring
goals a plenty for West Ham Utd. As long as he maintains that focus he will
be fine.

The 1-2 defeat to Italy was also genuinely disappointing, especially when
you consider the promise of some of England's forward play. And the fact
that the likes of Sterling, Sturridge and Barkley did so well. However,
England's problems were largely defensive in nature. We conceeded two very
poor goals and exhbited defensive problems that must be solved quickly. As
stated, our attacking display was good, the key criticism, in that respect,
being that we did not take the numerous chances that we created.

But in the final analysis, it was a close fought match and we can come away
feeling hard done by. A 2-2 draw would have been a much fairer result.
Still, there was an almost universal pre-match call for the squad's
promising youngsters to be given their chance, they were and now we must
show some patience. This is a tournament where there is little expectation
of an England victory, so we have the latitude to play without fear and give
our promising players genuine big tournament experience. The truth is that
the real value of Brazil-2014 for England is likely to really manifest
itself in Euro-2016 and Russia-2018. But having said that, there is every
chance that England can still retreive the situation and qualify for the 2nd
round. In all probability we will not win it, but we must try to advance as
far as possible in the competition and, thereby, maximise the positive
learning experience for our young prospects.

The Italy result is a test of character for our young players; as well as
Roy Hodgson's ability to adjust things, motivate the players and secure the
results that we need in the next two matches. Can they do it? Lets hope so.

SJ. Chandos.


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