Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 1

As I'm feeling generous today I'm going to give West Ham the benefit of the doubt and say that they may well have been distracted by recent events at least to start with, because Villa absolutely played them off the park in the first half. Not for the first time on my travels this season, the importance of killing a game off when you're on top was emphasised. Ridgwell scored almost immediately from a corner, then Angel hit the bar twice and Carroll made a couple of good saves, whereas the Hammers couldn't even work Sorenson when he kicked it straight to Harewood all on his own ten yards out.

However, the home side found an equaliser when Zamora flicked home Konchesky's header sort-of-with-his-knee. After an hour, Tevez entered the fray, and good job too. I didn't pay thirty quid to watch Bobby fucking Zamora :-). Predictably, the Argentinian looked classy but a little off the pace. West Ham managed to keep Villa at bay with two goal-line clearances and the game petered out into a draw, but a reasonably entertaining one to be fair.

Sometimes I wonder how much difference a manager can actually make, but it is amazing how well Villa are playing under O'Neill compared to last year, with mostly the same players. They were tactically flexible and looked completely unafraid to express themselves. Petrov caught the eye and even McCann, a player I've barely noticed in the past, had a good game as the visitors held an iron grip on the midfield throughout. Clearly Mascherano will be straight into the Hammers' midfield when he's fit, although it's 5/6 of two whether Mullins or Reo-Coker should be chopped in my book, the latter being particularly ineffective compared to his reputation. And finally, if anyone can tell me why Konchesky played left-back for England last year while the excellent Barry hasn't had a look in for 3 years, let me know, because it's a complete fucking mystery on today's evidence.


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