West Ham


29th December 2020

Southampton 0

West Ham 0

    Intro & Team News

    Intro and Team News

    IBO Reporter - ivangolac

    |Well, put my hand up to write the match report, I thought. Take a bit of pressure of the usual suspects and do my bit, imagining a career in sports journalism awaits after it gets passed onto the Honchos at The Athletic or some similar international media organisation (excluding all Echo-like dross).

    But I got West Ham at home, glory short-lived as there really wasn’t much to say about the game.

    I went into it thinking differently, knowing I had a few lines to write so I thought about some of the match ups on the park and also in the dugouts (although they aren’t really dug out anymore, are they, and one was empty apart from an IPad on a stand?). Hopes weren’t high for either side, an almost unreal statistic in that in their last 18 combined Premier League games to see out a calendar year, a grand total of zero wins for these two sides. Nine barren seasons, surely this would come to an end. Er, Doh!

    I was intrigued to understand Moyes v Ralph and JWP v Rice especially. This was always going to be a tactical battle but who would come out on top. With the Saints almost back to full strength and knowing that we would try and work around West Ham rather than through them I was hopeful, but I also thought we might struggle a little with their very good record at set pieces without the great Dane in attendance. They really do have some monsters in their line up when it comes to slinging the ball in, so it was very ‘Saints’ to see so many needless free kicks being given away in wide areas.

    Anyway, onto the footer, click the Match Report tab above.

    Embed from Getty Images

    Jack Stephens had a really good game at the heart of Saints defence


    • 1 McCarthy
    • 2 Walker-Peters - Booked 76'
    • 35 Bednarek
    • 5 Stephens
    • 3 Bertrand - Booked 40'
    • 32 Walcott
    • 8 Ward-Prowse
    • 6 Romeu
    • 12 Djenepo - Booked 72' (Armstrong 78')
    • 9 Ings
    • 10 Adams (Long 58')


    • 7 Long
    • 14 Obafemi
    • 17 Armstrong
    • 18 Valery
    • 20 Smallbone
    • 22 Salisu
    • 27 Diallo
    • 29 Vokins
    • 44 Forster

    West Ham

    • 1 Fabianski
    • 24 Fredericks
    • 15 Dawson
    • 21 Ogbonna
    • 3 Cresswell
    • 41 Rice
    • 7 Yarmolenko - Booked 67' (Bowen 72')
    • 10 Lanzini (Benrahma 60')
    • 28 Soucek
    • 18 Fornals
    • 22 Haller (Antonio 77')


    • 5 Coufal
    • 9 Benrahma
    • 11 Snodgrass
    • 16 Noble
    • 20 Bowen
    • 23 Diop
    • 30 Antonio
    • 31 Johnson
    • 35 Randolph

    Match Report
    Embed from Getty Images

    Danny Ings was a very welcome, but surprising return from injury, he didn't score, although he did have the ball in the net at one point, but it was ruled offside in the build-up

    Match Report

    IBO Reporter : ivangolac

    |Game started with the feeling of a slightly unpleasant training ground rumble. Each side having 10 minutes with the ball, and a load of niggly tackles usually ending the attack. Saints on top with Walcott collecting the ball in between the lines well, mainly from Stephens. When he collects on the half turn he has this lovely acceleration which can be dangerous if given a few yards to fly into. Little shovels left and right teeing up Adams and Ings, but as per form a toe the wrong side of the VAR from Adams denied a lovely finish from Ings. No complaints though, the sort of decision VAR is there for, but it would be nice to see one of these just go our way.

    Ward-Prowse and Romeu pretty effective early on, bossing Rice and Soucek, working some good positions but West Ham weren’t being fooled out wide, Moyes had clearly done his homework and let our full backs have it, but gave them nowhere to go with it, going instantly to a back 6 as soon as KWP or Bertie got the ball. Lots of Saints possession, ball finally to Djenepo, and then let his usual 0% pass completion rate do the rest for the tactical Scotsman. It was clearly a Moyes ploy, to stop and slow the game as much as possible and Fornels in particular played that role perfectly, a fall guy, but not a fall guy, if you know what I mean! GET UP MAN! Good late free kick chance for JWP, should have worked Fabianski but we will give him that one.

    Half time flew our way, Saints dominating, but not really dominating, the game so bereft of life that the commentary team even forgot to mention the 0-9 at any point in the half, I’m wondering if they were actually awake. Good news for the retailers though, as extra adverts could be fitted in, with such a lack of action to talk through.

    Second half started the same, with a little more ambition from the visitors early on and a couple of goalmouth scrambles at the wrong end, Saints grabbed back the initiative though, and for a 15 minute spell pinned West Ham right back. Good supply from the centre of the pitch again, especially from Stephens, and Walcott was at it again with a lovely strike from 20, KWP into a great position but then forgot how to kick with his left, routine for Fabinaski. Fornels to floor again, and again.

    Sub stage came and went, with neither sides replacements really having an impact. Long really looks lost at this level now, and Armstrong seems to be lacking in Mojo, but West Ham’s weren’t any better. The much-heralded Antonio looked like he’d never played football before, and Bowen ineffectual for the even more ineffectual Yarmalenko. The only one to improve things was Benrahma, a sweet nutmeg and then a great chance that thankfully Macca was up to. They say that a good keeper does bugger all and keeps his concentration. So well done Alex. Good commanding performance from set pieces too, which is needed against these giants.

    Again, no mention of 0-9 and the thing was over before it began. So, what did we learn? We can be quite easy to play against at home, but we already knew that. What does worry is that some weaker teams are working it out and if we don’t get ahead, we can’t seem to change the games direction. We need an element of surprise in there, and we lack this completely. I learned that Moyes knows what he is doing at this level, mid Premier League, and that Rice is a Charlatan, JWP and Romeu had him well and truly pocketed. Left with the feeling everyone involved was reasonably happy with the end result, delighted with crap balls into the box and tame headers nowhere near the target.

    Man of the Match

    I’ve got to give an MOM, it’s the rules. A little unpopular I’m sure but I’m giving it to Stephens, very solid in both directions and clearly had worked hard on distribution pre game. He also generally gets a bit of grief but we know from last year there is a player in there with a few games under his belt. Closely run by Romeu, who is just a Rolls Royce, but we should expect more looking forwards from him when there is clearly the last of the Xmas nuts to crack, but maybe we should be looking to others for that.

    Liverpool with no defenders next, we wont get a better chance at that one, for sure.

    Cheerio Boys!

    Embed from Getty Images

    Theo Walcott was another to have the ball in the net and once again it was ruled out for a marginal offside in the build up

    Match Statistics

    Match Stats

    Referee: Andy Madley

    Attendance: NIL


    • 63% Possession
    • 8 Shots
    • 3 Shots on Target
    • 0 Goals
    • 4 Corners
    • 16 Fouls
    • 9th in Premier League

    West Ham

    • 37% Possession
    • 8 Shots
    • 3 Shots on Target
    • 0 Goals
    • 3 Corners
    • 15 Fouls
    • 10th in Premier League

    Embed from Getty Images

    As one of Ralph Hasenhüttl's family had tested positive for COVID-19, he was having to self-isolate at home, so his assistant, Richard Kitzbichler had the touchline duties, with Ralph making the tactical decisions from home