The game is less than one hour gone and I've already heard some ridiculous comment from some rather foolish football pundits, I'm sure there will be plenty more strange perspectives on this goalless draw to come. It was extremely frustrating stuff and in the end I am left more worrying for Abou Diaby than over the dropped points, it would be a great shame if he were to be out of action for several weeks when he is just in the process of growing into a footballing beast who can dominate games.
The starting eleven was strange, how Eboue merited another start was beyond me again, while dropping RVP to the bench was another strange decision. We had complete control in the first half but we didn't really threaten enough, the tempo was lacking, and we were especially poor up front, in particular some loose touches from Bendtner would have even looked bad in the Blue Square Premier. Eboue picked up an injury and Vela came on, a blessing is disguise if ever there was, but we never came closer than from a near own goal from one corner than came fairly early on.
The second half performance was far far better, in particular I thought the midfield were completely on their game, West Ham could not get into the game, while we attached with a lot more vigour and tempo. Diaby was fantastic in the centre, Nasri bright, Vela dangerous and Denilson neat. Again Bendtner offered nothing, I feel he really needs to start doing more other there is little point keeping him at the club given his goalscoring record thus far.
At least Adebayor got in the positions to score, however he missed two exceptionally good clear cut chances to score. The first came on the counter, a lovely low Sagna centre found him with just the keeper to beat from five or six yards out, he somehow contrived to hit it wide at the near post. The second came from a great left flank cross, he headed it firmly but straight at the keeper, not as easy as the first chance, but he really should have done better. RVP's introduction came too late in the day as he replaced the ineffective Bendtner.
Steve Bennett deserves a mention for a few utterly awful decisions today, what a gigantic tool the man is. He let West Ham off several bookings for cynical deliberate fouls, Upson and Neill were particularly lucky on two occassions, while he booked Vela for diving in the second half when he was tugged back in the box and then had his ankles clipped. It would have been a soft penalty, but I've seen them given at Old Trafford, while he was definitely yanked back and then clipped, bad bad decision Mr Bennett.
West Ham are a solid side and did defend well, but we really should have won the game, you simply cannot afford to miss the kind of chances that we missed today if you are to win games like this. On the plus the defence kept a clean sheet, the midfield were outstanding, while on the negative we were again very sloppy in front of goal, while the late injury to Diaby is not good news, I really hope he makes a swift recovery. At least Villa dropped points at home to Wigan, while the spuds lost to Bolton, it still doesn't make up for a draw that really should have been a win though.