After watching the Derby game, I couldn't help but share my views on it all.
The first half was a horrid one for me, we went a goal down after being hit on the counter attack and saw some pretty poor defending as we conceded the goal, once the goal went in we followed this up with playing the type of football I really cannot stand, just booting the ball up to the strikers. I don't just hate this style of football because it's horribe to watch, I dislike it more because we are leaving our midfield out of the game, even though looking at our midfield, that is easily one of our strongest areas of the pitch. Every single player in our midfield is happy with the ball at their feet and can create moves with some simple pass and move playing. Fair enough we got a goal back to end the half 1-1, but it wasn't a very enjoyable half if you asked me.
Then the 2nd half kicked off and I honestly felt like I was watching a completely different team. We held on to the ball more, started trying simple yet effective passes and we began to control the game, then came a pure moment of brilliance, Cole flicked a nice ball over the head of a defender towards Collison who had to battle to win the ball and it just sort of pinged high in the air, luckily it was dropping right towards Nolan, he positioned his body and unleashed a perfectly placed volley from outside the area into the bottom left corner of the goal, it was absolutely magical and showed a quality side of Nolan that I really feel he's lacked this season. Then with the game at 2-1 our passing game picked up even more, we controlled the game much more, I know people will say 'Well it's only Derby County', but if you looked at the game from the start, the first half was exactly the same as Coventry's, a side we should dominate, but couldn't when we were shooting the ball straight at Carew, but we played that way in the second half against Coventry and thankfully it paid off, but it was down to a very lucky second goal. This time we didn't, we played in a way I knew West Ham can play, we have Nolan, Noble and Collison in that midfield and if they can knock the ball between them, then they should be able to against everyone and then exploit a mistake with on running wingers like Taylor and Faubert or maybe even O'Brien and McCartney getting forward. We won a penalty to make the game a comfortable 3-1 win and then continued to keep the ball among our players and deal with the majority of what Derby threw at us when they could. This is the West Ham I hope to see more, they finally looked a confident side with the ball, based on the second half I was impressed with everyone, nobody really put a foot wrong and they played the game in a way that I wanted us to, we may not have been overly attacking but we tried to keep the ball and work for an opening. Even players I normally despise like Piquionne played in a way that I was more impressed with, he won the penalty and had a few good runs, admittedly he had a shot that blazed about a day over but I didn't mind, because he looked like he was trying and using what he is good at, using his pace to get beyond people. I honestly hope that style of play is encouraged more by Allardyce as we finally looked like a very decent side, not just one that can always be dangerous and I hope he agrees we should play like it more, because players like Carew, Cole and Piquionne are all still effective with that style or possibly even more effective than they are when the ball is launched at them. Fair enough get the ball up the field if you're in doubt, but if there's a simple pass, then use it!
I'm a very happy Hammer after that display and I really do hope it continues that way, then I feel we can start to give players like Moncur, Montano, Sears, Fry, Spence and Hall etc a chance to step up, cause they can slot into a position and be encouraged to play how they are taught in the academy and be more confident and get a real oppurtunity.