May 24 2013 Latest news:
Tony Cottee, London24 West Ham Columnist
Thursday, February 23, 2012
“You can’t accuse players of being too passionate, but they need to stop getting sent off!”
What a fantastic result it was on Tuesday night up in Blackpool for the Hammers. I was in the studio working while the game was on, but my colleague was watching the game next to me and every time I looked at his screen it seemed as though we were on the attack.
What pleased me more than the result was the way in which West Ham played.
Wrongly, a lot of opposing fans think we are a long-ball and direct side, which at times we have been this season, but we are also more than capable of playing some entertaining, passing football, which is what we showed on Tuesday.
I thought that it was an outstanding achievement to beat Blackpool with only 10 men on the pitch for the final half an hour or so, especially as it was Rob Green that was sent off.
It was the third time in a row that a player has been sent off for West Ham, although all three have come in different circumstances.
Kevin Nolan's was a silly tackle, Matty Taylor's was in retaliation and now Green's was a professional foul.
You can't accuse players of being too passionate, but they need to stop getting sent off!
I saw the incident happen and on reflection I don't think it was a sending off as I don't think it was a clear goalscoring opportunity, the ball was going towards the corner flag.
In addition, Abdoulaye Faye and Winston Reid were close to the challenge and wouldve got easily got back to the goal.
However, in our time of need up stepped Henri Lansbury, and I thought that he did really well.
I know he has played in goal for the England under-21s before, but coming off the bench in a game for West Ham against promotion rivals is a whole new kettle of fish and he handled the pressure really well.
Another highlight for me was the four goals that we scored away from home.
I have been waiting for us to find our shooting boots and hopefully the floodgates will open now.
I like the look of Maynard and he knows where the goal is and kept the Blackpool defence busy all night.
It is a different role to what he is used to but he looked sharp and quick and if he can keep banging in the goals then that is all that matters.
It was also nice to see Ricardo Vaz Te get his first goal for the club.
Vaz Te offers us pace and width, two components that I feel we have been lacking all season.
I have also been impressed with James Tomkins' performances in midfield and the other two home-grown players, Mark Noble and Jack Collison are working well together.
This weekend, we return to Upton Park to take on Crystal Palace in a tough London derby.
Palace have a very good, young manager in Dougie Freedman and it will not be an easy game.
Of course, confidence is high in the West Ham camp following the last three results and all home games between now and the end of the season will be crucial.
Personally, I would like to see us continue to play the good football that we saw at Bloomfield Road this Saturday, but at this stage of the season it is all about getting results and getting those three vital points.
With Southampton not playing until later in the day, the game gives the Hammers a perfect chance to send a message out to the rest of the league and go four points clear at the top.
Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John