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Reading 0 - 3 West Ham United

by Fantastic Hammers! (U1790337) 01 September 2007
1 September 2007
Madejski stadium
Premier League
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Player of the match:
Matthew Etherington
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Reading 6 West Ham 0 was the scoreline when they met last season and many expected the same judging by the betting odds.

Bellamy gave the home fans a 6 min surprise with a quick goal. WH played a quick counter attack game that gave Reading lots of problems and created space for its forwards.

Reading were no pushovers and had a number of chances in the 1st half with Hunt hitting the bar. Having lots of possession, Reading were guilty of poor crossing. Despite having 13+ corners in the entire game, none were created into goal scoring chances.

2nd half was more of the same but West Ham created the best move of week with a brilliant passing maneouvre seeing Mullins and Bellamy playing a part to give Etherington a shot on goal. Etherington converted the pass to make this a contender for goal of the month.

Bowyer could have added a third with a wasted one on one opportunity but the shot went wide. Coppell pushed his men forward adding a third striker and the tactic appeared to have worked.

In 78th min, Green brought down kitson in the penalty area and it looked like Reading were back in the match. There were calls for a second yellow for Green but didn't look that way to me. Penalty given without a card but BIG miss. This changed the character of the game.

Reading's morale can be seen to be very low and this affected their finishing. Lita was guilty of another open miss which should have seen the scoreline as 2-2 but remained 2-0.

With many Reading players up front, Bellamy and later Cole had and created a lot of space in Reading's rear. Etherington could have sealed the match with an open shot on goal but was too generous by trying to pass to Cole and was blocked. He learnt from that and when the same opportunity arose again (created by himself) in the 92 min, he made sure of a double to make it 3-0.

Game could have gone either way but ended 3-0. Vital 3 goals and points. Important cushion as West Ham begin meeting the tougher opponents later. Well done West Ham!

Coppell on the other hand face pressure as Reading slide into the bottom 3.

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posted Sep 2, 2007

I must admit, WH have started better than I thought they would.
Bellamy comes with baggage but is always going to frighten defenders. If he can stay incident free, then I think he can form a good partnership with a fit again Ashton.
After last season, the future is looking better for WH.

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comment by stilvi (U8293817)

posted Sep 2, 2007

If it wasn't arrogance it is certainly looking like a huge mistake.

The situation has been highlighted by the last two results but the fact that Reading couldn't take a point off Watford at the backend perhaps suggested the wheels were coming off much earlier.

The most worrying problem within the current side is their inability to chase a game. The success of last season was due in no small part to a solid defence. However, that defence was essentially based on closing down all over the park and getting numbers behind the ball. Works fine at 0-0 but when they have to chase a game? Individually for all their effort the likes of Duberry, Bikey and Sodje are not top-class defenders and rely heavily on safety in numbers to cover mistakes.

Coppell's limited close season signings look suspect to say the least. He was supposed to be replacing a fixture in Sidwell and it would not have seemed unrealistic to have expected to have signed at least one player who should have gone straight into the side.

Coppell didn't exactly inspire confidence in his MOD interview last night. The next two games could see a poor start turn into crisis.

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posted Sep 2, 2007

Trying to keep things in perspective, we've only played 5 games, so its early days.

However, the results against Bolton and West Ham are worrying. And without, in any way, denegrating either of those teams, they are the ones we should be looking to get points from.

Coppell has gone on record as saying that he can't attract players to the club, but is that any wonder?

We allowed, arguably, our best player to walk away from the club, and now Shorey is looking in a similar direction. Of course we can't match the wages of some of the big clubs but surely some exceptions have to be made to try and keep our best players.

Other players and their agents watch clubs very closely. By being tight with the wages budget and doing very little to hold on to the quality players we do have, what message does that send out?

We seem to be trying to run a premiership team with championship ideals.

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comment by wolf750 (U9357256)

posted Sep 2, 2007

I did not get to see the game only highlights, hoped my team would finally convert on a corner which they had so many of. Hunt had so many chances too, but they are not having good crosses to convert to goals. Well i hope the can pull it together, they have a good manager in Coppell. As a true fan who sticks behind his team no matter what, Go Royals.

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comment by stilvi (U8293817)

posted Sep 2, 2007

Well if it was difficult signing anything but second raters from finishing eighth it is going to be be virtually impossible if Reading are bottom six in January. I am not sure how much effort Coppell has actually made - I suggested Brunt and Olofinjana were worth considering a few weeks back and Brunt subsequently went to WBA - not so sure he would have chosen them over Reading. When targeting players it looks from a distance as if Coppell is obsessed with work rate over talent.

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posted Sep 3, 2007

suffolkroyal what makes you think that you should be taking points from west ham and bolton after your one and only season in the premiership what is happening to you has happend to most teams in there 2nd season why are you different.That is an arrogance that you dont warrent keep you place untill you have earned the right to make such stupid comments 1, get to a major cup final 2, get into europe 3,fill your ground with home fans to watch your tin pot little club

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posted Sep 4, 2007

Someone above mentioned the point about chasing games- I think that's a pretty good call.

Last season we were a team who took the lead a lot (usually in the first half)- of the games we won, I can't think of too many (three, off the top of my head) in which we went 1-0 down. Not sure how many draws we got from 1-0 down either.

It sounds like the past 2 games we've been punished for chasing a game too hard. It looks bad, but in a way it's a bit more promising than losing 1-0 without even threatening to score.

And to betsythehammer, I think its the fact that we won both these games last year that ssuggests that we could have got points from them again. The fact that we lost the FA cup semi in 1927, the fact that we opted not to enter the intertoto and the fact that our ground was only 90% full makes no difference whatsoever to how well the team plays.

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posted Sep 4, 2007

It does frustrate me when people (even my fellow Hammers) turn a legitimate discussion on these boards into a slanging match.

It is early doors, but West Ham fans will tell you that a bad start is a really bad omen in the second season. Performing well and still losing knocks the stuffing out of players and I agree that West Ham at home is a game Reading should be looking at winning, especially after last years result.

The money issue is a big one and one that keeps being slung back in our faces but net spending we have spent 9m. Compare that to the 40m Sunderland have spent and the term "average players" which is being levelled at West Ham takes a whole new meaning! Reading are in the planning stages of adding another 15,000 + to their stadium capacity, this costs money which cannot be simply plucked out of the air. It needs to be made somehow and Mr. Madejski may be doing this by skimping on wage and transfer budgets (I doubt this is all he is saving on). You cannot blame Steve Sidwell for leaving Reading for Chelsea, had he gone to somewhere like Newcastle then you would be entitled to have a go. Shorey is a West ham fan and we're in need of another LB, it makes sense that he wants to go. Added to the facts the future is arguably brighter at West Ham than it is at Reading and then of course his wages would be close to doubled.

In my opinion Reading can expect a 12th - 15th place in the league this year and then once another batch of the (this time bumper) TV money and the capacity raised, you will expect more high profile signings and a brighter future.

It was a fantastic result and performance for West Ham and hopefully a sign of things to come. Preferably starting with another 3-0 at home to 'Boro in a few weeks!

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posted Sep 4, 2007

Nice, levelled argument. I agree with most of that.

Have Sunderland really spent 40 million? Sort of puts it in perspective.

Add to the stadium regeneration, the fact that we've been making a steady loss for at least 10 years- Mr Mad is probably thinking it's about time he got his money back. For us, it's all about consolidation in the prem. We'll start to financially compete once we've paid off a few debts and have had a few more years (touch wood!) in the top tier.

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posted Sep 4, 2007


I don't want to get into a slanging match with you but I do feel the need to respond to your criticism.

From what you say, it proves to me that you have the ability to read but not, necessarily, the ability to understand.

It was not arrogance that made me say we should be looking to pick up points from the likes of West Ham and Bolton, its just a simple fact.

We're unlikely to pick up that too from the big four so we have to set our sights lower and, whatever you may think, both Bolton and West Ham fall into that lower bracket. Its simply a matter of our survival. We have to get points from the lesser teams in the premiership or we will definitely be relegated. So, no offence meant!

And I fully appreciate where we sit in relation to other clubs in the premiership with regard to former success. I should do, I've been supporting Reading since the 60's watching them play aginst the likes of Scunthorpe and Darlington in the old 3rd and 4th divisions.

So, arrogant? Not a chance, just happy to be where we are at the moment.

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