All this week has been about Payet and the fact that he wants to just sod off back to Marseille.
Well, no player is bigger than the club and as of late, this is proving the case. It was a great win against Thornton Heath FC and I am revelling in their plight at the moment.
Away wins are few and far between at the moment, so this was very welcome and made it 2 wins on the bounce. It was also the first time I watched the game on the TV as opposed to the PC…….thank you Chromecast! Makes a massive difference.
The first goal was a little unexpected especially as it was so early on in the game and it was a brilliant header by Carroll who seems to be thriving now that he has regained fitness and getting a starting berth. You cannot beat his aerial presence and he is a threat to any team – this goal showed it.
I was a little annoyed with the way that the defence was carved open for the Boro equaliser – it was a little too easy for Boro to get forward and our defence as somewhat AWOL. We need clean sheets and to be tighter – at the moment within the league, points matter as well as GD and that could mean either a top 10 or bottom half finish.
OK, I was going to reluctantly take a 1-1, but then the man of the moment comes good again. Antonio – who is about to sign a long term contract on good money by all reports – whacks in a ball from the edge of the area and it is parried by Valdes, only for AC to strike home. It is what he deserves and can only be good for confidence moving forward, four goals in five games makes him one of the best marksman in the league at the moment.
So we went into the break up, but were really under the cosh in the second half with Boro throwing everything at us. 64 mins, a dodgy clearance by Cresswell hits the bar and chests back to Reid. Lucky, as that would have been 2-2, Randolph not happy at all.
Again, nervy stuff which puts fans like myself on the edge. But all points assured finally at the end of the game with a goal from Calleri of all folk – his first West Ham goal, and possibly his last as rumour has it he will be sent back from his loan to us.
I am pleased with this. The talk of Payet is just getting boring and there was strong suspicion that we were becoming a one man team – that audacious Rabona assist against Watford shows his skill, but that is just one player.
The team has to prove itself and is finally doing so. And by more than just a 1-0. OK, let’s forget about the dismal drubbing in the FA Cup – TBH, that is a distraction that is just not needed at this point, but wins mean points and league position and currently we sit in the top half for once.
10 days time sees City come to the LS……I am hoping we will prove a sterner test than the FA Cup game.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Friend, Bernardo, Gibson, Clayton, Negredo, de Roon, Stuani (Bamford 80), Chambers, Forshaw (Gestede 83), Traore.
Subs not used: Guzan, Fabio, Leadbitter, Fischer, Downing.
Goals: Stuani 26
Bookings: Gibson 80, Bernardo 83
West Ham United: Randolph, Byram, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Feghouli (Collins 83), Obiang, Noble (Fernandes 54), Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll (Calleri 67).
Subs not used: Adrian, Fletcher, Oxford, Quina.
Goals: Carroll 9, 43, Calleri 90+4
Bookings: Lanzini 6