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Sheffield United 2 Watford 1 (27/09/2008) 28/09/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from Bramall Lane

1- Whilst the fears expressed in West Ham thunks were perhaps not realised – we did well to avoid collapse after the first minute – we nonetheless looked physically inferior to a large United side for much of the game. Much as we’re a sexy passing team now (!), being able to compete with the likes of Chris Morgan is a big ask of Hoskins, Smith and Ainsworth.

2- Whilst it was heartening to see some returning wounded on the bench, one wonders about the motivation for not starting with McAnuff. Whilst Sadler may be short of match practice, McAnuff only missed a game and a half. If he’s fit enough to be on the bench, why not start him? Perhaps the answer was in his twenty minute runout. Ainsworth’s contribution was predictably erratic, but at least there was a contribution. With Loach and possibly Williamson picking up injuries it looks like one-in-one-out applies to the treatment room also.

3- Sam Sodje. Kinda like Shittu but less so… biggish, but not monstrous. Gets his head to most things, but not everything. And does have a tendency to do some very sloppy things also; witness his role in both goals. Has to be said that in Doyley and Demerit’s absence he’s still comfortably the best option we’ve got.

4- We’re sixth from bottom, but this season is already vastly more fun that the last in which we finished sixth from top. Go figure…

5- It’s beyond reasonable debate that West Ham fans will find their club forking out however much they end up forking out to t’Blades a bit of a pisser. One wonders whether they will be more inclined to laugh or cry at the knowledge that much of this cash is being spent on paying James Beattie a reported Ā£42k a week to fall over like a big tart whenever a defender (and none of ours were half his bulk) breathes on him. It would take a lot of goals like today’s for me to warm to him in my team.


1. JohnF - 28/09/2008

Couldn’t go to the game but listened to the commentary on Three Counties. Not good for the old ticker. The defence are still not defending very well and seem to go to sleep all too often and defend too deep; perhaps earlier nights before match days would help. Matt, your point about Ainsworth and MacAnuff is well made. When he came on MacAnuff hardly got a mention. However, young Liam Henderson seemed to do well and they did create chances. The commentary (always difficult to judge) indicated some hard work from midfield and the front player(s), and JJ seemed to be involved a great deal. I hope that Sodje has a better game on Saturday as we can’t afford to ship too many goals. Finally what a shame for young Loach. He was doing really well and his height is an advantage. We wait to see what happens about a back-up to Richard for the next few months. Maybe Aidy will thrive under adversity.

2. graham - 28/09/2008

*Whilst the defending for the Beattie goal was not good – and Sodje was clearly culpable, I got the feeling that he was carrying an injury for most of the game. If so, he can be to some extent exonerated.
*Devonshire Cat – what a great pub !
*Yes, they did well to cling on to the game after the first goal – nut you don’t expect to get anything away from home if you give a side lacking in confidence (and the experience of winning) A goal start
*Looking forward to Tuesday…..not a lot!

3. Esp - 28/09/2008

After our first 4 away games last season we had won twice and drawn once amassing a very creditable 7 points (scoring 6 goals into the bargain); this year we have one measly point and have scored half that number of goals
I think the answer lies in the Sunday Telegraph’s description of Hull City’s performance after their win at Arsenal yesterday
They said: “They broke with pace and accuracy and in Marlon King and Daniel Cousin Hull had a pair of strikers who could hold the ball up while back-up gathered.”
That reminds me of how we played this time last season! Oh to have that attacking threat…again!

4. Cheating Cockney Hammer,, its not fair - 28/09/2008

keep listening you northern mugs, because its the chumpionship and below for you. Unless you start sueing all the clubs in the chumpionship for not letting you get promotion …. its not fair you’re all cheating ….

5. markymark - 28/09/2008

If Sodje is surplus to requirements at Reading after Sonko’s move to Stoke he can’t be much cop given Bikey ( another erratic African ) and the not so great Duberry are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Demerit get back quick skipper šŸ™‚

6. Matt Rowson - 28/09/2008

Cheating Cockney Hammer, I’m not sure where your sarcasm is directed, but you’ve got it all wrong in every possible respect…

7. stephen hoffman - 28/09/2008

.i wish we could get callum davenport back was good for west ham early doors -with curbishley -but not chosen under zola -a good player better than sodge.

8. Wat4Steve - 29/09/2008

stephen hoffman – Agreed however also a lot in wages!

These are hard times. Why is no sign of asking for an explaination of where the money has gone?

9. Matt - 29/09/2008

Personally, I can’t wait until West Ham have to fork out all that money they shouldn’t have and come crashing back down into this league with Spurs – even if it does mean the Blades replace them in the Premier.

10. Adam J - 29/09/2008

Picture the scene. It’s a cold night at Turf Moor, Watford scrapping in a hard fought Championship match against Burnley. Richard Lee, installed back into the first team and having a solid game, goes to take the goal kick. However after he’s kicked it, he grimmaces and falls to the ground.

Gasps come from the Watford contingent, a look of concern from the bench. Lee is stretchered off… and Mr Chamberlain steps forward into the fray…

11. Matt Rowson - 29/09/2008


some of us are paying attention


12. Esp - 29/09/2008

Good shout Stephen H about Davenport but don’t you recall just over 6 years ago (Monday August 26th 2002 precisely) when Davenport was dumped on his arse by our Manchester United loanee Danny Webber?
His goal (our third) was a turn and curling shot a 5-2 mauling of Coventry. Their side also featured a certain John Eustace too.
The game featured an incredible 28 goal attempts (14 for each side)
For those who are curious our side featured past stars Micah Hyde, Allan Nielsen, Paolo Vernazza, Neal Ardley, Sean Dyche (same birthday as me!!), Dominic Foley and a lad from Hemel Hempstead called Tommy Smith, who, dare I neeed to point out, was also on the score sheet!!
Finally re: Loach’s injury some journo on Sunday pointed out we were playing our THIRD choice goalie when Lee came on at Bramall Lane (!!) – a similar mistake to Andy Dunne in the NotW on Sunday who pointed out to their readers that Boothroyd’s sending off and punishment last week was for complaining about the “ghost goal”…..WRONG again Press Box!!

13. Johnny Boy - 29/09/2008

Like your ‘thunk 4’ Matt R – there is a better buzz than when we were losing at home at the end of last season. The next three home games, Preston, Cardiff and Wolves are going to be a real test for our injury depleted/youthful team and they are going to need all the support we can give them.
It’s not going to be boring this season.

14. markymark - 29/09/2008

Worry not folks we have not one but 3 boys ready as back up when Lee gets injured tomorrow.The Welsh youth International North; the giant Hungarian wonder kid Antal not to mention the lad Beasant ( big Dave’s nephew no less).
Of course I bigged them all up so as not to worry you šŸ™‚

15. markymark - 29/09/2008

Sorry forgot to add a forty something legend ( Chamberlain ) to the list!

16. Sam - 29/09/2008

how did that west ham fan end up on here? The random filter needs tweaking Matt, escapees arriving from the Watford Observer rant-off.

17. Matt Rowson - 30/09/2008

Sam – I am the random filter. I let the Hammer through because I thought it was funny…

esp – I would suggest that despite Lee’s injury, given the form of Poom and Loach this season whether Lee is actually third choice or not is at worst debatable. But a kinda moot point at the moment…

18. stephen hoffman - 30/09/2008

Sodje was injured- well done to the guy who spotted it he aggravated his knee -meaning we’ve got darren “shirley “ward back.

19. Mick G. - 30/09/2008

With the comings and goings now resembling something like Waterloo Station in the rush hour,I hope the players can manage to get their introductions over before kick-off tonight.
Anyone else fancy a game………………

20. Matt - 30/09/2008

Agree that it would’ve been good to see Davenport back but for me Ward’s a decent signing, fingers crossed he’ll fit into the team nicely tonight.

On Matt’s thunk 4 – maybe it’s just more fun because this is more like what we’re used to? The expectation is finally going and we’re getting back to normal….I like it!

21. DM - 02/10/2008

MarkyMark – Beasant Jr isn’t actually on the club’s books, even though has played regularly as a trialist over the past few seasons. Tyler’s signing would suggest the other lads you mention are not quite ready for first team exposure..

22. Fran - 03/10/2008

Following up on DM’s comment, Beasant junior’s appearance in pre-season was a consequence of his turning up as a spectator at the Wealdstone game when we found ourselves short of keepers. He ended up on the teamsheet for the next game.

Always carry your boots, boys.

23. Esp - 03/10/2008

You can see Beasant in goal for Watford saving a penalty from Carlton Cole on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sNBe97_OXw and he’s a local lad too (on facebook if any young girls are interested!)

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