BarosBarryBouma Match Report v Hammers
Attendance: 35 646
Tiredness? Bulls**t excuse. This was our third match this month!
We looked like footballing's equivalent of Audley Harrison today - all hype, no punch. We need a finisher, and fast - not a forward, not a striker, but a natural, born finisher. Someone who knows how to put the ball into the back of the net and who can get in positions to do so. My own preferred pick, Robbie Keane, can be ruled out as he's a Spurs player and no way in hell will Harry and Martin do any more business between our clubs, so that's him ruled out. Only one other option I can think of in that mould who would be possibly available, within our budget, and could make the desired impact, and it's a long shot - Jermaine Beckford. Unfortunately, he withdrew his transfer request today.
But back to the game. We bossed possession (but didn't make the most of it), we had countless shooting opportunities (but no-one to pull the trigger), countless set pieces (but no-one able to provide a telling delivery or get on the end of them). The main positive we can take is that we never really looked like conceding, and we never really gave the Hammers any clear-cut chances. Defensively, we're fine. We just lack a cutting edge. And we've been saying the same thing since Yorke left.
In retrospect, changes should have been made today - there was no reason to keep the same starting line up with the second semi-final coming midweek. Carew should have started, Young should have started, Sidwell should have started, maybe even Delph, Albrighton or Delfouneso. We would still have had enough for a draw at least, we would have rested a few key players, and who knows, one of the other lads may well have stepped up to the plate.
In summary, a clean sheet and a point are the best we can take from this one, not good enough. A wasted opportunity to either make up ground on the teams ahead of us and/or 'rest' players (snort) for the big midweek game ahead. As it is, a frustrating day at the office, and one where Blackburn got a shot of confidence. They'll come to Villa Park thinking they can turn the tie around.