Search

West Ham’s game of two halves was absolutely unbelievable

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 October 2017

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (right) scores his side's third goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley,

West Ham United's Angelo Ogbonna (right) scores his side's third goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley,

PA Wire/PA Images

Hammers’ second-half sensation means nothing if they lose to Crystal Palace

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic gestures on the touchline during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London. West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic gestures on the touchline during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London.

At half time on Wednesday night at Wembley, things were looking as bleak as they can get for West Ham and for manager Slaven Bilic.

It had been a dour first half. They trailed 2-0, the same as they had against Brighton last week and in fairness it had looked like men against boys.

In the press room, various journalists criticised Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and the boss in almost equal measure, while in the directors’ box, David Sullivan may well have been drafting a ‘Manager wanted’ advert.

Fast forward 45 minutes and both sets of fans could not believe what they had witnessed.

West Ham United's Andre Ayew (centre back) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game and his hattrick with team mates during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London. West Ham United's Andre Ayew (centre back) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game and his hattrick with team mates during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London.

Two goals for the ‘hopeless’ and now ‘superb’ Ayew, plus a headed winner from Angelo Ogbonna that brought back memories of the FA Cup winner against Liverpool, gave West Ham a win that was truly a miracle.

If ever the term ‘a game of two halves’ was more appropriate then this reporter has not seen it.

One thing you can say about Bilic is that when he needs a result, he invariably gets it, but not like this, not by clutching victory from the jaws of defeat to perhaps save his job.

Bilic spoke to the press afterwards with dignity.

Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London. Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London.

“I’m very, very proud of the whole team,” he said after the 3-2 win. “We told the guys at half time that we had to some things better and the crucial thing was to be more solid and close them down.

“It was about who scored the first goal after half time and we scored it and suddenly we had more energy and our crosses were really hard to defend.

“From three of them, we basically scored three goals.”

They did, but what also helped was the tempo the team played at. They looked to attack Spurs at every opportunity, tested them down the flanks and got players into the box.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London. West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic during the Carabao Cup, Fourth Round match at Wembley, London.

It was as incredible a turnaround we have seen for the Hammers in many years. Their record coming from 2-0 down had been 73 losses out of 75 games, so it was every bit as unbelievable as it sounds.

But of course, this Carabao Cup victory means very little, if the team now go and lose in the Premier League at rock-bottom Crystal Palace tomorrow (Saturday).

Bilic challenged his team to carry on where they left off.

“We have to be proud, but we’ve done nothing,” said the boss defiantly.

“We’ve only done a lot if we take this as a standard and if we take forward this defending, this closing people down and all the basic things that mean such a lot, being there for one another.

“If we take this as a standard and continue with it in training and in games, then we have done a lot.

“We have to take this into training and into Saturday’s massive, massive game against Crystal Palace.”

The problem with that is that there were nine changes from the Brighton game to this one. Just how many of those nine will be in the starting line-up at Selhurst Park?

Ayew has done enough for a start, but who will he come in for. Has Ogbonna earned a start after his winning goal?

Saturday will be about coping with the pressure and fighting for the badge and for the manager.

But which West Ham team will turn up. The team that sank to Brighton and who played the first half on Wednesday, or the second half team?

We shall see.

Latest East London Sports News

National League: Leyton Orient 2 Chester 2

Interim head coach full of praise for Jobi McAnuff after showing leadership qualities on and off pitch last week

15:00

Tower Hamlets joint-manager AJ Ashanike disappointed with his side’s work rate in their heavy 5-0 defeat to Essex Senior League leaders Redbridge.

The O’s host fellow strugglers Chester tonight with just three points seperating the two clubs in the National League

12:00

Shoreditch football club have made their mark in their debut season in the Inner London Football League by storming to the Division Two championship.

The 36-year-old provides an insight into his preparation and explains how Orient must do dirty stuff before being able to play their football

09:30

England’s women proved too strong for China to book a quarter-final place at the Hockey World League Final in New Zealand.

09:00

Essex Senior League: Tower Hamlets 0 Redbridge 5

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now