Tony Cottee: I feel sorry for the fans that made the trip to Liverpool
PUBLISHED: 13:28 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 05 October 2010
It was an incredibly poor performance against Liverpool and I feel sorry for the 1,500 or so fans that made the trip up there,"" says Tony Cottee
It was an incredibly poor performance against Liverpool and I feel sorry for the 1,500 or so fans that made the trip up there.
Before the game I admit I was not expecting us to win, but we were up against a Reds outfit without Fernando Torres and probably low on confidence, so I was hopeful we would snatch a point if we played well.
We didn't, and looking back there are very few if any positives to take from the game.
We created nothing and the only shot I can remember was one in the first-half when Carlton Cole fired one towards the near post. It was a very easy night for Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal and for West Ham it really was a game to forget.
There was very little service to the front two and when they did manage to get the ball, it kept coming back, It was a night for Ilan and Cole to forget.
I was surprised manager Gianfranco Zola started with two strikers and I expected Ilan to be replaced by a midfielder, to try and stop Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun from creating.
A draw would have been a great result for us and I believe that playing five in midfield would have given us a better chance of doing so.
The first goal was dreadfully disappointing and there was a huge gap between goalkeeper Robert Green and the back four, who, when the ball was delivered, fell asleep. And after the first goal went in, things just continued to get worse.
Heads dropped too easily after the first goal and I know it's hard to pick yourself up when going one-down at Anfield because I've been in that situation myself, but one thing you can do is put your foot in and make challenges and that just did not happen.
It was a poor day at the office for the back four and although Gerrard deserves huge praise for his deliveries for the first and third goals, to allow Benayoun to score with his chest from yards out is just not on.
The marking and positional play as a back four was appalling and I am sure both Zola and his assistant Steve Clarke will be working very hard in training this week to put that right.
We have not won there since the days of Bobby Moore in 1963, so of course that plays on your mind, so losing there is no disgrace and you would obviously rather lose 3-0 to Liverpool than say 3-0 to Portsmouth because those are the types of games you should be winning.
With that in mind I don't believe the defeat will have too much of a negative effect on the Wigan match.
You put it to the back of your mind and draw on the positive results before that.
I was in a similar situation myself when I was at Everton. We lost 3-0 to Leeds in the penultimate game of the season and we were dreadful and could have lost 7-0.
We played Wimbledon on the last day and won to stay in the league. We didn't mope around feeling sorry for ourselves after the Leeds defeat and that is now what West Ham have to do.
We have been linked with Newcastle centre-half Steven Taylor in the press this week.
I am a big fan of his, I think he is an excellent player and a nice lad to boot.
There will be, without doubt, massive changes at the club in the summer, with a lot of players coming and going and hopefully we will be bringing in real quality to the club.
First of all, we must secure our Premier League status and I would like us to do that before looking into bringing players in, because there is a long summer ahead to do just that.
Staying in the Premier League should be the only focus right now, so lets sort that out, then go after players.
Of course Wigan will be a tough match, but I feel their win against Arsenal last Sunday could work in West Ham's favour.
The 3-2 win means they have little chance of going down this season and so will have not much to play for when they visit Upton Park this Saturday.
They are, however, a very dangerous team and you can see that by the results they had, beating Arsenal and Chelsea.
Inconsistency is, however, their biggest weakness and we will have to prepare right and play very well to get the three points which are desperately needed.
I am confident that the Hammers can achieve this and stay up this season and I have said this all along, but if we do stay up it will be be because of other teams performing poorly.
We do have to be wary of Ch arles N'Zogbia who puts in terrific free-kicks and I am a big fan of Hugo Rodallega. He is a dangerous player who can create problems and has the tendency to score a few cracking goals.
However we have Scott Parker back for the game and he has been our best player this season and performed head and shoulders above anyone else.
We need him in the midfield, because it will increase our tempo and cause them more problems going forward.
I'd settle for a game like the one we had against Sunderland the last time we played at Upton Park, which was a rather dull affair, but we managed to leave with the three points and at this stage of the season, that is all that matters.
Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner