Tony Cottee: Wolves were worthy victors on Tuesday night
PUBLISHED: 09:41 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:45 05 October 2010
We didn't play as a team, we didn't battle and we created little, so it was no surprise that we lost to Wolves on Tuesday night,"" says Tony Cottee
We didn't play as a team, we didn't battle and we created little, so it was no surprise that we lost to Wolves on Tuesday night.
All credit must go to them, because they were outstanding, but for West Ham it was a truly dreadful night.
You don't mind losing games if you are unlucky, or you have a real go, but nothing went right and it is hard to find positives from the match.
Scott Parker played okay and Guillermo Franco looked lively and took his goal well when he came on, but for most wearing claret and blue it was a night to forget.
Our build-up play was so slow and we didn't get amongst Wolves and try to disrupt their play.
We once again lacked width and with the visitors playing with five across midfield, it we were crying out to get the ball wide, but sadly we have a distinct lack of wide players.
Julien Faubert can play there, while we also have Junior Stanislas, but that is all really and it seems from the way we set up like we try to play like Chelsea, playing narrow and using a target man.
I always like to see teams play with width, because it stretches the opposition. It means full backs have to come across and mark wingers and it gives more space to forwards in the box, but unfortunately we cannot do that because we play so narrow.
It played into Wolves' hands. David Jones and Karl Henry were outstanding in the middle for the visitors, but they were allowed too much room.
Our own central midfield playmaker Parker (pictured left) almost scored before the break and there is no doubt in my mind that if his shot went in off the post then it would have been a different game in the second half.
It didn't though and the spine of the team was not great for West Ham with Carlton Cole and Matt Upson in particular having off days.
It is disappointing to hear about an altercation he may have had with a fan after the game and I'm sure what happened was just down to frustration.
Fans have a right to complain after matches. They have paid a lot of money to watch football and have every right to voice their opinions, as long as it is not personal or racial and as a player you just have to swallow it and put your energy into making amends.
The club have announced they are looking to put together a joint bid to takeover the Olympic stadium after the 2012 Games.
I don't see the need to announce their plans yet, especially as no decision regarding the stadiums future can be made until after the General Election.
It baffles me as to why there is so much talk about stuff going on off the pitch, when on it we are faced with a relegation battle.
To be honest I am fed up about hearing what goes on and want the club to concentrate on staying in the Premier League.
Get the deal done then announce it, we don't need to hear about plans right now.
They reportedly want to put a football museum as part of the project and it would be great if it was a West Ham museum to pay tribute to those who have put so much effort into the club over the years.
We need brave soldiers against Stoke this Saturday and those who play must be ready for war.
We have to start strongly, put in some strong tackles and create chances to get the crowd behind us and on our side.
It is the players that must raise the crowd and I remember when John Lyall was my boss at the Hammers he used to say that we have to create our own atmosphere.
If the players work hard then I am sure that will happen.
In a way it is good that West Ham are playing Stoke because you know what to expect.
They are a physical team and you know they will pound you with long throws and set pieces, so you know what to prepare for and you can have no excuses.
Of course it is worrying that the last time we played against a physical side (Bolton) we played poorly, but they also have technical players like Matthew Etherington, Ricardo Fuller and Sanli Tuncay to watch, so there is no doubting how tough it will be.
It's Gianfranco Zola's job to get them up for the game, whether he does that by giving them the day off, working them harder in training or taking them paintballing.
That said, they are professional footballers and they also have got to take responsibility themselves for how the game goes.
Sooner or later the players have got to stand up, because it is they who cross that white line and are on the pitch, not the manager and he can only do so much.
Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner
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