Winston Reid, a shining example of the sort of solid central defender we’ve lacked for awhile now, had maybe his most impressive display of the season so far as West Ham and West Brom played out a scoreless draw at The Hawthorns. Yes, it was The Hawthorns. The need for a reminder comes with West Brom being perhaps the quietest supporters in the EPL. Maybe our lads were out in full voice. Either way. throughout what was largely a middling match with bursts of action, “Forever Blowing Bubbles” and “Come On You Irons” echoed without fail.
It was the Irons first match after losing Momo Diame to injury. Although not quite the apocalyptic disaster many fans, including us, were predicting his absence was indeed noticed. Mark Noble and Gary O’Neil did well to make up for Diame’s absence in terms of ball winning, but that was never going to be the problem with Diame being out. Instead the big C word, creativity, was something the West Ham attack was devoid of throughout the match.
It was a problem throughout last year’s season in the Championship as well. Life in the EPL could quickly turn on us if we don’t get Diame back quick or go searching for another creative talent in the middle of the park. Matt Jarvis did well to provide his trademark crosses throughout the match. If we don’t have creativity we at least have width.
Carlton Cole had another good performance in Andy Caroll‘s absence, but still lacked that finishers instinct. There is hardly a player that will play harder game in and game out that Cole, as he seems to legitimately have an affinity for the club, but his job is banging in the goals and if he isn’t doing that it quickly gets noticed. Rumors of a move for either Marouane Chamakh or Rickie Lambert have both surfaced this week. Maybe that will light a fire under Cole.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom on Sunday though. As previously mentioned, Winston Reid may have had the best game of his career. Popping up from nowhere right when he was needed or getting a timely foot in was happening with incredible regularity throughout the match today. Him and James Collins have been great all season. It’s reassuring to have the two of them at the back when we’ve gone years with dodgy back fours. They may get quite the workout over the next few weeks.