Bit weird to be on the other side of the calls isn’t it? While saying West Ham were lucky to do would certainly be a stretch, Mark Clattenburg definitely did us a bit of a favor in awarding a penalty to the Hammers with barely a minute gone in the match.
It seemed like a soft call, as pulling on an opponents shirt while jockeying for the ball is something all defenders are taught. It’s one of those things that may be against the rules but is generally accepted. Not today for Mr. Clattenburg.
Lucky for us Mark Noble, after a horrible run of set pieces in West Ham’s previous match, stepped up to the spot and slotted home in front of the the Upton Park faithful. The sort of start you dream about.
The second was nearly as controversial as the first. Carlton Cole flattened Alexander Tettey in an aerial challenge just off the center line, Noble picked up the loose ball and after Sebastien Bassong had the ball bounce off him Joey O’Brien rifled home.
While Norwich started off the second half a bit more promising than the first half had ever really gone, it was West Ham’s match to lose and they never looked like doing so. Some tense minutes after Russel Martin scored a late consolation goal, but West Ham were quickly down the other end of the pitch after the restart.
It was the debut of a James Tomkins and Winston Reid partnership, with James Collins out through suspension. While never truly tested, Tomkins had some uneasy moments. As the two, hopefully, start to become more familiar in the center of the back line we’re hoping for the creation of a more rock solid pairing.
Ricardo Vaz Te deserves a bit of praise as well. After last weeks horror miss, he was creating havoc on the wings at various points throughout the match. It was the Ricardo of old, and more match time can only serve to make him even sharper.