Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday October 15 2011
Ian Holloway has done a lot for this football club, but one thing he has continually failed to do is set out his defence effectively - and today it showed.
Ollie seems to think that our style of football neccessitates a very high line of defence, when in fact it doesn't.
Time and again our ludicriously high offside trap has caught us out, but yet Ollie sticks with it. Hopefully today's defeat will make him sit up and smell the coffee.
It seems to harsh to criticise the man after our 5-0 win last time out, but as we all know, you have to take the rough with the smooth in football, and today was a very rough day.
With Craig Cathcart having picked up an injury on international duty in midweek, Matt Hill came in at centre half with the Seasiders having failed to sign Liverpool centre half Danny Wilson on loan. Tom Ince also came into the side following his cameo against Bristol City, replacing Craig Sutherland, whilst new signing Lomano Lua Lua was on the bench.
The Seasiders started much the better team and were controlling the game, but with little penetration in the final third.
On the other hand, West Ham scored with their first attack. And it was a typical goal from a Sam Allardyce side all told - effective, route one football.
Julien Faubert whipped the ball in from the right and John Carew - without jumping - headed home. A poor goal to concede.
Carew then found himself clear through on goal on the half hour after a slip by Matt Hill, but he could only fire straight at Matt Gilks.
Carew was in the thick of it again just before the break for the hosts, forcing Gilks into another save, with Sam Baldock missing the rebound.
Despite all their possession, the Seasiders created the square root of fuck all in the first half - something that has been an all too familiar story this season.
Five minutes after the break, a diabolical offside trap left Sam Baldock miles in the clear to shoot past Gilks for his first goal as a Hammer.
Just minutes later he had his second; tapping home from close range after Gilks had denied Carew once more. Again, the 'Pool defence appeared to be playing in a different postcode to Upton Park.
It was soon 4-0. George McCartney's cross was only half cleared, and Jack Collison was on hand to smash home the rebound.
Ian Holloway belatedly reacted with a triple change in attack (he had no defenders, bar Neal Eardley, on the bench); Lua Lua, Bogdanovic and Ormerod replacing Phillips, Ince and Shelvey.
The Seasiders did create a few chance late on, but by then it was far, far too late and this heavy defeat sees them slip into the bottom half of the table.
Everyone connected with the club will be hoping for a reaction against Doncaster on Tuesday night.
Date:Saturday October 15 2011
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