I'm not sure I know what to say about today. West Ham were under enormous pressure to reverse last week's insipid performance against Aston Villa and, certainly in the first half where they ran Bolton ragged, they looked to have done that but when the whistle blew for the end of the first period, Carlton Coles' missed penalty was all that the Hammers had to show for an attacking 45 minutes where they created a good seven or eight chances and took none.
Now take another look at that result and recall that this was Bolton's seventh straight win over West Ham. That's seven and that's Bolton. It's all very well talking about bogey sides but this is not good enough and it's not good enough by a long way. Those seven defeats won't all be down to Avram Grant, Gold or Sullivan or even a good many of the players but, unless you blame the only constant the fans, you have to look at other reasons. As to what those reasons may be - well, how long ya got...?
Even though West Ham had a good first half they could so easily have gone behind early on. It was an indicator of the type of lacksidasical play that besets Hammers teams season after season as Noble's free kick in Bolton's half was played back - why? It's an attacking move! - and missed by everyone apart from Petrov whose pass found Elmander who shot just wide.
Up front though, the home side looked much more threatening than last week, new signing Barrera shot just over before a penalty was awarded when Cole was bundled over. The big centre-forward stepped up to take it - why? Isn't Noble the designated spot kick specialist? - but his weak side-foot was easily saved by Jaaskelainen. Cole nearly made amends quickly bringing a smart save from the Bolton keeper before Barrera ended the move by shooting straight at the stopper.
Further appeals for a penalty were turned away when Knight appeared to handle a Cole shot before Dyer had a shot turned onto the post from a Parker through ball. It was all West Ham until three minutes into the second half when an up and under from Jaaskelainen was headed into his own net by Matthew Upson attempting to clear from Hammers nemesis Kevin Davies; the appearance of the Bolton forward celebrating at the Boleyn happening so regularly that an amazing 44% of Hammers fans expected him to score in a recent on-line poll.
The boot applied to Upson's head as he attempted to clear before heading in via Davies' studs meant he had to come off allowing New Zealand World Cup player Winton Reid to make his home debut. Unfortunately, Reid's appearance failed to help out the Hammers defence who allowed Lee Chung-Yong acres of space to cross for Elmander to score Bolton's second after 68 minutes.
The Hammers had a lifeline shortly after when the referee awarded a penalty for a nudge on Parker chasing a through ball and this time Noble made no mistake from the spot after 79 minutes but the lifeline was snatched away by Elmander again five minutes later when he took advantage of another defensive muddle poking home from a ball passed across by the woeful Ilunga.
West Ham can take heart from this display though and use it to effect in their next two matches which should yeild six points; Manchester United at Old Trafford and Chelsea at home. That's more sarcasm, by the way...