March 30, 2011
It has to be seen as a bonus point against Tottenham although, so confident am I that West Ham are moving in the right direction, I'd actually put a couple of quid on at Honest Joe's Bookmakers that the Hammer's would come away with a win from this one. Still Joe has collected enough of my hard-earned dosh over the years so I guess another couple of sovs won't make much difference...
As it is, the home side put the claret and blue under enormous pressure for large parts of the match and were denied by the post three times and, primarily, a superb Robert Green. Even so, West Ham had their chances with Cole in particular spurning a one-on-one opportunity early on that he really should have made more of.
March 13, 2011
This was a result that seemed very much determined by the order in which the numbered balls were drawn from the bag a few weeks back. The raucous atmosphere of the Brittania Stadium and those little refereeing decisions that can often go for or against you, all seemed to conspire against West Ham who, despite a battling display, came up short in their attempt to reach Wembley for the semi-final.
Although last week's 3-0 league win at Upton Park was pretty much dominated by the home side, as the final whistle blew in this superb cup-tie the overall feeling was that there was little between the two sides; this match following the pattern of the season's earlier Carling Cup tie and drawn league meeting in producing a tight contest. It remains to be seen how the result affects the respective sides as the Hammers return to the relegation dogfight in top form as Stoke, inevitably, turn their attention to the opportunity of going to Wembley for the first time since 1972.
March 6, 2011
West Ham followed up last week's win against Liverpool with a back-to-back victory against a fairly lacklustre Stoke City, enabling the Hammers to climb out of the bottom three as well as giving the side a confidence boost for next week's FA Cup 6th Round game against the same opposition.
From Demba Ba's 21st minute goal, the result looked in little doubt and it's a sign of the growing confidence in both players and fans that there was something almost expected in this result. The clean sheet also suggests that, at last, the defence are coming to terms with the formation expected of them although undoubtably, the threat upfront and in midfield is easing the pressure. In short, this is exactly what the Hammers should have been doing from last August.