Squad news

REVIEW: WEST HAM 0 (5) DEPORTIVO 0 (3) (FRIENDLY)

08 Aug 2010
Good performance of a Deportivo that fell down again in a penalty shootout, but to mention that Lotina faced the game with several substitutes due to the injuries, reason why the coach included three Fabril’s players at the starting formation.

BEFORE THE GAME
Coach Miguel Angel Lotina had several casualties for the match, including central defender Lopo and new signings Michel, Urreta and Desmarets, for that reason he presented a different lineup that included the presence of three Depor B players; in the end he put a 4-2-3-1 formation on the pitch; with Manu at the goal, Laure at the right-back position, Diego Seoane on the left, while the central defenders were Ze Castro and Colotto. Depor B David Rochela was joining Juan Rodriguez at midfield, Pablo Alvarez was the right winger, Guardado performed on the left flank, Lassad was the playmaker and Dioni the central attacker.

The match was West Ham’s final presentation before the Barclays Premier League season debut with a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday 14 August. It was also the traditional Boleyn Ground curtain-raiser that was played as part of the SBOBET Cup in aid of West Ham Academy. Before the match ‘The Hammers’ have played six games on the pre-season, winning the first five and drawing just one; results that included victories over VfL Borussia Monchengladbach (2-0) and Greek champions Panathinaikos (1-0). 

Coach Avram Grant was able to witness the home debut of new signings Thomas Hitzlsperger, Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne, though only the first one was a starter. Tal Ben Haim, who joined the club in midweek, didn’t play the game as he was performing with the reserves.

THE MATCH
Deportivo completely dominated the first forty-five minutes, with Guardado and Lassad been the leading forces in attack against a West Ham that seemed pretty incoherent on the pitch. The first minutes were calm, with Deportivo trying to have the ball possession and with West Ham studying the rival. The first approach for the Galicians was a drilling free-kick of Guardado that was blocked by Green and later cleared by Tomkins (7’). The Hammers responded with a combination between Cole and Faubert, but Colotto cleared the danger.

Fabril’s Dioni appeared for the first time at minute 16, it was a play in which he headed down the ball to Juan Rodriguez, then the Andalusian attempted a long-range shot, but his effort went over the crossbar. Six minutes later Depor had a new chance through a cross of Guardado from the right, the ball went to the box, but Lassad headed the ball over the goal.

The Tunisian had a new opportunity at minute 27, this time he hit the post after running into the goal from the halfway line, later the ball hit the back of keeper Green and ended cleared up by Upson. It was the clearest chance for Depor in the whole game. In the next play Lassad sent a cross into the path of Dioni, the Fabril’s striker headed the ball on target, but Tomkins cleared to corner-kick.

At minute 41 Guardado had a new scoring opportunity for the visitors after collecting a cross from Pablo Alvarez, but he missed the target. Three minutes later the Mexican appeared again as he took a corner-kick, Juan Rodriguez headed the cross, but Green made the save.

The situation was the same at the start of the second half as Deportivo was having the best chances, just three minutes after the kick-off Pablo Alvarez released a cross that Dioni missed at the far post; The Hammers responded with a combination between Diamanti and Faubert, the action ended with a cross searching for Cole, but Manu intercepted the ball (56’).

One minute later Dioni headed downwards a cross of Laure, but Green was there to make the save. Then Lotina decided to make the first two substitutions as Juan Dominguez and Saul entered for Lassad and Guardado. The replaced duo was the most dangerous combination in the game, and Depor felt their exit as Saul didn’t appear on the left wing, neither Juan Dominguez in the playmaking function.

Perhaps that’s why Lotina ordered the next two changes as Riki and Valerón replaced Dioni and Seoane. The move meant to delay the positions of Rochela and Juan Dominguez, the first was now the left-back defender and the second was now one of the two pivotes.

But neither was the solution as the duo Valerón-Riki didn’t change the picture, though the Madrilenian had a big chance two minutes before the end as his short-range header went over the crossbar, it was after a cross from Laure , who after this play was replaced by Manuel Pablo. West Ham was the side that had the last coupler of opportunities, but the short-range effort of Mark Noble was saved by Manu (90’), and in the resulting corner-kick the Asturian keeper cleared the danger before Cole was able to head the ball. Later Deportivo fell down again in a penalty shootout as Valerón missed his penalty saved by keeper Robert Green. The Hammers scored in their five chances and clinched their trophy.

AFTER THE GAME
There are two readings from the match; the first is that Deportivo still progressing and that Lotina seems to have more alternatives on this season, this since the Galician side offered a solid display, and despite the casualties, against a club that debuts on next week at the Premiership. The second conclusion is more negative as the team still facing problems to score the goals. And it’s that Lotina’s team had enough chances to win the game, but it ended scoreless for the third time on the pre-season after wasting all the opportunities. Also, to mention that Depor lost in the penalty shootout for the third time on the pre-season (the previous were against Twente and Newcastle). 

The club hasn’t informed yet if Lotina’s team is going to play a match on next weekend, there was the offer to visit Brazil and other choice to play with Catania in Sicily, but so far nothing has been confirmed. The only remaining match that has been officially announced is the visit to Par ma on August 21.

MATCH STATISTICS
West Ham: (4-3-3) Green – Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon (Barrera 62’), Ilunga – Noble, Parker, Hitzlsperger (Boa Morte 74’) – Faubert, Cole, Diamanti (Piquionne 62’)
Deportivo: (4-2-3-1) Manu – Laure (Manuel Pablo 87’), Colotto, Ze Castro, Seoane (Valerón 71’) – Rochela,- Juan Rodríguez - Pablo Álvarez, Lassad (Juan Domínguez 58’) - Guardado (Saúl 58’) – Dioni (Riki 71’)
Penalties: 1-0: Noble, 1-1: Ze Castro, 2-1: Cole, 2-2: Rochela, 3-2: Piquionne, 3-2: Valerón missed his penalty stopped by Green, 4-2: Faubert, 4-3: Colotto, 5-3: Pablo Barrera.
Referee: Kevin Friend. No cards were shown.
Venue: Upton Park (14,295)

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