A very nerve-wracking 90 minutes there but the Hammers came through and I felt really proud of all the lads today. We set out very nicely with a 5 man midfield which stifled Villa's usual quick passing way forward, This was changed in the second half, forced by Kovac teetering on a red and protecting Parker but it worked in our favour as we exploited some tired Villa legs.
The credit runs throughout the team but the lads at the back, Mr Tomkins and Mr Upson were outstading, keeping the various Villa threats of pace and strength at bay. In the middle of the park, no one especially shone but they all just worked really hard for each other to make for a solid unit. Up front, Frank Nouble made his Premier League debut, he certainly has the strength and pace, just some composure on the ball and the ability to stop slipping over will see him develop well.
On with the ratings;
Green – 6.5 – some good saves unfortunately coupled with some heart stopping moments
Spector – 6 – did a tidy job for us at left-back
Upson – 8 – excellent game, commanded the back, ably assisted by….
Tomkins – 8 – a very mature and solid performance
Faubert – 7 – good game from our TGV
Collison – 7 – better game from Jack, tried to make things happen
Parker – 6 – was not into the full swing of the game and then taken off
Noble – 6 – little off the pace but still worked hard
Kovac – 6 – made himself busy and was unlucky with the yellow card
Behrami – 6 – not his best game but some good touches
Nouble – 7 – gets an extra mark for the fact he is young and making his league debut and gave his all
Diamanti – 6 – good to see him come on and make things happen
Stanislas – 6 – make a good impression as an impact player
Zola and clarke – 9 – no doubt about it, they got it right today, well done lads.
Right, let's see the Gunners give Bolton a good stuffing and build up from this great result. Up the Hammers!