A mid-first half red card to goalkeeper Allan McGregor proved too much for Hull City to overcome, with the controversial decision leaving West Ham United up a goal and a man. Though the short-handed Tigers would pull that opener back in the second half, an own goal from James Chester proved decisive as the Hammers, snapping a three-match losing streak, earned a 2-1 win at Upton Park.
An even affair was broken open in the 23rd minute when McGregor saw red after a collision with Mohamed Diamé, one Mike Dean and his crew adjudicated to have denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Mark Noble’s conversion from the spot gave West Ham the lead, one that was pulled back when Nikica Jelavic deflected home a Tom Huddlestone free kick in the 48th minute. Shortly after, a cross from the right from Guy Demel was redirect by James Chester into the Hull net, giving the Hammers their final margin of victory.
The result moves West Hame three spots up the Premier League table, with Sam Allardyce’s crew claiming 11th place from Aston Villa. Hull, on the other hand, slides to 13th after losing its third in four.
West Ham created the first chance of the match when a cross from the right was knocked down by Andy Carroll, giving Matthew Taylor a chance after a poor clearance by Hull. A lunging block from Alex Bruce kept McGregor from being tested with the game’s first threat, giving way to a match that was played on even footing for its first 20 minutes.
The the ninth minute, however, West Ham was forced to make its first sub after James Collins hobbled off the field. With fellow center half James Tomkins having overcome injury doubts to make today’s starting XI, the Welsh international was forced to give way to Roger Johnson, who would soon find his day made easier by a disputed call at the other end of the park.
Near the 23rd minute, a venture from Noble into the penalty area ended when a tackle sent the ball bouncing off two defenders and toward the Tigers’ goal. There the ball hit Diamé’s elevated right hand before McGregor, coming out to challenge a potential shot, turned to collide side-first into the West Ham midfielder. With Diamé, just outside the six-yard box, having lifted the ball over the keeper and toward goal, McGregor was shown straight red, forcing Steve Harper on at Bruce’s expense.
After McGregor was treated for injury, Noble welcomed Harper with the game’s first goal. The replacement keeper, leaning early into the left side of goal, saw the West Ham midfielder calmly finish toward the right post, making it 1-0.
Minutes into the second half, the 10-mean Tigers pulled back Noble’s opener, with a Huddlestone drive from 26 yards out deflecting off Jelavic before beating Adrían. Making amends for a missed chance toward the end of the first half, the Hull midfielder blasted his restart toward the middle of the West Ham goal. Just inside the penalty area, however, Jelavic ran into the shot and pushed it toward Adrían’s left post, giving the keeper no chance of preventing Hull’s unlikely equalizer.
The lead was gone in six minutes, however. Off a poor cross from Demel, Chester failed to adjust to an unexpected bounce, his attempted left-footed clearance seeing the ball skip off his knee. The deflection went over Harper and under the crossbar to give West Ham its winner.
Hull’s best chance over the match’s final 36 minutes was a long drive from Huddlestone that forced Adrían to concede a corner. Even against a West Ham team that failed to adjust to a man advantage, the short-handed Tigers couldn’t find a second equalizer. Instead, they were left wondering if another official would have called Diamé’s hand ball.
West Ham United: Adrían; Dumel, Collins (Johnson 9′), Tomkins, McCartney; Noble, Diame (J. Cole 69′); Downing, Nolan, Taylor; Carroll
Sam Allardyce says he has never been through such a bedeviling transfer period. Clearly, he wasn’t the only Premier League manager with difficulty in filling January needs, but for whatever reason, importing players to Upton Park seemed a bridge especially too far.
Allardyce wrote in a newspaper column just before the final deadline: “The transfer window is in its final throes and I would say we’ve looked at 100 possible deals this month. … I can’t remember ever negotiating as many deals in a transfer window and, if you look across the board, it has been the same throughout the Premier League.”
The late acquisitions of Italian internationals Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino helped ease some of the transfer window frustration. Some of it – there is still clearly a big fight ahead in Allardyce’s bid to avoid relegation.
Marco Borriello (Roma, loan), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan, loan), Jaanai Gordon (Peterborough, $5.7m), Roger Johnson (Wolves, loan), Abdul Razak (Anzhi Makhachkala, loan), Pablo Armero (Napoli, loan).
Blair Turgott (Rotherham, loan), Paul MCallum (Hearts, loan), Jordan Spence (MK Dons, loan), Modibo Maiga (QPR, loan), George Moncur (Partick Thistle, loan), Mladen Petric (released), Razvan Rat (released).
Borriello, 31, has seven caps for Italy. No, that’s not exactly Paolo Rossi as Azzurri all-time strikers go, but he’s got something. Having scored once in 11 Roma appearances this year, a change of address can’t hurt, and maybe can find some of the 2008 form, when Borriello flirted with the Italian Serie A scoring leadership.
At the very least, he provides some cover for the inconsistent and unreliable Andy Carroll.
Nocerino (pictured above, in the middle), 28, has 15 caps for Italy, most prominently as a member of the country’s European Championships team from 2012. While he’s not completely useless, he had become surplus around AC Milan, even more so now Michael Essien’s arrival from Chelsea. It’s fair to ask if a midfielder in such poor from around the San Siro is the man who can help the Hammers dodge relegation?
With not long to go until the January transfer window slams shut, it’s time to assess what each Premier League team needs. Some need to splash the cash big time in their quest to make the top four, or stay up, while other may resist the urge to spend.
All this week at ProSoccerTalk, we’ve been breaking down the transfer needs of every PL team.
Now we’ve put the transfer desires of all 20 teams in one place, as this post is brimming with the business each club should do.
Joe Prince-Wright and Mike Prindiville break the transfer needs down, as time is running out…
Arsenal’s sole need is for a striker. Olivier Giroud has been a revelation but overuse is a worry and with winger-come-striker Theo Walcott out for the season and Nicholas Bendtner being, well, Nicholas Bendtner, Arsenal need to add a new piece up top. Tha assumes, of course, that the Gunners want to win a title (Champions League or Premier League).
Famously content with his players, there’s no guarantee Arsene Wenger will bring someone in. If he does un-latch the money clip, Wenger could do the business on the cheap – Wolfburg’s Diego (free) and Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov (£2m) – or on the Mesut Ozil type level – Schalke’s Julian Draxler (£37m) and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa (£32m). Of course, attacking midfielders like Diego and Draxler would be striker-converts but would nevertheless be major boosts to Arsenal’s front line. MP
Despite their vanilla form over the first half of the season Aston Villa are actually a squad with decent depth. Having already brought in striker Grant Holt and full-back Ryan Bertrand on loan, Villa now set their sites on a center midfielder with gusto. Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph form a strong core of center midfielders but none possess true creative, attacking talent.
Paul Lambert was rumored to be hot on the tails of Belgian midfielder Steven Defour, who the Villa manager dismissed talk of swooping for last week, and Norwich City playmaker Wes Hoolahan, who Lambert previously coached at Carrow Road. MP
Suddenly Cardiff find themselves in last place and in desperate need of some new blood. With only 17 goals through 22 matches, a striker would be nice and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer had hoped to land Mame Diouf from Hannover only for the Bundesliga club to refuse selling him. The new manager has already signed Heerenveen attacking midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem Molde and versatile midfielder Matts Moeller Daehli.
Midfield is another area the Bluebirds could use some spice and Solksjaer would be happy to take Ravel Morrison off West Ham’s hands but luring the former Manchester United player to Wales is proving difficult. Solksjaer has done plenty of business in the window, as Norwegian Jo Inge Berget, Stoke City’s Kenwyne Jones and Manchester United duo Wilfried Zaha and Fabio all signed in the final week of the window. Peter Odemwingie went to Stoke as part of the deal for Jones. MP
With 20+ players on loan and having already bought attacking midfielder Bertrand Traoré (already sent on loan to Vitesse) and Benfica’s midfield destroyer Nemanja Matic (£22m), the Blues are one of the few Premier League clubs all set for a spring time run. But after agreeing to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United, Jose Mourinho couldn’t resist having another pop in the market, buying Egyptian winger Mohammed Salah from FC Basel for $17 million. MP
With the worst goals-per-game ratio in the Premier League, a striker is an obvious need but after missing out on former Everton striker Nikica Jelavic (to Hull City) and Carlton Cole (re-signed at West Ham) their options have dwindled. Stoke City striker Peter Crouch remains on Tony Pulis‘ radar as does Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis and Chelsea’s Demba Ba, who would arrive at Selhurst Park on loan.
Damien Delaney and Danny Gabbidon have formed a remarkably strong center-back partnership but defensive depth will be key if the Eagles are to avoid relegation. Look for Tony Pulis to bolster the back line with a move for a player with Premier League experience. Blackburn defender Scott Dann would certainly fit the bill. MP
One striker and another versatile defender who can be used as cover. The Toffees lost Jelavic and could lose John Heitinga and I’m assuming Martinez will be looking for replacements. The signing of Aiden McGeady is a good one, and another attacking options should be Everton’s priority if they’re going to make their Champions League dream a reality. A loan deal for Monaco striker Lacina Traore will help massively with that, as the top four beckons for a young and talented Toffees side. JPW
Most Fulham fans would argue a clean sweep is necessary, but the area that needs must help is defense. The likes of Philippe Senderos and Fernando Amorebieta have struggled this season and the Cottagers need to stop leaking a bucket load of goals. If they can do that they have offensive weapons that can hurt most teams. JPW
The Tigers are pretty set after doing their business early in the window. I would’ve said they needed a top striker to help with their scoring problems, and Steve Bruce went out and bought two last week in Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long. Job done. JPW
I truly believe Liverpool need one more striker to really turn them into a top four contender. But I don’t think they will land one. Defensive reinforcements would be nice, as the likes of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure have been liabilities as times this season. In midfield they are set, although a tricky winger may tempt Rodgers as summer signings Victor Moses and Iago Aspas haven’t shone thus far.
The Reds look to have missed out on Salah, as Chelsea nipped in with a last-minute bid for the Egyptian winger. JPW
City are pretty set in every position. But if they wanted to strengthen in one position, it may be left back. Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov have both been sharing the role for most of the season but neither have looked that great. Going forward they both add a lot, but defensively they leave plenty to be desire. Maybe City will splash the cash to make sure their squad is absolutely stacked heading into the final stretch. JPW
Where do we start with the Red Devils? Arguably only four players have done enough to warrant not being replaced this season: David de Gea, Adnan Januzaj, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. The real problem area is midfield as United tried desperately to bring in a whole host of players in the summer window and failed.
A move for Juan Mata for a club record fee of around $61 million sent out a huge message to everyone that the club backs David Moyes, as the Spanish midfielder will bring a whole new dimension to United’s midfield. A top four spot is dependent on United splashing the cash, and they’ve done that by bringing in Mata. Will more arrive in January? We will have to wait and see, but Moyes’ rebuild has finally got moving. JPW
No massive needs for Newcastle, as they are banging goals in from all over the pitch and look pretty solid at the back. Keeping hold of the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Tim Krul will be crucial in this window, but adding another striker to compliment Loic Remy would be worthwhile. Dutchman Luuk De Jong is close to a loan move, as Alan Pardew’s side have an outside chance of making the top four.
However it does look as though Cabaye is on his way to Paris Saint-Germain before the window shuts, as the Magpies have had big money bids come in for their French international midfielder and a fee has reportedly been agreed. JPW
The Canaries still need more firepower, after summer signings Gary Hooper, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander haven’t delivered more goals. Apart from that Norwich are solid across midfield and in defense, and have impressive strength in-depth. But if Chris Hughton’s men want to stave off relegation, a new striker is a must. JPW
Much like Newcastle, Southampton only really need to add one player but focus on keeping their star performers at the club. The likes of Luke Shaw, Jay Rodriguez, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have all been linked with moves away but Mauricio Pochettino is adamant nobody will leave. A few injuries could see Saints dipping into the loan market, Pochettino knows La Liga well so don’t be surprised if he heads in that direction for a playmaker/defender. JPW
The Potters must shed a few off the wage bill before they can bring players in, and Mark Hughes must do that quickly if he’s going to make his squad stronger. Notoriously Stoke always do plenty of business on deadline day, and it will need to be another big window if they aren’t going to get dragged into the relegation battle. One quality new player up front, in midfield and in defense is needed. Stoke did buy USMNT forward Juan Agudelo after work permit issues, but they’ve immediately loaned him out to FC Utrecht in Holland. While Stephen Ireland has sealed a permanent move to the Britannia and striker John Guidetti has arrived on loan from Man City.
Peter Odemwingie arriving from Cardiff in exchange for Kenwyne Jones seems like a decent deal, but the Potters need plenty more business like that in the final few days. JPW
Sunderland needed to strengthen a leaky defense and got down to business early in January, acquiring full-back Marcos Alonso (from Fiorentina) and center-back Santiago Vergini (from Estudiantes). As loanees both players are mere stop-gaps, meaning the Black Cats will reassess the back line come this summer. Argentine goalkeeper Oscar Ustari joined on loaned from Spanish side Almeria as another short-term replacement. On the offensive side of the ball Gus Poyet’s side has quality in Steven Fletcher and a talented group of wingers (Fabio Borini, Emanuel Giaccherini, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson) but could use a more dependable holding midfielder to provide an alternative to Lee Cattermole.
Ignacio Scocco is close to sealing a switch, as the Black Cats look to add more firepower with the Argentine striker coming in to help with the relegation scrap. MP
Laudrup has signed a new striker, as Bolton forward David Ngog has joined on loan for the rest of the season. I’m sure that’s not the type of signing Swans fans were hoping for. While Tom Ince has held talks with the Swans, as the tricky England U-21 winger is set to move on from Blackpool during the window. If he signs for Swansea, it will be a massive boost to the relegation hopes. MP
Spurs arguably have more depth than any club in the Premier League so purchases are unlikely although we may see Tim Sherwood bring in a young striker to replace the loss of Jermain Defoe (to Toronto FC) and add cover to Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado. MP
WEST HAM UNITED
If West Ham are to avoid relegation they must purchase a new striker. Andy Carroll recently returned from injury but the Hammers must provide cover in case the injury-prone Geordie goes down again. In the midfield, holding on to Ravel Morrison is an absolute must while bringing in another creative force to operate behind the strikers could be a good move considering Kevin Nolan‘s underwhelming season and Mo Diame’s new knee injury. At the back, Roger Johnson was brought in earlier this month but has struggled meaning Sam Allardyce would do well to bring in a center-back of proven quality.
The Albion made the unpopular decision to sell Shane Long but have cover up top in Saido Berahino, Nicholas Anelka and Victor Anichebe. Pepe Mel’s side could use some strengthening at right-back where Billy Jones has been average at best but money issues will constrict their ability to buy. MP
With just over a week left in the January transfer window, it’s time to assess what each Premier League team needs. Some need to splash the cash big time in their quest to make the top four, or stay up, while other may resist the urge to spend.
All this week at ProSoccerTalk, we’re breaking down the transfer needs of every PL team. Here’s the final batch.
Sunderland needed to strengthen a leaky defense and got down to business early in January, acquiring full-back Marcos Alonso (from Fiorentina) and center-back Santiago Vergini (from Estudiantes). As loanees both players are mere stop-gaps, meaning the Black Cats will reassess the back line come this summer. On the offensive side of the ball Gus Poyet’s side has quality in Steven Fletcher and a talented group of wingers (Fabio Borini, Emanuel Giaccherini, Seb Larsson, Adam Johnson) but could use a more dependable holding midfielder to provide an alternative to Lee Cattermole.
The Swans are in a free-fall and need to add depth if they plan on continuing their Europa League run while avoiding relegation. Wilfried Bony has improved of late but with Michu’s injury, the Swans should look to bring in another option up top. On the wings, Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer’s health issues could demand a new player be brought in while the center of the park has been solid with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Jonathan De Guzman and Jose Canas. Michael Laudrup can’t afford to lose anyone from his defense, especially Ashley Williams, and could use some added strength at right-back where Angel Rangel and Dwight Tiendalli have been average at best.
Spurs arguably have more depth than any club in the Premier League so purchases are unlikely although we may see Tim Sherwood bring in a young striker to replace the loss of Jermain Defoe (to Toronto FC) and add cover to Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado.
WEST HAM UNITED
If West Ham are to avoid relegation they must purchase a new striker. Andy Carroll recently returned from injury but the Hammers must provide cover in case the injury-prone Geordie goes down again. In the midfield, holding on to Ravel Morrison is an absolute must while bringing in another creative force to operate behind the strikers could be a good move considering Kevin Nolan’s underwhelming season and Mo Diame’s new knee injury. At the back, Roger Johnson was brought in earlier this month but has struggled meaning Sam Allardyce would do well to bring in a center-back of proven quality.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
The Albion made the unpopular decision to sell Shane Long but have cover up top in Saido Berahino, Nicholas Anelka and Victor Anichebe. Pepe Mel’s side could use some strengthening at right-back where Billy Jones has been average at best but money issues will constrict their ability to buy.