West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola praised Newcastle after the 2-2 draw yesterday, but thought his team deserved better than to just draw the game.
Craig Bellamy – played very well yesterday
West Ham have been in good form over the last few games and they played good enterprising football yesterday at St. James Park, and obviously came for all 3 points.
It seems that Gianfranco is willing to play entertaining football, and the game was a corker, even though West Ham looked the more skilled team, with Newcastle hanging on at times, especially after Carlton Cole got the Hammer’s second goal.
After the game the polite Zola said:
“My team deserved better.” “We were playing against a very good team – they tried until the end, and believed in themselves.”
“They got the final goal which gave them a point, but my team I think deserved something better than that.”
Zola withdrew Craig Bellamy with just 10 minutes to go in the game, because his hamstring felt a little bit tight, but he also praised the former Newcastle striker for his performance yesterday in which Craig looked very sharp.
And two former Newcastle players transpired to score a great first goal for West Ham as Scott Parker (who also had a very good game) put Craig through and he made no mistake form 12 yards out.
It seemed like Bellamy really enjoyed himself yesterday at St. James’, probably because the attention was all on him, but when he was at Newcastle under Bobby Robson he was a real character and still is – but he’s a good player too.
“The way he plays, he is an example of professionalism,” “His performance was very, very good.”
Zola did not include another former Newcastle player Kieron Dyer in the 16-man squad for the trip because the former Ipswich man is still not fully match fit after a full 17 months out with a broken leg – but he should be a good player for West Ham – if the club can keep his fit, which was always a problem at Newcastle.
Zola continued about Dyer:
“He needs a bit more match-fitness and today was a game in which we needed a full squad,”
“He will have a few more games in the Reserves – and we look forward to welcoming him back at his best.”
Another former Newcastle player, Lee Bowyer, has recently gone on loan to Birmingham City and therefore was not in the Hammers’ squad yesterday.
West Ham fans have to be concerned that Zola seems to have been told he will need to sell some of his players in the summer, since he seems to have the makings of a decent team, from what we saw yesterday, and certainly they play exciting and enterprising football – that’s good to watch.