West Ham vs Bristol City: A Draw But No Diouf

We'll take a draw over Diouf any day
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We'll take a draw over Diouf any day

It was supposed to be simple. We'd already picked up two wins on the bounce and now all West Ham had to do was beat Bristol City, a team mired in the relegation zone at home. After labouring to a disappointing and ugly 0-0 draw West Ham are 5 points behind Southampton in the race for the Championship.

Things not clicking for Frederic Piquionne isn't news for West Ham fans, he's never terrified goal keepers at whatever level he's played at. Sam Baldock misfiring is a lot more worrying, and demonstrates the importance of the young striker to West Ham's game. Coming off the back of 10 in 12 for the club, it was hoped he could chip in with a few more to win all three points. Allardyce took him off in the second half, a recognition that the young striker was struggling. It's always good to see young talent play for your club but it is worrying to see that we might be becoming dependent on a 22 year old striker for our goals. The fans showed their frustration with the decision to take off Baldock. The booing a recognition of the player's rising status since his move from MK Dons.

It's always good to see young talent play for your club but it is worrying to see that we might be becoming dependent on a 22 year old striker for our goals.

Both Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan have contributed well this season in terms of goals but neither was able to convert tonight with Nolan having a poor game in comparison with his season so far. Mark Noble was also wasteful, spurning a header at the death.

While we lacked for goals, every West Ham fan breathed a sigh of relief when Allardyce turned to the bench and El Hadji Diouf wasn't there. The club has already got 5 forwards on its books and the team is starting to develop a sense of cohesiveness on the playing field which is yielding results most match days. It wasn't worth in football terms bringing a disruptive presence into the set up, only to see him leave after a few months.

We've had success this season so far and signing Diouf would have been a disaster both on and off the field, a throw back to the last few years when the club would throw money at whatever journeyman who would deign us with his presence: Mido and Bennie McCarthy to name but two. They've been failures on the pitch and have impeded the progression of youngsters into the first team. What the club needs is a long term outlook, placing its trust in young players like Sears and Baldock rather than Allardyce trying to sign a reminder of his days in the Premier League.

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