Football: O'Neill made to reflect upon decision to stay

West Ham United 3 Leicester City 2

THIS WAS Leicester's first defeat in 10 matches, a spell that Martin O'Neill insists has more to do with his players' attitude than his own decision to remain at Filbert Street instead of moving to Leeds. But the sight of Leicester struggling to compensate for the absence of the injured Emile Heskey would be enough to make any ambitious manager yearn for a chance at a wealthier club, and the chances are that O'Neill is still waking up in the middle of the night with David O'Leary's smile imprinted on his mind.

On Saturday O'Neill also felt obliged to leave the rejuvenated but recently injured Tony Cottee on the bench at his former club. In attack he paired the reserve striker Graham Fenton with another Hammers fan, Muzzy Izzet, who must be wondering if he, too, needs a move to a bigger club to earn wider recognition for his work in midfield after being overlooked again by the England coach, Glenn Hoddle.

Thanks to West Ham's own defensive deficiencies as much as anything else, with Neil Ruddock suspended and Rio Ferdinand looking about as safe as newly condemned houses, the makeshift formula seemed to be working when Izzet fired Leicester into a 26th-minute lead after a neat build-up involving the three midfield men: Parker, Lennon and Ullathorne. But it proved merely an illusion and it was not until the last 10 minutes, with the game virtually lost, that Leicester became an attacking force once again.

It must be deeply frustrating for O'Neill to see his colleagues in the managerial game like Alex Ferguson leave strikers such as Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer out of the Manchester United side, and even West Ham could afford the luxury of leaving John Hartson on the bench on Saturday. In his absence, Paul Kitson was a revelation, if only because it seems so long since he has played regularly that most have forgotten why Harry Redknapp bought him from Newcastle in the first place.

His first Premiership goal for almost 11 months, against the club where his career began, put the Hammers back on level terms and he and Ian Wright - prepared to drop deeper these days and provide passes such as the one that set up Kitson - have the makings of a good understanding.

Behind them Redknapp has assembled yet another new midfield unit, one that looks his best yet with the excellent Eyal Berkovic supported ably by the industry and sharp-shooting of Steve Lomas and Frank Lampard, whose deflected shots took West Ham into a 3-1 lead.

Trevor Sinclair and Marc Keller, signed from Karlsruhe in the summer, also contributed to an impressive second-half performance that was only spoiled in the closing stages by Lampard's unlucky own goal.

Goals: Izzet (28) 0-1; Kitson (37) 1-1; Lomas (56) 2-1; Lampard (76) 3-1; Lampard og (87) 3-2.

West Ham United (3-5-2): Hislop; Pearce, Ferdinand, Dicks; Sinclair, Lomas, Berkovic, Lampard, Keller; Wright, Kitson (Moncur, 90). Substitutes not used: Breacker, Potts, Hartson, Sealey (gk).

Leicester City (5-3-2): Keller; Savage, Sinclair, Elliott, Walsh, Guppy; Lennon, Ullathorne, Parker (Campbell, 61); Izzet (Cottee, 66), Fenton (Wilson, 71). Substitutes not used: Oakes, Arphexad (gk).

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).

Bookings: West Ham: Wright. Leicester: Savage.

Man of the match: Lomas.

Attendance: 25,462.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup