Football: Waddle performs old-time trickery

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Wednesday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

West Ham United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

WE TEND not to call them 'wingers' anymore, so people think we shall never see the like of Matthews or Finney or Best again. Don't you believe it. Chris Waddle had the sort of match that old men tell their grandchildren about, and West Ham will not forget him in a hurry either.

Much of it came out of the

outside-right's handbook, 1954 edition; the body-swerves, the sleight- of-foot, the electric acceleration and sudden changes of direction, the old-fashioned ability to dribble round a queue of defenders, get to the byline and pick out a colleague with a pinpoint cross.

But on a good day there is more to Waddle than that. His vision and distribution and his willingness to operate from any part of the pitch stamp him as a modern midfielder, and he can score goals like a striker, too. On Saturday, Waddle had a good day.

'He dominated the game, and was a problem every time he got the ball. Some of his touches were brilliant,' his manager, Trevor Francis, said.

Andy Pearce returned to Wednesday's defence, releasing Carlton Palmer to make gangling runs from midfield and West Ham never looked like continuing their revival. A combination of near- misses and the goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko denied Wednesday for 35 minutes but then Waddle won yet another corner. Pearce headed it against the bar and it ricocheted off Mike Marsh into the net.

The Hammers stuck to their one- touch passing game, but without a winger they lacked width. A hopeful lob by Ian Bishop just before the break was the nearest they came to troubling Kevin Pressman.

It began with Waddle cutting

inside to split the defence with a curling pass which Mark Bright slammed past Miklosko from two yards. Then Palmer released Waddle to stride through the retreating defence and hit a low drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Waddle was in flamboyant mood now and an intoxicating 30-yard stroll through claret shirts gave Nigel Jemson the easiest of finishes. Palmer, put clear by Roland Nilsson, coolly hit the fifth.

Goals: Marsh og (35), Bright (47), Waddle (51), Jemson (72), Palmer (87).

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Nillson, Walker, Pearce, Worthington; Waddle, Hyde, Palmer, Bart-Williams; Jemson, Bright. Substitutes not used: Poric, Watson, Woods (gk).

West Ham United (4-4-2): Miklosko; Breacker, Gale, Potts, Burrows; Marsh, Bishop (Allen, 75), Butler, Holmes (Boere, 67); Chapman, Morley.

Substitute not used: Peyton (gk).

Referee: D Frampton (Poole).