Pardew suffers festive overload
West Ham 0 - Sheffield United 2
Tuesday 04 January 2005
The best away record in the Championship was further improved yesterday afternoon as Sheffield United reinforced their position in the play-off places at the expense of one of their main rivals.
Despite claiming their best result of the campaign in winning away at Ipswich at the weekend, this was clearly a match too far for West Ham. Two wins and a draw had been the east Londoners' record over the festive period and Alan Pardew must have wished the glut of games could have stopped there. This sorry display brought a bitter end to that run.
The home fans were not slow to remind him of their feelings either, with brief chants of "We want Pardew out" emerging after Leigh Bromby, a defender, had volleyed, unchallenged, past Stephen Bywater from 20 yards to double the Blades' lead.
Pardew acknowledged those chants, saying: "After a performance like this there is pressure on me. It's a results business."
That goal came 20 minutes after United's opener. With no team looking willing or able to break the deadlock, Derek Geary's harmless cross from the right five minutes before the break caused enough confusion for Tomas Repka to poke the ball past Bywater.
For Sheffield's part, this was the perfect away performance, and Warnock's men have now won eight times on the road, better even than the two sides alternating at the head of the Championship, Ipswich and Wigan. If they could begin to duplicate this form at Bramall Lane, the perennial play-off contenders could yet mount a challenge for automatic promotion.
Although Wigan did show the Blades on Saturday that they still have a way to go with a 2-0 win, the gap between the sides is only two points and yesterday's win for Warnock's charges - their third in the four games since Boxing Day - lifts them into fifth place, with West Ham slipping to sixth.
Warnock was impressed with what he saw. "This was as good a performance as I've seen in my career," he said, "especially if you look at the circumstances with our defeat at the weekend. We could have been lambs to the slaughter."
The Hammers' failings were obvious right until virtually the last kick of the game. Luke Chadwick managed to round Paddy Kenny in the dying moments, but with an open goal in front of him, Bromby managed to stick out a foot to deny the midfielder some small consolation from the afternoon.
Chadwick and his fellow substitute Sergei Rebrov had provided the only glimmers of hope for the home side, with the Ukrainian beating two players and then shooting low past Kenny's post from 25 yards after 64 minutes.
But with the Hammers - who are still without Teddy Sheringham - displaying a desperate lack of imagination, the visitors were able to cope comfortably with their one-dimensional approach. A disappointed Pardew did not spare the rod either, saying: "Some of our displays were not good enough. We had no answers today."
West Ham United (4-4-2): Bywater; Mullins, Repka, Mackay (Cohen, 79), Powell; Williams, Fletcher, Reo-Coker, Etherington (Chadwick, h-t); Zamora (Rebrov, h/t), Harewood. Substitutes not used: Burch (gk), Ferdinand.
Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Bromby, Morgan, Cullip, Harley; Geary, Quinn, Jagielka, Tonge (Wright, 71); Liddell (Montgomery, 77), Gray (Cadamarteri, 89). Substitutes not used: Thirlwell, Forte.
Referee: T Kettle (Berks).
Latest in Sport
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker forced into hospital ahead of Manchester United clash - reports
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters