Hodgson's task clear after West Bromwich collapse

West Bromwich Albion 3 West Ham United 3

Michael Appleton began the week hoping to become West Bromwich Albion's new head coach. He ended it feeling he had endured a "microwaved lesson" in management after a canter turned into a collapse against West Ham. Now the heat is on Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson's frazzled tenure as Liverpool manager was effectively ended when Wolverhampton Wanderers won at Anfield. A repeat victory for the Premier League's bottom side in Sunday's Black Country derby, his first match as Roberto Di Matteo's successor, could drag Albion into the relegation zone for the first time this season. No pressure there, then.

The admirable Appleton, who is expected to revert to his role as first-team coach, met Hodgson on Saturday evening to discuss how a 3-0 lead almost became a disastrous defeat. It is safe to assume that the need to ally greater ruthlessness up front, ruggedness at the back and leadership to the creativity epitomised by Graham Dorrans was high on the agenda.

Momentum, argued the caretaker, is crucial in all sports. Albion had it when Dorrans, Jerome Thomas and an own goal punished some sleepy defending. Yet it swung West Ham's way once Demba Ba scored and belonged to Avram Grant's team after further goals by Carlton Cole and Ba, whose finishing could be to this relegation struggle what Carlos Tevez's was in 2006-07.

Appleton was left with the slim consolation that it could have been worse. "When you concede a goal, it's about getting into the players' heads that 'it's OK, we knew this could happen, we need to do this or that'," he said. "It's all right saying it but you need personalities on the pitch; people to take responsibility.

"We're fantastic between both boxes. We just need to be more clinical when attacking, and when defending we need to put our foot through things and be prepared to be a bit ugly. I use the phrase 'Quickly or carefully'. If we can break quickly, do it and counter-attack. If not, play carefully, play smart. We didn't do that enough in the second half.

"I'm hoping the experience Roy brings will help them make better decisions under pressure. He has a lot to work on with myself and the other coaches. But we've got some good games coming up."

Appleton's claim that "3-0 can be a dangerous score," would have seemed risible at any other club, but Albion's physical and psychological fragility made it all too plausible. West Ham, inspired by Scott Parker's half-time rallying cry, sensed and exploited it.

Grant has work to do on West Ham's own glass-jaw defending. However, Parker argued that Ba, the Senegalese signed from Hoffenheim, could yet fire them clear. "He's looked sharp in training, quite robust and strong, and he knows where the goal is," said the England midfielder.

"I think he'll adapt well to the Premier League. Out of all the leagues the German is more similar to ours. He made a massive impact today. Hopefully that will continue because we're going to need it."

Scorers: West Brom Dorrans 3, Thomas 8, Reid (og) 32 West Ham Ba 50, 83, Cole 58.

Subs: West Brom Morrison 6 (Mulumbu, 14), Barnes 5 (Thomas, 61), Tamas 5 (Dorrans, 82) Unused Carson (gk), Pablo, Vela, Cox. West Ham Piquionne 7 (Boa Morte, 57), Spector 5 (O'Neil, 78) Unused Boffin (gk), Faubert, Hitzlsperger, Kovac, Hines.

Booked: West Brom Brunt, Dorrans West Ham Boa Morte, Noble, Spector.

Man of the match Ba Match rating 9/10.

Possession West Brom 46% West Ham 54%.

Attempts on target West Brom 12 West Ham 11.

Referee L Mason (Lancashire) Att 23,916.



Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor