Date: 24th September 2009 at 11:42am
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West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has been afflicted with a bad case of football blindness. What causes this all-too common condition amongst managers isn`t known, but it is hoped he makes a speedy recovery.

‘It was an unexpected defeat,` he told fans site KUMB.com, referring to his side`s Carling Cup exit at Bolton. ‘I didn`t expect that, to be honest, because the way things were going on the pitch, I was waiting for the second goal to come at any moment. It was very disappointing.

‘When you build up so many opportunities, you need to obviously do better. That was it, really.

‘On the other hand, we defended corner-kicks and free-kicks so well the whole evening, so I wasn`t expecting that. There are moments in the game when you have to raise your attention a little more and deal with those situations better.`

West Ham were the better team early on, showing good passing and movement, albeit without much of an end product, but by the half hour mark, Bolton were well in control and should have gone into the break ahead, Ivan Klasnic producing the miss of the season from close range. When Zola`s men took the lead (from a corner) it was entirely against the run of play.

The Wanderers had 21 corners in the game, not exactly the mark of a side under the cosh. Most of them either didn`t beat the first man, or were delivered straight into the arms of goal keeper, Robert Green. The one effort that was placed correctly resulted in a goal.

There was only ever going to be one winner in extra time. Gary Cahill`s superlative strike caught the eye and then there was a much needed goal for Johan Elmander, courtesy of some sterling work down the right by Lee Chung-Yong. Bolton were good value for the victory.

Zola`s an engaging character, and football rivalries aside, its difficult not to wish him well. But the Italian is well wide with his assessment. He needs to watch a replay of the game, wearing glasses to correct that rose-tinted vision.

 

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