Birthday Boys Both Had A Point To Prove In 2-0 FA Cup Win

Adrian San Miguel and Andrew Thomas Carroll share today as their birthday, both made a rare starting appearance in the 2-0 FA Cup victory over a very strong and well drilled Birmingham City side who, under the guidance of Gary Monk, were definitely not at the London Stadium just to make up the numbers.

Adrian was his usual bullish self, managing to combine a 'safe pair of hands' with just a little bit of his trademark flouting with danger that is part of his footballing DNA, Carroll was obviously very ring rusty as was shown by the multitude of chances he failed to convert. However Big Andy kept on going, even managing a superb goal line clearance that could have changed the outcome of the game entirely if the ball had gone in, what was really encouraging was that Carroll didn't give up, he also didn't become reckless which showed a new maturity, a maturity that was finally rewarded at the very end of the match with a neatly taken header courtesy of a Michail Antonio cross.

Antonio himself looks a totally different player from the 'excuse' that he was earlier in the season, he is now back to his swashbuckling best even if that does include some woeful finishing, but the point is that he is trying. Sooner or later he will find his shooting boots and begin to contribute a few more goals. Perhaps 'Pelle' might wish to arrange a little shooting practice for the Wandworth born winger who now looks as exciting as he was when he oginally joined Hammers from Nottingham Forest for a bargain £7 Million on the last day of the transfer window in 2015. It is easy to forget that after starting out as an amateur with Tooting & Mitcham Antonio had spells with Reading, Cheltenham Town, Southampton, Colchester United, Sheffield Wednesday as well as Nottingham Forest before joining West Ham.

The tie against Birmingham was a cup upset in the waiting, Hammers have done well to steer clear of 'lower league' inflicted damage and will hope that ball number 22 is drawn at home, hopefully against league strugglers if not a high profile team, essentially any club except for Tottenham who Hammers have been drawn against on too many occasions of late.

Happy birthday Adrian and Andy, don't go out and celebrate too much will you? - Ed

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