John Cleese in clockwise best describes how it is being a West Ham fan, going to Old Trafford is never an easy prospect, but three draws in last four visits there said to me we are not the push overs we have been in the past.
At 6 o’clock on Saturday though, it was the fact I had hope before the game kicked off that left a bad taste in my mouth. I have witnessed worse defeats there though, a 6-0 cup defeat, a 7-1 as well springs to mind, a game West Ham took the lead in after 2 minutes, only to fold and surrender, but generally with the opening day of the season both teams start equal, neither have an idea what the season holds and both start, or should start, fresh and eager. What we witnessed is the difference in the value of signings, West Ham sign Hernandez, an Ex Man United player, and remember they don’t generally let top players leave, for £16 million while United have signed an 80 million pound striker. In fact, we have spent just £40 million in total so far compared to Man United’s £147 million.
Lukaku was nailed on to score against us, nine goals in 10 games for Everton was his best return against a single team, and that was with Everton’s midfield supplying him. United’s midfield knocks spots off theirs so the fact he only got two possibly could be the surprise.
It is hard to actually draw any positives from the game, not one player that started the game I could only say stood out. Perhaps that’s harsh on Hernandez, who ran around, chased and harried, even realising that the best thing for him was to drop back to receive the ball to his feet, instead of the aimless punts up to him when he leads the line. There was one bright light actually, the appearance of another academy prospect, Declan Rice. The 18-year-old played above his years for the short time he was on the pitch and showed great passing technique when he had the ball, I look forward to hopefully his continued presence and appearances for the first team. When you title yourself “The Academy of Football” you do need to make sure the production line is always running, and Rice looks ready enough to stay in the squad. In regard to Sunday, all we can do is simply acknowledge it was rubbish and move on to the next game, it is not worth dwelling on or really pulling apart in detail as that will only destroy any hope that may be left we have for the season.
The hope I have is that when we play against our peers, like Southampton who we meet Saturday, that we can play in a way that shows progression will happen this season and we won’t just revert to the same old West Ham teams of old that promise so much, and basically deliver sweet nothing.