The West Ham players had to earn their win over Fulham last night. In fact, we were very fortunate to take three points from the contest.
But sometimes football is about taking points from games where you don’t play that well.
And the Hammers certainly did that last night. David Moyes will be delighted that his players stuck at it and didn’t fold like they may have done previously.
Here’s five thing we learned from last night’s 1-0 win over Fulham…
Players’ strong mentality is not a flash in the pan
We have proved on numerous occasions this season that we are not a team who gives up. Look at our draw away at Tottenham, and the way in which we have bounced back after losing our first two games of the season. That strong mentality was on display once again last night. Last season we would have lost that game. But we remained solid at the back and kept plodding away in the final third. 11 points from our opening eight games is just reward for the West Ham players.
Aaron Cresswell is a player reborn
The 30-year-old has been in truly exceptional form since being moved into a back three. He has been totally transformed as a player. And the former Ipswich Town man has arguably been our best player this season. Moyes deserves great credit for switching Cresswell’s position. He was a player who the West Ham fans wanted gone in the summer. Now he seems indispensable to the way in which we play. What a remarkable turnaround!
Sebastien Haller CAN put in a shift
The 26-year-old has received plenty of criticism recently from the Hammers faithful. But you can’t knock his effort last night. And he proved that he can actually put in a shift! A little hard work goes a long way. Haller was unlucky not to score in the first-half when he hit the bar from a corner. But it was his all around contribution that he deserves most credit for. The 6ft 3in hitman didn’t stop working and he was a real handful for the Fulham defenders. Haller has to keep this up now.
New system won’t work in every game
David Moyes’ 3-4-3 or 5-4-1 system has completely changed West Ham’s fortunes this season. But the Scot must be aware that he won’t be able to use it in every single game we play. Or he will at least need to change up the personnel. We desperately needed more creativity and guile last night. And we will need that against teams who are happy to sit back and soak up pressure. Perhaps in these type of games we either need to switch the system up or move Pablo Fornals into central midfield alongside Tomas Soucek and drop Declan Rice back into defence. Said Benrahma could then be brought in on the left and we would instantly look more threatening. It’s certainly something to think about for Moyes.
Declan Rice isn’t infallible
We can’t criticise the 21-year-old can we. He has been our best and most consistent player over the past two seasons or so. But last night wasn’t his best game, that’s for sure. It just goes to show that the England international starlet is far from infallible and that we shouldn’t expect so much of him all the time. Rice is a world-class star in the making. Let’s just be patient with him, We know what he’s capable of, but there will undoubtedly be the odd bump in the road. The fact that we are surprised when he has an average game is testament to his quality and consistency.