Liverpool 0-3 West Ham United
Saturday’s 3pm kick off was the hammers fourth game of the new season, and couldn’t have been a more trickier place to come after not winning at Anfield for over 50 years.
West Ham have had a mixed start to the season with an outstanding win away to arsenal, which was then followed up by back to back home defeats to Leicester City and Bournemouth, 2 teams we should really be beating especially at home.
West Ham went into this game with only 1 fit striker in Sakho and even that was questionable as Bilic had said he was a doubt for the game with a slight injury. That all being said, last season’s top goal scorer scored his first goal of the new BPL season in what was a brilliant display from him all game. He held the ball well allowing other players to join the attacks, played on the shoulders of the Liverpool defenders not given them a minutes rest, and most important of all he ran and never gave up for the full 90 minutes which encouraged the others to follow suit.
A couple of good defensive points that we can take from this game is firstly to see Aaron Cresswell have a brilliant game getting an assist for Lanzini’s goal and a well earned clean sheet. It was important for him to come out and put last week’s errors behind him and show the talent and attitude we all know he has, and to show the fans exactly why they adore and praise him.
James Tomkins who was unlucky to find himself out of the last two games, was brought back into today to replace Jenkinson at right back after his red card last week. I think it’s safe to say he done a very good job in a position that he doesn’t often play in, it’s really good to see how he has improved and developed into a much more composed defender most notably over the past couple of seasons. He will be hoping to keep his place in the team for the games to come.
Even though the general performance may seem to be labelled as ‘park the bus’ I really don’t think it was as simple as that. Admittedly we did defend with men behind the ball but that was only when we were under immediate threat from the Liverpool attack. Once we stopped the attack, we countered quickly, with pace and precision passing that helped is to unlock a defence that hadn’t been beaten in the past 3 games before today.
The one bad point I would take from the game is that we still don’t have a sufficient amount of players. This was proved with the bench being filled up with several teenagers, a few early twenties and the oldest being Matt Jarvis at 29 years of age. This is something that needs to be addressed before next week’s transfer window deadline, or we could see us suffer in the later parts of games and the season. Personally I think we need to be bringing in another striker, midfielder and a full back. With Valencia out for a while and Carroll’s injury history we must provide Sakho and Zarate some cover for when they need a break.
A midfielder or two is needed because apart from the starting players we really don’t have much else on the bench. And apart from Cresswell and Jenkinson, the only other senior full back we have is Joey O’brien so I think we need to have some cover for when they can’t play just like today.
Man of the match
The man of the match for this game in my opinion was between two players, the new captain Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate. The Senegalese midfielder who has arguably been our best player this season with his two goals and energetic performances has just lost out for this one.
My man of the match is Mark Noble, ignore the fact he got a red card in the game because it is very clear to see that it should not have been given, he had an outstanding game in what was his first game as the official captain of the team. He had a bit of everything today, he scored a rare but very well taken goal at the KOP end which is a special feeling for any footballer. He put in countless tackles both simple and questionable ones but that’s one of the many reasons he is loved so much. But most importantly of all for me is the leadership he showed during the game, not only does he have to watch his own game but he now has the responsibility of the other 10 players. He shouted and instructed all afternoon, never stood still and never stopped speaking with the players around him, and it’s for them reasons that I think he was our man of the match for the game today.