Let’s take a look at some of the main points of discussions from Saturday’s dramatic win over Swansea City, as Slaven Bilic completed his mission in a must-win clash to climb out of the bottom three.
“Outcast” Sakho The Unlikely Hero In Stratford
Many Hammers will only need to cast their minds back a couple of weeks and Diafra Sakho was a name that the masses thought they would never see on a Premier League team-sheet yet again, let alone score the winner in a pivotal clash.
But, that is exactly what Sakho did on Saturday afternoon having had an illegal Medical in France during the Transfer Window, however, it was his Deadline Day antics that made the headlines.
Sakho traveled back to England on Deadline Day and was met by no Hammers representative at both The London Stadium and Rush Green, ended up staying in East London and somehow managed to fit watching his Agent’s Horse win at Chelmsford in on the same day.
Well, the forward, who has just been recalled to the Senegal Squad for the first time in two years, was only in one place on Saturday and that was Stratford.
Replacing Javier Hernandez on 78 minutes, the No15 popped up magnificently in the final seconds of normal time to convert an Arthur Masuaku cross and cause a different kind of mayhem in the dying embers.
The goal may have also been significant in saving Slaven Bilic’s Job for another week, the three points also ensured a better return for September with just one narrow defeat from four.
But, for Sakho, given the right amount of Game time, a return to the type of form that saw him break records in 2014/2015 could be likely with the famous cheer of “Diafra Sakho, he scores when he wants” ringing out once again.
Hostile London Stadium Atmosphere “Difficult” For Players
Despite eventually coming away with the three points, a noticeably hostile atmosphere towards our Claret & Blue stars dominated the Sunday headlines, with a regular chorus of boos putting a dampener on proceedings.
Although the ambiance was positive at the start of the tie with Hammers getting behind their Side, it soon turned sour as the performances worsened and Swansea gained a grip on the Game.
Some of the worst receptions of the encounter were given to match-winning substitutions made by Bilic, the ball being played side-wards or backward and Andy Carroll being announced as the Man of the Match.
Keeper Joe Hart was among a few to comment of the hostility but was understandably delighted with the result, however, it is still worrying to many just how critical the fans were of Players and Staff on Saturday.
Scrappy Display From Both Sides In Drab Encounter
One catalyst of the fans’ anger at The London Stadium was, as pointed out by Hart himself, the low quality of our first-half performance and the Football all-round.
Both Sides treated supporters of both Teams to a remarkable display of losing the ball, under and overshooting crosses and failing to make clear-cut chances.
The Swans’ only real sight of goal and shot on target came in the first period as Wilfred Bony let fly from range and tested Joe Hart to pull off a magnificent save.
However, we did manage a little more in front of goal than that, as Michail Antonio’s volley forced Lukasz Fabianski into saving early on.
Carroll’s improvised volley struck the post and Diafra Sakho claimed a late winner with a superb finish. Having outlined that, it was one of those affairs where three points mattered more than how we played.
But, the bulk of the Claret & Blue Army will be hoping for a far better display and Game when we travel to Turf Moor after the International Break, despite the key win.
What Did The Managers Have To Say?
“It’s a great three points and clean sheet, nobody can say that we didn’t deserve it”.
“We started well in the first ten minutes, but then went on to play very bad in the first-half and there was a lot of pressure on the Players”.
“We deserved to be booed, it wasn’t good, but it was better when we had Lanzini on the pitch because he is the one that we have really missed”.
“(The substitutes) I made the right decision for the third time in a row, it is better to withstand the booing than do what? Nothing”.
“It is a hard feeling to know that we are going away with nothing, the least that we deserved today was a draw, I can’t say that we deserved to win”.
“In the first-half, we had control of the Game and passed the ball well, but we didn’t create enough offensively”.
“They (the midfielders) either put a lazy ball into the area, or the midfielders were looking to link up with the forwards are they were too static from the first-half to the finish”.
“I have confidence in my strikers but the application on the pitch from the Training Ground is not connected at the moment, the more you lose the more the confidence goes down”.
So, with all the Main Talking Points from Saturday’s late victory over The Swans discussed, what will we be discussing in just under two weeks? After we have faced an in-form Burnley Side under Sean Dyche.