Ayew nets winner in end of season victory
As the full-time whistle blew on one of the strangest West Ham seasons in our history, at least it was the travelling Claret and Blue army who were celebrating despite a Burnley pitch invasion. Irony always manages to play its part when it comes to West Ham United and how ironic was it that on a day where we didn’t even have a full squad to boast, we produced one of our best performances of the season. It looked like it was to be another long afternoon of poor Football when on 23 minutes Sam Vokes punished some characteristically clumsy defending from our back three, to put The Clarets ahead on the break against the run of play. The suggestion that the players were now playing for the future of Slaven Bilic was beginning to become clear at that stage and thankfully for The Croat just four minutes later we were level. One of our best team moves of the season was calmly finished off by Sofiane Feghouli for his fourth goal in all competitions of the season. The hosts never really looked like they were going to threaten us after that and after a few missed chances; we finally managed to get the winner 18 minutes from time. Some neat play in and around the box saw the ball fall for Edimilson Fernandes, his rocket of a shot was parried by Tom Heaton and after striking the bar, the ball fell for Andre Ayew who tapped in his with his head for his sixth League game of an injury-blighted season. For all our ups and downs in this transitional season, we ended with a real flourish and the biggest shock of our season would surely be if Slaven Bilic doesn’t manage to keep his job after the talks that are set to take place in the coming days.
Hammers finish poor season in mid table
It seemed like just yesterday when we were dreaming of The Champions League with three games to go of last season. However, it wasn’t to be and we would lose two of our last three games to finish well below we should have in seventh place with a final day defeat at the hands of Stoke City, but fast forward 12 months and are we in a lot worse position? However well we played last season we still finished below ourselves and were dumped out of the Europa League early, however poorly we have played this season there is no doubt that we have finished above where we should have and only one point off seventh place and there is one huge difference, this time we have finished with an win. We have avoided the drop, Slaven Bilic has looked to have kept his job and many fans are suggesting that the future looks brighter than it did 12 months ago. While Upton Park lays in ruin, The London Stadium is beginning to feel more and more like home every day and with star players like Michail Antonio aiming for The Champions League; it really is hard to argue with that opinion. There is no doubting that to progress next season we must get our recruitment a lot better than we did last summer, but if we can do that, surely most fans will believe that we can be again competing for Europe. This season has finished comparatively well and we have some of the brightest youngsters in world Football on our books, the same youngsters that have just gained promotion to The PL2 Division One. Starting with yesterday’s win, surely it is time for Hammers ‘fans to start looking forwards and stop looking back.
Ayew offers positive outlook
Our club record signing Andre Ayew has offered fans a positive outlook on our up and down season as we finished with a win at Turf Moor yesterday. The Ghanaian scored the winner after being heavily criticised last week for missing a sitter against Liverpool, but the front man was in buoyant mood in a post-match interview with WHUFC.com, saying: “I’m happy to score today. Overall, the season has been difficult, but we’re just a point away from eighth spot at the end of the day”. Ayew was signed last August for a club record fee in excess of £20 million, but the former Swansea man picked up a long term injury in his first game in a West Ham shirt and spent a large chunk of the season out injured and at The AFCON with Ghana. Despite this Ayew has still managed to pop up with six Premier League goals and there is no doubt that we are yet to see the best of the former Marseille man.
Here is how each featuring player ranked out of ten in our 1-2 victory at Turf Moor yesterday.
Adrian:7, Byram:6, Ogbonna:6, Fonte:7, Collins:7, Cresswell:7, Fernandes:8, Rice:6, Snodgrass:6, Lanzini:7, Feghouli:8, Ayew:8, Fletcher:7.