Liverpool may have just completely stitched up West Ham United ahead of the season opener by waking the Man City beast.
West Ham have been extremely underwhelming in pre-season and despite David Moyes ending his 18-month search for a striker with the capture of Gianluca Scamacca, the Hammers squad is still lacking in key areas.
Pre-season is and always has been more about fitness of course.
But West Ham certainly took their swashbuckling form last summer into the season proper. So the concerns of supporters – and indeed Moyes himself – are understandable.
The first competitive action kicked off yesterday when champions Man City took on their title rivals Liverpool in the Community Shield.
Liverpool drew first blood with a 3-1 win over Pep Guardiola’s side, who travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham next weekend.
Liverpool may have just completely stitched up West Ham ahead of season opener by waking the Man City beast
While West Ham’s big arrival of the summer has been in the form of striker Scamacca, Liverpool and Man City have also made headline signings up front too.
The Community Shield clash was billed as an early line in the sand battle between Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez.
And Liverpool may have just completely stitched up West Ham ahead of the season opener by waking the Man City beast.
Any West Ham fans watching Liverpool’s exuberant post match celebrations will be fearing the same.
There are a host of analogies for this scenario. Liverpool have just woken the beast, stirred the hornets nest, poked the bear.
The match was billed – laughably – as a Nunez victory over Haaland as much as it was Liverpool over Man City and Klopp over Guardiola.
One look at Haaland’s face as he watched Liverpool celebrate, having missed a sitter late on, said everything.
If the Norwegian was not fired up before to announce himself in England, he certainly is now.
Social media has been filled with memes and posts mocking the towering striker – much of it from the Red side of Liverpool.
Given the type of driven, determined character Haaland seems to be, many West Ham fans feel it somewhat ominous he will take it out on them.
Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma will certainly have to be on their A-game and then some because on another day Haaland could have had a hat-trick against Liverpool.
For West Ham it could be argued getting Man City out of the way early on is a positive. Especially as they did not look close to their renowned rhythm in the defeat to Liverpool.
Facing one of the world’s best teams might focus a few minds in the Hammers side ahead of the season opener.
But the defeat to Liverpool may have done the same thing for Man City.
A week can make a big difference in football, though.
And if Scamacca can get up to speed quickly, with Michail Antonio back alongside him – West Ham could look a transformed team this time next week.