What a great way to start off the season, with a win! Not only a win, but a clean sheet! It is fair to say that we dominated against Cardiff, they rarely threatened Jussi in that match. There were no complaints about the result after the match, but the complaints came thick and fast before the match. This was because of the outdated line up that Big Sam decided to play.
With it being the first game of the season, it is fair to say that we were all expecting the new signings to be showcased. However this wasn’t the case. New signings Stewart Downing and Razvan Rat were benched, which seemed like a strange thing to do. Andy Carroll of course was out injured for this game and goalkeeper Adrian, was always going to be used as back up for Jaaskalainen. Before the game we all thought that Downing would be put on the wing, in place of Joe Cole. Cole, of course, proved us all wrong grabbing an early goal for the Hammers. Downing did eventually feature for the last 30 minutes of the game, where he impressed immensely.
The big question, and perhaps the main point for this article is the fact of why was Razvan Rat kept on the bench. When Rat was signed on a free at the beginning of the summer we were all expecting him to be a regular first team player, as after of all he is our only fit left footed full back. George McCartney, yes he is still here, is still in the treatment room after suffering another injury last season, so surely it would have been a certainty for Rat to start? However this was not the case. A player who is a natural left back and has Champions League experience should surely have started instead of Joey O’Brien. He should also have been put on during the game just to get a run out and show what he is made of, the same goes for Ravel Morrison.
This leads me to believe that maybe Rat, isn’t so spectacular after all. Maybe he is no better than we’ve already got. Although I’m hoping it is a case of he is not match fit yet or Big Sam preferred to go with a team that he already has a greater understanding of. By implementing this new signings maybe it would have upset this understanding in some way.