West Ham

A historic week for West Ham
11th September 2015

Well, what a difference two weeks can make. A new captain in the form of Mark Noble, four new deadline day arrivals and our 52-year hoodoo at Anfield is finally over.

There is only really one place to start isn’t there. I’ll be honest, I walked away from the Boleyn after our 4-3 defeat against Bournemouth feeling pretty glum, but a week later my emotions went full circle from pessimism about our season, to blind optimism.

16 July 2015 - UEFA Europa League - Qualifying 2nd Round (1st Leg) - West Ham v Birkirkara FC - Slaven Bilic, Manager of West Ham United - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Three-nil away at Liverpool, I don’t think it has truly sunk in yet. This wasn’t your average scrappy win away from home; this was a true hammering (excuse the pun.) Every single player, from Randolph in goal to Sakho up top, all played their part. It was a proper away day display. I did always have a sneaky suspicion that our style of play would be far more suited to games played away from home, and so it has proved against Arsenal and Liverpool.

A special mention must go to Manuel Lanzini, who made his full Premier League debut and starred out wide. A goal and playing a major part in the second goal with his hassling and harrying proved that he could well prove to be a shrewd purchase.

Still pinching ourselves from that win, the following Tuesday brought not one, not two, not three, but four new signings! After weeks of the board getting stick about their lack of activity, they well and truly pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

First through the door was someone well known to the Hammers’ faithful, Alex Song. Although the former Arsenal man is still injured, he will prove to be a valuable addition to the squad. Song pre-Christmas last year was unplayable at times, and further adds to the strength in depth in central midfield. With Pedro Obiang, Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate and now Song, you could make a compelling case for that area of the field to be amongst the strongest in the squad.

The club has been crying out for a bit of pace and width after some rather predictable play at home that has seen sides pick us off with ease. So the additions of Victor Moses and Michail Antonio will, I am sure, prove crucial.

Moses, although only 24, has a wealth of Premier League experience, and impressed during his loan stint at Stoke last year, bagging a goal against the Hammers. He will bring vital width and pace, which should give the Irons a useful outlet on the flanks. The Nigerian should see this as an opportunity to grab first-team action and impress on the big stage ahead of a potential permanent move in the summer as the club moves onto pastures new.

14 September 2014 - Sky Bet Championship  - Nottingham Forest v Derby County - Michail Antonio of Nottingham Forest - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

His main competition for a starting berth was the last through the door. Londoner and former Nottingham Forest and Reading man Antonio, who is finding it difficult to hide his excitement at playing for the club he watched as a boy.

The statistics speak for themselves with this lad, having already bagged four goals this season, he grabbed 15 goals and 14 assists last year, and comes to the club in a rich vein of form. He is a player that will get fans off their seats and was a firm fans’ favourite at every club he has appeared for.

He was the player I was desperate for the club to sign from all the wingers linked on deadline day, so needless to say I was delighted when the deal was finally complete. He looks strong, quick, has a keen eye for goal and is a player that as a club we have been crying out for. Fingers crossed he can produce the kind of performances he has been doing week in, week out at Forest on the biggest stage.

Finally, the striker we so desperately needed. Okay, so it wasn’t Javier Hernandez or Charlie Austin but the man who will be looking to fire the Irons up the league does have Premier League experience. Nikica Jelavic is a forward that was greeted with a mixed reaction from the Hammers’ fans.

He is a player who is well known to Slaven Bilic, having previously coached him at international level. So if there was ever a manager that was to going to get the best out of him it would be Slaven. With Bilic by his side and a new lease of life in the Premier League, I am hopeful he can produce the goods. He has scored goals at this level and has all the attributes to be a good forward to work with the likes of Diafra Sakho, Mauro Zarate, Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia.

Those four additions added to what was already a terrific window for the Hammers, and credit must go to David Gold and Sullivan. They, alongside Jack Sullivan and Dave Sullivan junior, took a lot of stick and grief on social media but soon silenced their critics to produce one of the best transfer windows in the club’s history.

So let the good times roll once more. Come on you Irons!

Author: james

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