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Attack the best form of defence for West Ham

Attack the best form of defence as Hammers clinch vital win

I’m still trying to figure out precisely what we witnessed at The London Stadium last night.

West Ham ran out 4-2 winners and deservedly so. However, it was not the sort of football we’re used to seeing the Hammers play. The early-season wins against Brighton and Chelsea stick in my mind, but they weren’t attacking games. We sat back, defended deep, and hit them on the break in perfect Moyesball style.

What we witnessed against Brentford was different, though. West Ham attacked from the very start of the game, displaying an intent which is usually absent. We’d scored twice after 6 minutes and went in at half-time having had multiple shots and more possession than the opposition.

Attack the best form for defence as Bowen scored three against Brentford

Attack the best form for defence as Bowen scored three against Brentford

Attacking start was a breath of fresh air

I’m quite sure the mainstream media will look at the Hammers’ performance and ask “What’s the problem?”. But the simple answer is that we don’t play like that… it was most unusual. If we did play on the front foot in such a fashion, I doubt there would be much complaint at all. But it was weird; even the stadium seemed to be in a state of shock.

Perhaps it was the return of Paqueta, or perhaps it was the last roll of the dice from a desperate manager. I honestly don’t know what to think, and I’m sure more will become evident over the next few days. What is clear, though, is that we didn’t play like that against Bristol City or Sheffield United, and we certainly have a habit of showing lesser teams too much respect.

I have wondered for quite a while whether attack was the best form of defence. Perhaps it is, but it’s just nice to see West Ham finally playing on the front foot.


About Gonzo

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose

One comment on “Attack the best form of defence for West Ham

  1. The new Palace manager was 100% right when he said that players (be they pro or amateur) build their love and passion for the game, as a kid wanting to score goals. That has to be the driving force behind how the game is played – a team, as one, pushing forward to score. I hope Moyes was listening to the interview, and perhaps some of last night was down to him finally adapting.

    We secured the points, and we played with some purpose and a dab of flair. You see, Mr Mainstream Media? It IS possible for West Ham to do that, and we’re not unreasonable to expect that level of performance in every game, even if we cannot guarantee the points.

    The fact is, we are actually better going forward, with the quality of players we have, than defending – when the team is given license to do so, of course. So I agree, Gonzo.

    However, one swallow doesn’t make a Summer, and there are still many questions to be answered. We regressed back into our shell and invited pressure again – back to our old, pragmatic, stand-offish ways, even at 4-1, when other teams would’ve carried on going for the jugular. It’s a mindset thing, and it’s not like our goal difference doesn’t need a little repairing…

    Naturally, we conceded again, and turned a comfortable position into one of worry. It changed the atmosphere from jubilation to trepidation, and would’ve taken the shine off the positive conversations on the journey home. It could’ve been avoided.

    Zouma played okay yesterday, but when it counts, he can’t deal with the speed of the game. Not to mention that he always looks like he’s going to trip over the ball or his own feet when he runs with it! I’d like to see Aguerd and Mavro given a run of games to cement their partnership.

    All in all, I enjoyed the game, but I felt a little uneasy at the idea that the Moyes clock might now reset… I won’t mind that if we see this kind of purpose going forward, but we’ve seen before how the team or individual players do well but we revert back to type again regardless. PLEASE, Mr Moyes, don’t make the same mistake again. Keep your shackles in your pocket and let the boys be boys.

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