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Big players on way back as Hammers stride on

Well, to coin an emerging cliche: If you had offered us 3-3 before the game I reckon we’d have taken it but it was the result which was of little use to either of us.

However, working on the cup half full principle we are now on the same number of games as Chelsea and a point closer to them.

Neither Everton or Spurs can catch us with their game in hand as the Toffees have have a seven goal inferior goal difference to us.

So we move on to Wolves away and Leicester at home and the big bonus will be that Arthur Masuaku will be back to patrol a left side that has looked short on serious attacking enterprise.

I reckon that will make a big difference and if reports are correct we will see Oggy shortly afterward and Fornals will also be involved again,

Benrahma got his chance today but all of the injured are expecting to be back after the break and he simply hasn’t shown enough to be considered a starter.

If I’m brutally honest, which I really don’t want to be as I’m no lover of extreme points of view I wonder how we came to pay £25 million for this man, £17 million for Tomas and £5,5 million for Vlad.

Manu Lanzini doesn’t appear to be a serious part of David Moyes’ mindset when Mark Noble remains an apparently serious option for him.

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Back to today and sometimes we have to give credit where it was due and fair play to Arsenal – they certainly earned their point.

With two or three of our big players back we’ll be better and should we not be beaten in the upcoming games against Wolves, Leicester, Newcastle and Chelsea we are gonna be looking good for the last handful against Burnley – the toughest – Everton, Brighton, West Brom and Southampton.

Disappointed today of course but this is a squad with guts, spirit and resilience. We need to show the same qualities!



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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

16 comments on “Big players on way back as Hammers stride on

  1. “but this is a squad with guts, spirit and resilience” so why then did we capitulate after Arsenal scored?
    I’m absolutely gutted that we had Arsenal on the ropes and we let a three goal lead slip and your talking about the hammers striding on like it’s okay we got a point.

    • Capitulate – here come the extremes – they went up the gears, have game changing players and deserved credit as we did at Spurs.

    • Why was a point of little use to either of us. The commentator on the telly said the same thing but I don’t get it. A point is a point is a point. At the end of the season one point could be the difference between Europe or not. Tottenham got nil points against Arsenal. We got one. So today was a point gained on Tottenham. Very useful if you ask me.

      • Did you read the entire comment?

        • Sorry Hugh, we were 3 goals to the good and we are a better team this season than Arsenal, so forgive me for feeling that we should have done better and that we didnt see the game out when we had them on the rack and that may come back to haunt us. I for one expected us to beat them today, so I’d be pretty upset as a player coming away with that result.

    • Masuaku “Big player”? What planet are you from? He cannot defend, he does not shoot or score and he’s hardly big of assists. Liability more than anything IMHO.

      • did you miss the irst 10 games of the season when he was playing out of his skin? short memory, i guess 😒

  2. What got to me is we took our foot off the peddle, we have to be more deadly and finish teams totally, just like Man c . Go for the jugular every time but hey that’s next season. I’m a big fan of Noble but he’s not up to it these days sad to say

  3. Arsenal’s first goal really rocked us onto the back foot. It exposed our frailties, just as we exposed theirs earlier, we probably should have done better defensively in wider areas (left).
    When you compare both benches, we had no attacking players to turn to, gunners did and it helped them sustain momentum. Today our game management was equally good and poor, the returning player’s hopefully enable us to play 3-4-3, or 3-5-2 as this suits our squad better as we have witnessed we are vulnerable playing a flat back four when faced with pace and good off the ball movement when under pressure.
    Nine more games to play, if they are played on the front foot throughout the entire 90 minutes we can hopefully achieve an all time high points tally, who knows it may even be enough for a European spot.

  4. “A left side that looks short of serious attacking enterprise “. I’d say a left side that’s short of defensive qualities big time!

  5. I just don’t get it, when you say Benrahma doesn’t do enough. In the first 35 minutes when we absolutely murdered them, we were constantly raiding down their left flank. Benrahma, Lingard and Antonio were linking up really well. Arsenal just could not contain them. Take a look at the Lingard goal. Benrahma was tight on the left hand touchline, surrounded by Arsenal players. He played a divine ball forward to Antonio who took it on. Benrahma then went on a forward run past Antonio taking two Arsenal defenders. This allowed Antonio to pull the ball back for Lingard who smashed it in the back of the net. Even the commentators were saying how well Benrahma & Lingard were playing and linking up. He was a constant menace running with the ball linking well and making things happen. In the second half Antonio was fractions of a centimetre from a great run and cross from Benrahma. That would have wrapped the match up. I just despair that players that make things happen don’t get the recognition, that other players that do sod all get. And as for Masuaku, you must have a very short memory. There have been games when he has been absolutely awful. And when it come to defending just forget it. The guy cant defend to save his life. Fornals is a much better choice to play on the left hand side of a three man midfield with Rice & Soucek. With Benrahma & Lingard playing just ahead of those three and Antonio up front, is our best team, by far. Benrahma hasn’t had any stinkers. Masuaku has.

    • Just have to disagree. Lingard goal and assist – easy for any player to play with. Johnson or Masuaku who doesn’t play full back anymore and has more about him than a young right back playing as a left sided midfielder. No not a short memory at all. I know his failings but who would you prefer down that side

    • Sorry cannot agree, Masuaka not good enough for premiership, even as an attacking wing back, cannot defend at all, ball watches, suspect to reverse passes… Fornals much better all round option…. Noble “over and out” let’s admit it the decision to “honour” him with a contract extension was a sentimental decision… not a footballing one, just look at our results when he is involved…honest endeavour is not enough in this league… I personally like Benrahma, but also question his defencive duties. Cresswell so weak defensively always has to be covered for… Too many like for like players who are OK going forward but weak defencively ie Masuaka, Lanzini, Bowen, Benrahma and Johnson shows promise but needs to be played in the correct position. ie on the right… Leicester, Wolves and Chelsea will be extremely tough games, gosh can’t believe how many supporters take it for granted we will beat them especially Leicester and Chelsea who are flying… 🤞🤞🤞

  6. Like other readers I was disappointed that we didn’t hold on to our lead – I agree that 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 would allow us to defend the flanks better – to me it seemed that when Saka was on the left even Coufal struggled a bit. Our problem was not being able to keep the ball and break out of our half – Lingaard is very good at keeping possession but we need other players to help

    We are still a work in progress – but Arsenal are potentially a top team – as they showed last week against Spurs and at the end of last season when they won the FA cup. We have outlasted the other surprise teams of the early part of the season (Southampton and Villa) – but Top Four is a big ask and I would still see any finish in the top half as progress

    Lets hope that we manage to sign Lindegaard on a permanent deal


  7. Moyes obviously has lots of credit in the bank, but both against Utd and Arsenal he could gave done better
    We should have attacked Utd the way leicester did, it was clear in cup noble want up to playing Utd but Moyes picked him again
    Against Arsenal it was clear our left side was a problem but Moyes didnt make the necessary tactical change
    Lets hope he and his team sort these issues out ASAP
    No matter what happens from here on in its been a fantastic season COYI

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