Fabulous Fornals looks for starting spot


By Hughie Southon

Pablo Fornals landed the man of the match award for his performance in the match against Derby County and thoroughly deserved it.

He made five tackles – more than any other Hammer on the pitch – and his passing success rate was at a high of 76%  success rate, despite operating mainly in the attacking third of the pitch.

That’s going some and he may well have put himself right back in the frame for a place in the a starting line up for the Newcastle match – one from which we will be seriously looking for points ahead of games against Chelsea and Spurs.

The Spaniard was also involved in the second goal wen his forward pass found Bowen to cross for Antonio, who nodded home the Irons’ second of the night.

It wasn’t the best game,” the No8 joked, “but a win is obviously a win; we scored twice, and got a clean sheet – it is just about growing from this now.”

Michail Antonio celebrates his goal at Derby with Pablo Fornals
Pablo Fornals congratulates Michail Antonio on his goal against Derby

Fornals, who was part of the West Ham United side whose last match at Newcastle produced a 4-2 win on the opening day of the 2021/22 season, is confident the Irons can build on recent victories over Derby and Everton in the next weeks.

“Man for man, I think this season we are far better than we were last season,” he stated. “We have to keep believing in that. We need to try to play as everyone knows, try to keep the ball, and hopefully [keep going now] after these two wins.

“At the beginning of the season, we weren’t taking all these chances…but I think the most important thing is getting clean sheets and getting stronger at the back too.

“All the people with the West Ham badge want the same, the most important thing is to try and keep everyone together.”

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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


  • johnham1 says:

    Its unthinkable how Moyes cannot see what a wonderful talent he is and imo he should be one of the first names on the team sheet. His work ethic, his passion, his intelligence on and off the ball is obviously too much for our Moyes. To be honest I did not think he was at his brilliant best last night but half a Fornals is better than a full Soucek. We love you Fornals no matter what Moyes thinks.

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