Fingers crossed after Wilshere’s pre-season bow


It was pretty obvious once the second half of the first pre-season friendly started yesterday evening that Jack Wilshere had – as he promised – been putting in the hard yards.

Out for most of last season, the midfielder made it clear there would be little rest for him this summer and he became a regular visitor to Rush Green.

And his performance during that second 45 minutes against Altach was full of the sort of promise for which we have been hoping over a long time.

Some of us – and I count myself among them – had all but given up on him and of course there is still some proving to be done. Fingers crossed the ankle and general fitness holds up.

Manuel Pellegrini has regularly kept the faith and reckons he is an absolutely outstanding operator ..why else would he have handed him a three year deal.

It was of course the beautiful ball for Issa Diop’s goal that caught the eye but there was plenty else to admire via the way he held midfield together whilst producing some great disguised flicks and passes.

It’s a very crowded midfield at the Hammers this season, packed with quality players, but given Pelle’s view of the man it will be a big surprise if he isn’t involved whenever fit.

Yes, early days I know, and we are still awaiting that striker or two but with the likes of a fit Wilshere, Pablo Fornals, Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, Declan Rice and Manu Lanzini around these are exciting times.


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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


  • That honest friend says:

    Today at West Ham everyone is hoping an injury prone player can stay fit this season.

    Meanwhile we’ve missed out on a striker target and Carrol is back in training at Chadwell Heath.

    Maybe this time?

  • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

    They really are, Hugh. If we’re going to push for Europe, we need strength in depth, and when you consider that we also have Sanchez (jury still out), Snodgrass, Antonio, Diangana and some promising youth players coming through, it bodes well. I’m assuming Obiang is on his way…

    I think Antonio should be forging a path for one of the striker berths, and focus on adapting his game to become an out-and-out front man. The wings are full of promise now, so he’ll likely find more game time up top. Silva should hold the fourth spot, and if Chica stays, we only need one top striker in to steady the nerves – two if Chica jumps ship.

  • just around the corner says:

    things are looking up, at last. A more cohesive squad, signs of a decent striker coming, and a decent squad of players. I believe Haller would be a better fit than Gomez, for several reasons.

    With a squad of fit players, and over half a team of ‘top players’, the season looks rosy. Pelle et al have done very well, and when we get Haller, they can have a well earned rest!

  • ozzdog says:

    Hugh your spot on mate if Jack can stay fit we have a top class player who can perform against the best teams. I would like a top left back and striker added which will make us a hard side to beat . If all the players are fit from the back five and then Declan try picking the remaining players its a great problem to have . I don’t remember us ever having a squad so strong

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