Irons beaten but let’s not have a panic attack

Hopefully Sanchez can bring more strength to the midfield party.

By Hugh Southon

Those of us who live their lives in a Hammers bubble rather than the wider football world (err that may be a memo to myself) will have been bitterly disappointed this afternoon.

Having spent the summer focused on the enormous and optimistic changes that have taken place inside our club, it’s all too easy to realise to forget the sort of money spent on the red side of Merseyside – home of last season’s  Champions league finalists and a certain Mo Salah!

They, my friends are one hell of a side and just as was the case when we visited their near neighbours Man U last year, to be beaten by the same scoreline, we travelled on a wing and a prayer rather than in any realistic ‘we can win it’ ambition.

I couldn’t get a stream today and have to rely on a variety of differing views on individuals and tactical approach but my one fear ahead of the game was the midfield.

However, those in that area played today is immaterial really although I believe they were outnumbered and out pressed from what I’ve been told – no surprise there.

I have written before that this is an area that worried me and it will be interesting to see if  Carlos Sanchez can bring some real strength to the midfield party after Nobes, Dec and Jack and later Snoddy seem to have been put on the ropes.

The reality is  that expecting an overnight miracle from a team with a handful of pre-season excursions under a new boss who wants them to adapt to a different style whilst make a rapid assessment of their abilities, is a very big ask indeed.

To expect it to happen at Anfield is…., well, almost in the land of fantasy!

Yeah, I know I bleated on about first day shocks and travelling in optimism in my pre-match blog but listen “I’m an Iron!” It’s what we do 🙂

Sean wrote earlier that however good a manager Pelerini may be, gelling the team together will take a number of games – he nailed it.

At the end of it all, nothing much has changed – we expected to get beat by a very good team and we did. We wait for Bournemouth but let’s not imagine that is going to be easy either. They are a very competent and reasonably settle Premier League side. We will remain a work in progress for a few weeks.

We are just 90 minutes into the new season with a nearly entirely new team. A lot of patience will be required.


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

8 comments on “Irons beaten but let’s not have a panic attack

  1. Does any body think that we should sign Ya Ya Toure as a free agent to fasten up our midfielders or be a holding midfielder ?? He couldn’t be any slower than the one’s we have at the moment?? Its worked out with Zabaleta in the right back position ??? Just putting it out there😊???

    • Yes is the short answer Dusty, he wouldn’t have been on my list before the window but when we didn’t sign a CDM I suggested the same near deadline day, we need some presence in that midfield, Obiang’s head is in the wrong place imho and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sold before the Italian window shuts.

  2. Let”s see what Sanchez is about Dusty

  3. I have seen some positives this season already.For a start the owners went out and signed up a Premiership winning manager,they then took a back seat while Pelle spent £100m on players he felt would improve the side as he knows what it takes to win a Championship.As with a lot of teams we signed 2 players on deadline day,some others returned late from the world cup,so the pre-season training has been sketchy to say the least.Pelle knows what he is doing but it will be a while before we have a settled side and performing to our maximum.Don’t panic yet!

  4. Still no legs in midfield I’m afraid Hugh. Wilshere looked poorer than he was because his options were so limited by isolated players in front of him. Rice was shown up for the novice he still is, and was rightly replaced at half-time, (had Moyes done this you would be all over him Hugh), and unfortunately Nobes has just handed his critics all of the ammo they need with such a poor display.
    But before we reach for the whiskey, there were signs of things to come maybe. If we can get quality ball to Anderson, Arnie and Yarmi then we will do damage. Fabianski looks good but the two full backs, Fredricks and Arthur, who had to cut crosses out if our high line was going to work, were both very poor defensively and let Liverpool in time after time.

    It will take time for a new manager and ten new players to bed in. Terrible start but looking on the bright side we can only get better!

    • Well said.Would be brilliant to have someone like Keita who looked class for them.Its what we have been crying out for .Poor Nobes just hasn’t got the legs,Rice is a novice in midfield and Wilshere needs support and ball winners around him to tick.

  5. I think we will do alright when all the players know there roles, Liverpool have been playing this system for 3 years, ours have for not much more than 3 weeks, they are also the fittest team in the league and their movement is sublime. Pelle has taken a lot of criticism for playing a high line and the offside trap and today we got caught out a few times but I actually thought the defensive line was pretty solid it was the quality at the edges that was lacking and they had close to zero support in front of them, just watched MOTD and I hadn’t noticed it during the game but frequently Noble was left isolated as the only player shielding the back four, this is the problem, defensive midfielders need to understand that they are a shield and be disciplined enough to get back when we don’t have the ball. Noble again had to make desperate challenges and was let down by his colleagues. Maybe playing Snodgrass in central midfield might be an option to improve the athleticism around the middle of the park, we certainly missed Obiang’s presence today and Yarmolenko will hopefully get fit because he is good defensively like Anderson so should shore up the wing whilst giving us a lot going forward. The team needs to gel doesn’t it, we are a bit like a donut imho there is a big hole in the middle that we need to fill if we do that with the same quality we have out wide all thing will be good, looking forward already to next week COYI !!!

  6. We’re all used to having our West Ham bubbles burst. The only thing that has worried me preseason is whilst it has been great to get all the new attacking players, the overriding requirement the last few years has been for a defensive midfielder. Bilic identified that as the one key position we required and because we didn’t get that player it probably cost him his job. We have needed a top holding/ defensive midfielder for several years now. We still haven’t got one. Kouyate was supposed to be that player. He wasn’t. The big money this year was all spent on attacking players. I thought Rice could be the answer because he was previously a midfielder who we had converted to defender but clearly rice is not the answer just yet. Maybe Sanchez is. Attacking last year wasn’t the problem. We scored plenty of goals. The problem was with our defence and letting too many goals in. Judging by today nothing has changed. I won’t judge us on that one game though away at Anfield. That could prove to be our most difficult game this whole season. I’m not going to judge us until we’ve played several teams of all abilities. Don’t think you get a true picture until your a couple of months at least into the season.

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