Irons bullet dodged


Well that was an Irons bullet dodged although one can’t help sympathising with Burnley writes Michael Talbot!

After waltzing to the Championship with an impressive 101 points and spending £90m in players over the summer, few could have predicted the club sharing an unwanted record with the 1970-71 Newport team from the Fourth Division. However, with seven consecutive defeats at Turf Moor, they now find themselves on par with the Welsh club’s record for the worst home start to an English league season.

West Ham barely showed up in the opening 45 minutes with Burnley making all the running if not necessarily creating much. Perhaps this was due to the dreaded international break with some of our international players flying long-haul for games.

Anyway, despite maintaining a lead until the 86th minute, Burnley’s dismal form persisted, sealed by a Dara O’Shea own goal and Tomas Soucek volley. Jay Rodriguez had initially propelled the hosts ahead with a penalty, sparking hopes among fans for a first Turf Moor victory of the season.

In a frankly dull match between the bottom club with the poorest scoring record and a misfiring team without their top scorer, Jarrod Bowen, Burnley’s Luca Koleosho emerged as a positive note in an otherwise challenging season. Koleosho’s impactful run into the box led to a controversial no-call despite clear contact from “bad boy” Coufal,

Moyes-Alvarez-West Ham-Olympiacos_Europa

Irons bullet dodged

Although Koleosho eventually earned a penalty, expertly converted by Rodriguez, Burnley’s naivety resurfaced as they failed to secure the lead.

Four minutes from time, the hitherto anonymous Mohammed Kudus delivered a cross that brushed in off  Burnley defender Dara O’Shea.

Young Divin Mubama had applied pressure on O’Shea and thought he had the goal, only for replays to show a deflection. Then in the first minute of added time Mohammed Kudus provided the pivotal assist for Soucek’s goal, securing West Ham’s victory and leaving Burnley cursing missed opportunities.

Despite Burnley’s disappointment,  David Moyes commended his team’s resilience and determination, acknowledging the acquisition of three crucial points in the Premier League, even on a day when their performance fell well short of their best….winning ugly indeed !

The West Ham of old would not have won that game. Indeed, we would probably have lost it. Moyes must take some credit that he has both instilled a bit of fight in the team who at least kept on trying even if barely anything came off for the first 80 or so minutes. He got his subs right, as well, which has, at earlier stages of his tenure, proved difficult for him.

Nevertheless, there’s a sense of fortune in escaping with the three points. If we replicate a similar performance against Palace in our next league game, I fear the outcome could be significantly different!

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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