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Irons v Karlsruher: THE VERDICT!

andy-carroll-west-ham-arsenal_3445626Irons 3 Karlsruher 0


We’ve heard it a million times or more of course, that pre-season is all about getting fit and worrying about results is daft.

Frankie McAvennie told us so in an insightful  ClaretandHugh blog yesterday admitting that in his time at the club his Hammers had  been absolutely hopeless.

Never was the fitness thing more ably proved than this afternoon when goals from Andy Carroll, Sofiane Feghouli and highly exciting young prospect Ashley Fletcher gave the Irons their first win of pre-season.

ReidyThe manager had been putting them through double training regimes each day, strengthening and fitness followed by work with the football.

The difference in their performance level to the matches earlier in the week was about 200 per cent better. We look ready and to be honest if we can land that big striker we will be looking a right handful.

There was a worrying moment near the end when Cressie went down under a wicked two footed studs up lunge and we await news from the medics but he looked reasonably okay.

From front to back this was a mich better performance athough we have to put things in perspective and understand that this was a 2. Bundesliga team who whilst they had plenty of determination and effort, weren’t really that good.

From the start the tempo was up and over the 90 minutes we saw impressive performances from the likes of Feghouli , Kouyate, Antonio , Cressie, Reid  and Noble.

It’s clear now that although Antonio is playing on the right side behind Feghouli, Slav is not restricting him to a traditional right back role, instead letting him push way forard but wanting him to get back and defend when required.

It was Frankie Mc who first mentioned this yesterday in an insightful blog and it’s clear that whilst he may not be the greatest defender in the world he’s good enough and in a side containing perhaps Feghouli, Tore, Payet and Lanzini there’s ging to be plenty of excitement from these Irons.

cressieWinston looked imperious, Kouyate is starting to return to his all action self, Feghouli looks a real handful and there’s more to come from Tore who at times looked excellent.

Nordveidt? Not sure – we’ll need to see more of him. Up front AC opened his account with a nice header from a ball stood up for him at the far post by Valencia who himself looked better but still can’t stay on side when he needs to!

Then of course there’s this kid Fletcher who scored his second goal of the tour when he popped up to stab home a decent Cresswell cross after arriving as a late second half sub.

I like this kid a lot. There’s nothing flash afer he does what he’s paid to do despite the tender years. They will be saying he’s one for the future but he’s 20, looks very composed and who knows where and when this career is going to take off.

This was better, much better and if we can grab a top top striker we are going to be a good team this season. The win was very heartening and we can all feel a little relieved and look forward with confidence.


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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

7 comments on “Irons v Karlsruher: THE VERDICT!

  1. Hi Hugh, I wil start by saying I was only sporadically watching the first half but I did watch all of the second half, my view is different to yours in that I thought the tackle on Cressie was legal it was just a question of angles just like Payet and Ronaldo, as for Antonio I thought again the right side of defence was wide open, when Reid tried playing right CB he was all over the place positionally and would that side is easy to exploit with short or long diagonal balls to the corner or straight well timed passes around the corner or slide rule through the massive space between Antonio and whomever is right CB, for the brief time Byram was on and when Nordveit seemed to be playing right CB we looked a much more balanced team with a good shape I hope that’s how we will line up, all our best resilts last season came from playing that formation. I think all the players looked sharper as you would expect and Fletcher looks a good prospect he found space between the two centre backs and finished his goal really well with a side foot well placed into the corner. As you say this team were not very good so it’s hard to judge but it was nice to see the team play well, score some goals and keep a clean sheet.

  2. There were also some really slick interchanges between Tore and Feghouli. I’m really encouraged.

  3. I think it’s just. Relief to get that win a comfortable one at that, it easy to right off pre season games but a run of average peformances against average sides does start to erode confidence in players and fans alike after a while.

  4. Given that Nordveidt is more of a defensive mid, I thought he was solid in defense. He made some exquisite passes out of the back and he can get some serious height jumping. He looked comfortable in the role. I’m encouraged that he can do a job for us in defense if needed. Totally agree about Fletcher. He could be our Marcus Rashford this season. Potential is certainly there for all to see.

  5. Fletcher could be a real steal from Manure.Many of their fans were sad to see him go that I know.Proper fans might I add,not their plastics lol.I think it was only the emergence of Rashford that eased the disappointment of Fletcher going as he was highly rated by them.Certainly our gain,he could play a big part in our season if we have good cup runs as well as the league.

  6. Fletcher looks the real deal and at 20 if he gets the playing time next year could be he becomes our number 1 striker,
    With Martinez as well we probably don’t need that much cover for then the next 2 years up top,
    I like Novedt and agree if we don’t get a right footed CH he or Kouyate would be better starter then Reid in that position,
    Maybe Ginter is who we should be chasing more then Bacca
    AC just needs to keep fit and let’s hope we get that work permit,

  7. Biggest plus for me in these pre-season games, is that it looks as if Carroll is finally going to start a season fully fit.
    Agree all the way about Fletcher. I just don’t see him as being just a sub. For long.
    In fact it is more than possible we have already filled one striker spot. We just don’t know it yet.

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