It’s the morning after and it feels better than ever.
Waking up with a warm glow surrounding you after a West Ham performance has been a long forgotten feeling this season.
Abuse…despair and relentless complaining has been the agenda as the Hammers have been hit by one horror show and injury blow after another.
How brilliant to wake up to safety on the top of a display which can only be described as totally magnificent and almost beyond words.
For now we are in ninth but that will no doubt change before the end of the day. What won’t is the feeling of pride and joy in a performance which was the very best of the season on the night the LS became home.
Here we were without a “front line” striker, Arthur Masuaku, Pedro Obiang or Angelo Ogbonna but giving those north London hopefuls a total run around.
We were left to rely on a player up front who has taken dog’s abuse from most of us – Jonathon Calleri – and he chose this moment to show himself as a brave runner with more in his game than we could ever have believed.
This is a guy who needs the ball to feet thus ensuring that there is no route one approach and he did more than enough to hold his place against Liverpool even should Andy Carroll be fit.
Sam Byram was brilliant, Mark Noble was a class leader, Kouyate excellent, Adrian outstanding – the plaudits go on and on.
But if we want to be entirely honest this was Slaven Bilic’s night as he masterminded a display which produced the third successive clean sheet and kept one of the deadliest strike forces around almost entirely quiet.
That is not a word we can apply to the London Stadium which became a caludron of white hot noise as the colossal fans drove us on and on.
It was magnificent and everything that we are about.
After the most horrible season with so many issues this was so very very West Ham and it was so great that it should be Spurs of our Irons at the absolute best.
COME ON YOU IRONS
Always said if you took out our static lump of a so called forward out of the team we’d be better 😀😀😀
Great piece Hugh. And it proves one massive point. It is not the stadia or the crowd that initiates atmosphere. It is the team, pure and simple. If the team plays with effort and passion our great supporters will be loud and right behind them regardless of where the match is played. What London Stadium brings to the party is 57,000 rather than 35,000 (and hopefully 66,000 in the near future).
But one night does not make a season. We still have enormous issues that the manager and owners have to resolve over the next few months. Number one is a reliably prolific striker. We know that person is not Ayew or Calleri regardless of the tremendous effort they each put in last night. Number two is a top class creative midfielder.
At least, to my mind, one issue was put to bed last night and it is something I have been saying for months. We have a top class young RB in Sam Byram and a very good fall-back option in Fernandez (no pun intended).
On the Carroll issue, we are clearly not going to be able to sell him because of his fitness record. But he could be very useful as an impact sub which may help keep him fitter for longer.
With Ogbonna, Obiang and Antonio to return to the fold and with young talent such as Oxford, Burke, Cullen, etc waiting in the wings, I am optimistic for next season. Provided we get that striker!!!
Fernandez is an attacking mid, not a fullback. Still need a proper right back to compete with Byram this summer.
Carroll can’t be sold as nobody would buy him. He is and should only be an option from the bench for 20-30 mins. Effectively 3rd choice. We need 2 front line strikers. Wouldn’t mind if one of those was Defoe but ideally would prefer 2 stronger and quicker players.
Sahko, whilst the best striker we have, is a busted flush. Time to sell on to the highest bidder.
BAsed on last nights performance Callieri deserves the next two games to see if he has a future with us, his movement and strikers instinct is present but so far his finishing is not what it was in Brazil, much like Jannsen at Tottenham I wonder when he does start scoring what kind of a player will he be, physically he is upto the task if he can score in the next couple of games I wouldn’t mind if we took a punt on another season with him, it is also going to be tough fr us to attract the best talent so might be worth keeping that in the bank. Yes master Fernandes is an attacking mid he actually plays the role Lanzini plays for us, If it were me I would sit Lanzini deeper in the Modric role and put Fernandes roaming behind the striker(s) he has a great eye for a pass and a great shot from distance..
Impact possibly Kenny but to my mind the sooner we get rid of Carroll the better.Its only this old buggers personal opinion but i think he makes the other players lazy and thoughtless sometimes when they know all they have to do is belt the ball up to him.
I understand there are times an outlet like him is useful but im convinced the players see him as an easy option and we bypass midfield too often when he plays.