By Hugh Southon
Hertha Berlin 3 Irons 5
Well that was fun as the Hammers went back the the future to score a victory in the traditions of the old West Ham Way.
It really was one of those “you score three and we’ll get four” affairs although in this case Antnio put the icing on the cake with a fifth.
It was all highly entertaining and doubly enjoyable as the two new boys, Pablo Fornals and Seb Haller got themselves on the score sheet, young Ben Johnson made his fifth appearance of pre-season.
And by keeping the same side on the pitch for 10 minutes or so of the second half gave a heavy hint that this was likely to be his starting X1.
Hertha were dominant for periods but the Hammers more than showed their resilience and battling qualities with Snoddy playing his part with some high energy second half attacking play and Yarmolenko looking as though he is finding some real form ahead of the season.
And despite many adopting Carlos Sanchez as the new Hammers boo boy, the defensive midfielder threaded a great through ball into Diangana for his well taken goal and really looked much better as he recovered from a season long injury.
If there’s a worry it is that that although this is the time to get clumsy mistakes out of our system to have conceded eleven goals in five pre-season outings.
And there were times in the first half when some horrifying play at the back saw us far too exposed. Hertha also managed to have two offside goals ruled out in the game. Not good!
The stand outs for me were:
O Haller, who set up the goal for Fornals, showed himself a great line leader and hold up striker before adding his own strike and willno doubt feel much better on his way back to London as a result.
O Fornals was forever looking for great positions and looks a player to seriously enjoy this term
O Anderson, who despite the odd misplaced pass was always a threat to an overworked Hertha defence
O Yarmolenko – looking fully recovered and thrusting his way forward whenever on the ball
O Snodgrass – ditto above
O and young Ben Johnson who looked entirely comfortable throughout.
Jack Wilshere was quieter than in previous games and maybe Diop and Nabnuena need to have a little chat about things.
But this was a decent win in the end with the team showing great resilience and turning it on at the end to send the fantastic travelling fans and those watching on Twitter home happy:
Roberto; Johnson (Zabaleta 71), Balbuena (Ogbonna 60), Diop, Cresswell (c); Rice (Sanchez 60), Wilshere (Snodgrass 60), F. Anderson (Yarmolenko 60), Fornals (Antonio 60), Lanzini (Diangana 71); Haller (Chicharito 71)
Goals: Fornals 11′, Lanzini 29′, Haller 70′, Diangana 78, Antonio 90