Old Trafford mission impossible without Big Three

Had a shocker

Had a shocker

Disappointed? Yes of course. Dejected and despondent – absolutely not!

Let’s be honest we really didn’t expect anything from yesterday and to be frank the game went very much as I would have expected other than the first half hour when the Hammers did better than okay particularly early on when there was plenty of tempo, one touch passing and movement.

That it didn’t last too long was no big surprise as an athletic and gifted team costing around £300 million hit their stride and served a Title warning to the rest of the Premier League.

Great to see Sak back

Great to see Sak back

I hate making excuses for defeat – something I blasted Sam Allardyce for over and over again – but on this occasion it would be wrong and unfair not to.

Hammer of the Year, Michail Antonio, top playmaker Manu Lanzini and high energy Cheik Kouyate were all missing and for us to go to Old Trafford hoping to take something without our three best players – Hernadez excepted – is surely Mission Impossible.

Having said that there were some worries:

  • Arnautovic’s dismal free kicks
  • Ayew – just what is his role?
  • Masuaku had a shocker
  • and Reid looked like a defender going backwards

The big plus was the re-appearance of Diafra Sakho who gave a taste of what we had been missing when stealing into the United box to supply a glancing header which could very easily have been converted. That’s what he does – a very crafty and clever striker.

I’ll say it for the umpteenth time – if we can keep the lad fit he will put 25 per cent on our game with his movement and for me he is a better line leader than anyone at the club.

I was delighted to see Declan Rice get 30 minutes and at just 18 years old this boy is a gem and for me a starter maybe even in preference to Noble because of his ability to come out from the back and spray passes around.

Zabba was unfortunate in facing perhaps the quickest left winger in the League on his first appearance but Masuaku was awful and blew a big opportunity to stake his claim to the left back spot.

With Antonio and maybe Lanzini back on Saturday and hopefully with Hernandez getting a partner in Sak I’m confident of a result at Southampton

Should they do so I believe that will be missing piece in the Hammers puzzle with the 25 year old holding midfielder providing some serious solidarity in front of the back four who thus far are “passed through” far too easily.

I reckon he will stop all that and give us a much more solid shape.

So heads up and COME ON YOU IRONS!

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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


  • bashammer11 says:

    Well i’m dejected and despondent.
    As soon as the first goal went in we surrended and capitulated.

    “I hate making excuses for defeat – something I blasted Sam Allardyce for over and over again – but on this occasion it would be wrong and unfair not to”
    There is no excuse for that defeat,yes we had players missing but it was still a strong side and we gave man utd too much respect..
    Look at the results at chelsea and palace,burnley and huddersfield didn’t go there just to lie down and take it no they went there to get a result.
    Sorry for the rant but if we had given it a go i wouldn’t have felt so raw.
    I just don’t accept “well it was man utd”so we should expect to get thrashed.

  • JagerChugger says:

    Shame about our bench too. Sakho was the only attacking option. No midfielders or other attackers. This is obviously down to injuries but was hoping to see Holland or the young lad Antonio get a place on the bench.

    What happened to Snodgrass, has he picked up an injury or was he not picked as he is on his way out? If he is and with Feghouli gone I’d like to see Holland and Samuelson get some game time, if that’s not in the managers and Chairmen’s plan then we’ll need to get some replacements don’t we?

    Hopefully we’ll get Carvalho, to add legs in the midfield and to offer the back 4 more protection. But I’m a bit worried about our attacking options, when Lanzini and Michail are out we don’t have too many options if the youngsters aren’t going to be given a chance.

    What do you guys think? Have we enough for the season?

  • schuauthing says:

    If Fehgouli and Snodgrass leave, we have no one that can cross the ball when Lanzini and Antonio aren’t playing. It was clear yesterday that Arnatovic cant take free kicks or corners either so we have no one to put the ball into the box other than Cresswell.

  • Hammer64 says:

    I thought there was an article last week that the Big Four were all playing!

    OK Hugh- good shot at positivity. I agree there are reasons for hope.

    I agree with most of your worries, plus I have big concern about the defence. I didn’t expect a win for a nano second, but I did think we could at least hold on a bit longer & keep it to 1 or 2 at least. Apart from your hope that Carvalho will tighten things up the defence is not injury ravaged. Bilic has had two years to sort out the defence but here we are letting in 4 yet again.

    Also, we are a few light, but we always will be! We should be able to cope with a few out now & again. Nick a few draws in those games. But that’s my other concern- that the squad is still very thin. I assume that if he comes Carvalho is the last major signing, but think we need a few more ‘ bargain buys’.
    So not all doom & gloom but let’s hope this is a wake up call not a bell tolling…..

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    We can’t expect to be to be beaten by anybody Hugh! That’s just saying in broad letters that we are not good enough ! That team selection and tactics were wrong and the team has no pace at the back no cohesion no nothing , ask you’re self this question , would mourinho , guardiola , conte , Wenger , klopp, keep these players in his squad let alone the team ?
    Ayew , Fernandez, Snodgrass , zabba , masuako , noble , ginge , fonte , Reid ? , no mate , we have a very good side without these players ,they are the problem ,and bilic I hate to say is not doing his job and neither is his staff. We made united look great , let’s see how they fair v city and teams that go at them ! No excuses is an understatement , and on top of that Marseille are looking at carvhalo!! You couldn’t make this up could you 😈
    That was not a rant IMO just fact!

    • Ask yourself if would mourinho , guardiola , conte , Wenger , klopp, would keep these players. NO they have a tad more money in United and City’s case £300 million

      • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

        No body is questioning that Hugh , its the effort that counts , that’s why we get trounced , you may be happy with them but I’m not , I want a side that expects to win no matter who we play , to expect to lose and play accordingly in the top tier is just nonsense ! Lids 3 Watford 3 , Chelsea 2 Burnley 3 , money means jack when you put a shift in , we never and that’s not on , we as supporters expect better , cast you’re mind back to mooro running the length of the pitch covered in mud pishing down at the mancs and setting up the Hurst for #3 that took us to Wembley , underdogs ? Not on you’re Nelly mate , that was westham of old !😉

        • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:


        • don’t think I said I was happy. I said I had lots of worries but to rush to judgement on one game away to a team that has Champions League hopes with our 3 best players missing is perhaps a little premature

          • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

            No you didnt say that Hugh , you said expected which was a fair comment,
            I expected more than that , you do not have to be worth millions to put you’re self about and make it difficult for them 7 free kicks we gave away ! 17 them
            Not good enough , that’s not the west ham I was brought up on , we battled and got stuffed and got results as well with inferior players , that wasn’t on show yesterday , embarrassing in fact , I wasn’t aware I made a judgement, just an obviouse observation that many people have expressed also !
            What’s premature about a poor display ? Premature is a statement made before an event in this case not after ? Dont get that one ? Don’t matter anyway , its how we see things individualy , the next game I’m more interested in now , and the carvalho bit , any news 😁

  • RayStewartsRightPeg says:

    So all the summer hype has evaporated in a single game? 😀

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    What hype , its in plain view, been saying the same thing for months!
    Others hyped it up about offensive buys and rightly so , good stuff but they have not addressed the other problems in this team , same as same as m/f and defence , it ain’t good enough 4-0 !! Expect the same again ! Its just when lol.any injuries like as now then its inevitable , no depth to cover and create , bottom of the league – 4 gd says it all !

  • Vinny says:

    You need an agony aunt not a football team to support.We lost to manure so is it now time to throw the toys out of the pram after one match?!?!?
    You cant make it.If losing a game of football is such a major drama i feel sorry for some of you.

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      We would all love to hear you’re view vinny on the game or is it that you just like to knock peoples point of view and just troll up and talk nothing , why bother if you have nothing to say !!

  • Eug says:

    When is Bilic going to take responsibility?
    I’m amazed how he escapes any criticism.
    The team looked totally under prepared.
    Exactly like last year lacked any pace what so ever. The Man U players were at least a couple of yards faster and looked far better prepared and in far better shape.
    And as for tactic’s we played exactly the same as last year when they dumped us out of the cup.

  • iron surfer says:

    I hope carvalho signs and becomes another Alex song type player holds the ball and delivers an accurate pass to our forwards ! Every forward pass yesterday was intercepted ,I thought obiang was way out of his depth in this game .Rice was the most aggressive and hungry no one attacking second balls ! In hind site 3 5 2 may of suited us better I like Zabas attacking runs but leaves gaping holes ! First game now we’ve had a reality check let’s go at Southampton!! ⚒⚒⚒

  • master says:

    Can anybody remember a tackle that we put in that let one of thier players know we were serious about the game?

    We just stood off. As though they’ve been instructed that merely standing between the player and the goal is enough to protect. No intensity, no passion, no desire, no aggression. Poor coaching imho

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      They couldn’t press a shirt master ! We gave away 7 free kicks , they gave 17 , players don’t have the desire to and can’t do it ?? City did the same to us , Altona 4th tier did it ! Bilic to blame and staff ? The doll returns soon ? He will save us lol ,hoof hoof hoof 😉

      • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

        Reid rice ogbonna
        Kouyate obiang
        Antonio Arnie

        Sakho/ pea
        Quina if he’s still here that is. ?
        Work with just them but a top c/h is needed and playmaker☺

  • LJ says:

    One bad game against title rivals and people are loosing their head. We were missing what I would call 3 first team players: Kayoute, Lanzini, Antonio. Add onto that Creswell from the start with Carvalho (if we sign him) and our starting 11 is as follows:
    Zab Reid Ogbonna Creswell
    Kayoute Lanzini
    Antonio Hernandez Arnie

    Adrian, Musukaka, Collins,, Noble, Obiang Sakho, Caroll.

    This leaves our Rice, Holland all the youngsters. Sure I have missed some others too.

    There is no way that squad is going to struggle. No way.

  • Declan says:

    Its always the same if we lose a game LJ.The overboard mob appear on forums.
    Some of it is embaressing too read.But if you mention it they call you a troll!!

    • Stratford E20 says:

      Perhaps some fans can just see a seemless continuation of the non performances of last season.

      • LJ says:

        It is a single game. One game of 38 to play. One game against a team likely to win the league…. I am sure we will not be the only club to lose 4-0 to UTD.

        • Radai Lama says:

          You mean we didnt get relegated Sunday LJ.Thats a relief i thought we had been when i came on here yesterday 😁😁

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