Lucas Paquetá

Paqueta return has me buzzing again


Paqueta return has given me Euro hope

Last week’s Europa League draw should have had me buzzing with excitement. After all, it was the last 16 draw, and West Ham had drawn SC Freiburg. However, I found myself devoid of any excitement. The reason? The dismal form the Hammers had been displaying. It wasn’t just the poor performances; it was the gradual decline of key players. Jarrod Bowen’s absence due to injury, Mohammed Kudus being away for the African Cup of Nations, and Lucas Paqueta’s injury all contributed to the team’s struggles. Even with their return, the team failed to improve, leaving me with a sense of disappointment.

But then came the Brentford game, a 4-2 victory that reignited my belief. A hat-trick from Bowen and an overall stellar performance from the team had me hopeful again. Sure, winning the Europa League might still be a long shot, especially with tough teams in the mix, but this victory showed that anything is possible. And even if we do qualify for Europe, there’s always the worry of facing a tough opponent like Tim Steidten’s former team Bayer Leverkusen. But for now, I’m choosing to focus on the positives.

Lucas Paqueta is needed for the next games

Paqueta return has galvanised the team

The attacking display against Brentford was a breath of fresh air. It felt like the shackles had been taken off, and the team was playing with freedom. Sure, we’ve had moments like this before, but there was something different about this performance. The team looked cohesive and determined, reminiscent of their early-season form.

And let’s not forget the individual performances that stood out. Vladimir Coufal, who I wouldn’t have started, proved me wrong with a brilliant display. Emerson, too, has been a revelation this season when partnered with Paqueta. It’s amazing how a few tweaks can make such a difference.

Moyes must keep up the attacking intent

Moyes must repeat the Brentford mind-set against Everton

Broken Zouma

But amidst all the positivity, there’s still the elephant in the room: Kurt Zouma’s decline. Rumours of Moyes wanting to offer him a new contract worry me (and I’m not sure I entirely believe them). Zouma’s performances have been below par, and it’s clear that changes need to be made in defence. I’m hoping Moyes addresses this issue soon because it could potentially derail our season.

Overall, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. The recent win has injected some much-needed hope into the season. But being a West Ham fan, I know better than to get carried away. However, it is vital that Moyes looks at what worked against Brentford and sends the team out with a similar mindset against Everton.

But for now, I’m looking forward to games again and for that I’m grateful.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose