West Ham Utd squads won excellent victories in yesterday evening’s friendly matches held during the current international break. While the full squad, including a number of U-21 regulars, were in Spain, playing Espanyol, a joint U-21/U-18 squad were taking on Colchester Utd.
In Barcelona, the full squad secured a 0-1 win, characterised by a much improved display of passing, movement and invention.Three qualities decidedly lacking against Stoke City. There were good displays from Adrian, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Ravel Morrison and Matt Jarvis. Notably, the defensive unit operated effectively, marshalled by the superb Tomkins, and the overall team performance was far more cohesive. While youngsters like Ruddock, Famino, Moncur and Lee all contributed mature and promising performances, which further underlined their potential. The match was won by a Mark Noble penalty, after a Espanyol defender handled a Matt Jarvis cross in to the box.
Meanwhile, in Essex, the U-21 Squad scored a convincing 0-3 win over Colchester Utd. The goals were scored by Burke, Whitehead and Tombides. It was similarly a good all-round team performance and the ‘stand out’ moment was Dylan Tombides beating the Colchester keeper with a great chip. It was a goal of great composure and skill from the Australian U-19 international forward.
So, it was a good evening all round for the club. Unfortunately, it would appear that the prior SSN report that Andy Carroll would be fit for the next match versus Southampton, on 15 September 2013, was premature. The latest rumour is that he may not actually be ready until mid-October 2013 at the earliest. That news, if true, makes the failure of Carlton Cole to prove his fitness, to facilitate a swift return to the club, even more disappointing. So, it appears that the chickens of West Ham’s transfer deadline day failure are flying home to roost! the search continues for a free agent striker, no doubt the manager will be setting up his team to capitalise upon the strengths of the strikers that we do actually have available at the club?
In the meantime, just hope that all of our players on international duty return back to the club unscathed. The last thing that we need is further injuries to key players like Reid, Rat or Collins.