Sunday had to be one of the most extraordinary days ever in football league history. Man U lose by six and Liverpool by seven, but I thought the Hammer put in the performance of the day, especially as Spurs were playing against 10 men for most of the match and the Liverpool game resembled pinball.
In my last article, I wrote that I seemed to be with Alice Through The Looking Glass after the performance of the Hammers against Wolves. . So, the performance against Leicester sent me to seventh heaven (that’s the one where God and the Angels dwell). Seven goals scored in two premier league matches and none conceded !
We have to analyse what has brought about this startling transformation. We don’t have to look far. We have a formation that should have been adopted as the standard years ago. Even an old geezer like me has been saying this for a very long time. Having three at the back allows our full backs to get forward and deliver crosses. Cresswell has captured his old form.
It allows Masuaku, who I have always rated as a player, to go to midfield and using his talent on the ball, without the threat that if he lost the ball it would result in a goal. He too can move forward more often.
And just beyond the back three , there is the brilliant Rice. We can see the final compliment to his game will be to see him moving forward more often and have a go at goal. I thought the move he made to provide the pass which resulted in the Bowen goal was outstanding.
After some extraordinary mistakes in the transfer market, we have Soucek and Bowen. They have given 100% in every game they have played. We can see the threat Soucek is in the air to defenders and Bowen is impressive and will improve.
And now with three at the back and a solid midfield, Antonio can be given the support he deserves. I was very critical of Fournals and never thought he was up to the job. But now he is a revelation.
And we may hope that this new sparkle in the Hammer’s game can inspire some of the players who have not fulfilled their potential, such as Haller and Johnson
Yes, we are in extraordinary times. Without crowds, the top sides seem to unable to maintain any consistency. It doesn’t seem to matter whether a side plays at home or away. That suits us very well, since our concrete bowl will never produce the atmosphere that was generated at The Boleyn.
We know now we have enough players to compete with teams at the highest level. Beringing more players in could disrupt our new found brilliance. Coufal should be congratulated for an outstanding debut. He does look solid. I do object to the fact that the commentators don’t seem to look up the Czech pronunciation of his name. It took me ten seconds to find out a Czech ‘C’ is pronounced ‘TS’. It seems strange they can tell me Billy Wright scored a penalty against West Ham in 1959, but they can’t pronounce a name correctly.
Another mystery to me is how Gary Lineker can be paid a fortune, but doesn’t turn up on a Sunday. Is he related to the Pope?