When I saw the West Ham team against Man City, I had a sort of brain freeze. My eye was drawn to the name Ben Johnson. Was he the winner of that game they play before every home game, where fan has to press as many flashing lights as he/she can do in thirty seconds? Perhaps this was the prize?
No, he is a young nineteen year old, we’ve had on our books since the age of seven. He was about to have the most memorable day of his life and I thought will probably end up suffering from PTSD for the rest of it. I read he used to be a winger and now he was a full back. That reminded me that Masuaku is a full back and should be a winger. Now, he was to face one of the most potent attacking forces in Europe.
Where was Arnautovic? Apparently, the story goes he is ill, but I think he was accompanying Donald Trump to Vietnam to meet Kim Jong Un, who had promised him a job.
OK, we had decided to throw the game. Nothing wrong in that, looking at how our next fixture is in three days. Give the lads a bit of practice. This left me feeling, as a fan, like a tricoteuse. If you remember, they were the women who sat doing the knitting whilst aristocrats were executed during the French Revolution.
I was reminded of the game against AFC Watford, where we fielded what seemed to be our reserves (they were worse than that). If we lost 4-2 that day, then this was going to be minimum 18-0.
And the first ten minutes seem to be going that way. Man City could have been five up. I was feeling like I was watching a coconut shy or as Man City passed it around deftly, a pinball machine.
Then the next ten minutes passed and we still hadn’t conceded a goal. True Andy Carroll, spent his time cutting grass up front, although he did contribute to the defence. And Fredericks seemed to have learnt the offside rule.
Blow me down, we were into thirty minutes and you could sense the frustration taking hold of the Man City team. And remarkably, we seemed to have gained an extra player to help us. Mahrez. He should be awarded the West Ham medal for lifetime achievement. He couldn’t do anything right and was having a nightmare.
Half time came and went. Lanzini replaced Nasri. Then, a moment came which could have been burnt on my brain for the rest of my life. Lanzini made an absolutely terrific pass to Carroll and………….. I stopped knitting and thumped my knee. Now , I’m walking with a limp.
You know those car insurance fraud, where the car in front slows down, so it is backended by the car behind. That was the penalty. Ronaldo was the car in front and Anderson was the car behind.What a shame!
I thought the tap would be turned on after that. But no, we kept our formation and saw out the game.
So, finally this season, a terrific defensive performance. Fredericks was the man of the match, especially for his clearance off the line. Hopefully, he will learn hugely from this performance and don’t we need just that? Lanzini is getting into gear and we all look forward to what is to come from him. You can’t leave out praise for Fabianski, who gives the side confidence at the back.
But the main point is, West Ham played as a team and kept their concentration to the very end. More of that, please.