The Watford result was a brilliant way to conclude what has been a season that has ebbed and flowed. The team’s 1-4 win away from home also capped off a boozy week, as I went out four nights in a row (promise some studying was done Mum and Dad). Two of those nights were spontaneous as I was at the pub with a Liverpool fan on Tuesday, and an Arsenal fan on Thursday, and both unsurprisingly were very happy and wanted to celebrate! Obviously, I was not with a Spurs fan on the Wednesday!
I’ve concluded that the quality of a night out is heavily dependent on who you go with, in a way the Watford result confirms this with the personnel we had available. An attacking quartet of Anderson, Lanzini, Antonio and Arnautovic is very strong and hasn’t been available to us for most of the season. If we could have seen this forward line more, perhaps we would have been slightly higher up the table. My point is, my nights out would be even better if I always had a Liverpool fan ecstatic about their side making an unbelievable comeback to reach a European final as the positive energy was infectious. That attack plus a returning Yarmolenko, and a new striker, could give me a lot of positive energy next season. Let’s hope so anyway!
The final game of the season at Vicarage Road in some ways characterised West Ham’s campaign. A marvellous save by the Hammer of the Year, Lukasz Fabianski prevented Troy Deeney from pulling one back. Fabianski has been absolutely superb this season, as demonstrated by his 148 saved shots. The Polish international has definitely kept us in games this season, and whilst we still would have been leading on Sunday going into half-time, the second half certainly would have differed
The defending and mistake by Zabaleta for Watford’s goal was poor, and needs to improve for next season. On several occasions we have seen lapses in concentration and Fabianski and the defence have frustratingly not been able to keep a clean sheet: Cardiff at home, Sunday’s game, Wolves at home, Brighton away, the list goes on…
Noble continued his rich vein of form, not only scoring twice but leading brilliantly as he always does. Some fans will always doubt his physical condition, but he has proved them wrong in recent games. Nevertheless, his technical ability certainly should not be doubted. Similarly, Rice seemingly played well as usual. I was actually unable to watch the game, but recall reading somewhere that the 20 year old put in two commanding tackles early in the second half.
I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and the beautiful game is always going to spark debate, but to those who think Anderson has had an average season, like me on Friday night, you’ve probably had one too many beers! He’s got better at tracking back, evidenced by him stopping a certain goal on Sunday. The Brazilian can clearly improve in aspects of his game, and with his first season in England finished, I have no doubt he’ll be even better in the 2019/2020 campaign. Felipe accrued 9 goals and 4 assists in debut season which is pretty impressive, and he’s a joy to watch when he dribbles and plays his intricate flicks and passes. In my opinion, and as in the Sinatra song, the best is yet to come.
I recall speaking to my friend who happens to be a Crystal Palace fan not that long ago, and he was quizzing me on Michail Antonio’s game. I have always said when he’s on form, he is a big physical threat and causes lots of problems for defenders, whilst also being a hard worker. However, I did always say that sometimes his touch can be woeful and rivals Lukaku’s. Also, while it can be positive, the fact he often looks as if he has no idea what he’s going to do with the football can be a negative. The wide man clearly is a great personality to have around the squad, and his recent form will surely see him feature next campaign as he’s can be very difficult to deal with. He was superb at Vicarage Road, and I hope to see more carpet stroking next season!
Arnautovic looks likely to stay now and he appears to have turned a corner and, along with my Dad, I’m pleased he will probably stay as when he’s firing he is a danger and he really boosts the team. The added competition of a new number 9 next season will hopefully galvanise him even more to play well and keep his shirt.
We look ahead now to what will hopefully be a positive season with some decent additions raising the standard again. We finished 10th and, but for injuries as well as a few questionable decisions, we could have climbed higher. Next season I think we will improve but, to slightly misquote the Sinatra song, you never know. I look forward now to the avalanche of transfer rumours related to West Ham, as well as a few beers to celebrate summer, although perhaps not as many beers as last week!
Not sure why this article features several Frank Sinatra references, I just ran with it.
My local team Tonbridge Angels beat Met. Police 3-2 in extra time to achieve promotion to the conference south. They will face local rivals Maidstone next season, it could be spicy. I shall be able to go to more West Ham games as well as Tonbridge games as I’ve finished Uni, more football equals more fun!