Match Report

Here’s a New Year’s joke for you. I heard Manuel Pellegrini went to the doctor because he was suffering from depression. The doctor said ‘ My advice, Manuel, is never to talk about football in your spare time. Keep your problems at work. By the way, why the hell did you play Sanchez and substitute Antonio for Haller?’

We need to set the the scenario. It was with trepidation and hope that I approached the game against Bournemouth. The hope because we have a new manager who can express himself clearly. One has only to compare David Moyes’ first press conference with the last interview with Pellegrini.

In Moyes we have a man who can state his ideas fluently and in the day and a half he had to prepare, he demonstrated this talent. Compare this to the broken English of Pellegrini and his deputy. I would love to hear from players how they coped with this. Apparently, when he and Pellegrini were at Manchester City, James Milner started to learn Spanish, so he could communicate with Ruben Cousillas.

Further , Moyes has shown in one game that he can settle into the job more quickly than any other candidate. In addition, he surrounds himself with men with experience of British football. Hopefully, Stuart Pearce will join the team.

And then there’s the trepidation, because I didn’t want to start the new year in a funk. A gloom descends on our family when West Ham lose and there has been plenty of that recently. Myself, my three sons and my grandson. The women, however, are excluded from this experience and regard our tribal loyalty as some sort of border personality disorder.

One of the comments after my last post said that I was depressing. In a previous post, someone suggested I should get my relatives to check up on me often.

When I saw the line up for the game, I was a little disappointed we weren’t playing three at the back and Haller was going to be left on his own up front. In addition, Antonio was out through injury.

The first few minutes also seemed to indicate little had changed and Bournemouth were lively and we seemed to have difficulty getting possession.
Then, there was a transformation of biblical proportions. It was if a cloud was lifted. It was like Jeremy Corbyn had worked out how to win a General Election or Ann Widdecombe had won Love Island. We had discovered our mojo.

Pellegrini had been right. We needed to discover out confidence. But what it took was a few words from David Moyes in the one and half days he had to get the team ready. And Lady Luck playing on our side and smiling down on us. A fortunate deflection and VAR working for us.

But it was much more than that. The confidence to get the ball forward quickly. To make a run into the box, to shoot. To make incisive passes. With every player performing their role exactly in unison. Gone was the laborious build up.

Mark Noble was a man possessed. Snodgrass had put aside some dreadful recent performances. Fabianski was back. The back four were solid. Anderson was all over the pitch. Fornals definitely put in a Premier League performance. Fredericks getting to the byline.

I’ll have to ask my friend, Dr Freud, how all this happened. But it was probably summed up by the fourth goal. A stunning pass by Rice and then Anderson displaying all his skills. Apparently, Moyes has told him to play like a Brazilian.

So, what are we going to get moving forward? We have found confidence, but can we find consistency? Is it going to be ecstasy and then the agony? And let’s not mess up at Gillingham. We should play the same team. We mustn’t lose this mojo that Moyes has brought us.