Opening day defeat for West Ham to Tottenham is nothing to worry about

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Joey O'BrienCan I start off by saying that despite Saturday’s opening day defeat, I was thoroughly impressed by the side’s performance, and I am convinced that if we continue to play in a similar fashion we will beat a lot of Premier League sides and have absolutely nothing to worry about this season. From where I was standing, it seemed the atmosphere around the Boleyn Ground was back, but nonetheless as stated; opening day did end in defeat, in oh so heartbreaking circumstances.

A visit from London rivals Spurs is a fixture we all look out for each year, and to have it on the first weekend of the new Premier League season was thoroughly enjoyable. After soaking up some initial pressure from the visitors, the Hammers settled down and it was pleasing to see the boys get the ball down, and begin playing some real football for the vast majority of the ninety minutes… even James Collins! Spurs’ Kyle Naughton’s dismissal after half an hour gave Mark Noble the chance to break the deadlock from twelve yards but Noble, usually ever reliable from the spot, dragged the spot kick wide of the mark.

The Hammers and particularly Stewart Downing threatened the Tottenham defence continuously, and the winger perhaps should have finished after getting in behind the away defence after some neat footwork from skipper, Kevin Nolan. A shot from Ricardo Vaz Te flashed across Hugo Lloris’ goal, whilst Mark Noble would have also broke the deadlock had it not been for an impressive save from the Spurs keeper. James Collins’ dismissal after 63 minutes set up a 10 vs. 10 finish for the last half an hour, and saw the game open up tenfold, with gaps appearing all over the pitch and counter attacks being set up for both sides.

Spurs’ introduction of Andros Townsend added fresh impetus into their side’s attack, with the midfielder threatening Adrian’s goal with fiercely struck efforts on a number of occasions. On the whole however, the Hammers’ defence was largely resolute until the dying minutes of the match, as Spurs’ new signing Eric Dier got between Winston Reid and Cheikhou Kouyate, rounded Adrian and showed great composure to slot home into an empty net on his debut. Travelling supporters ecstatic, I headed for the exits and a miserable drive back down the M25, made worse by the news that Millwall had beaten Fulham at Craven Cottage and let me down for £40 – typical.

A quick word on the new signings who featured on Saturday – I thought that left-back Aaron Cresswell was very impressive, and was rightly named ‘Man of the Match’ in the stadium. His desire to get forward whenever possible provided us, and will continue to provide us with another outlet in attack. Aswell as Cresswell, it’s fair to say that midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate was also impressive, showing great hunger, work rate, and composure in possession – I am sure both players will have very successful seasons at the Boleyn Ground. Saturday also saw Hammers fans get a glance of £12million signing Enner Valencia, albeit for just ten minutes. The Ecuadorian striker looked raring to go when given the chance, chasing down seemingly dead balls and winning corners out of nothing – Ten minutes isn’t enough to make a judgement on a player, but the signing of Valencia is one that excites me, and I am looking forward to seeing him play more in the coming weeks.

Despite the result, I thoroughly enjoyed being back at the Boleyn Ground and I am certainly looking forward to what lies ahead this season. For 92 minutes the side were superb, played some great football on the floor at times, and probably deserved at least a point, if not three in all honesty. As I have said before, if we continue to perform as we did today and take our chances, I feel we will beat a lot of sides and a lot of my worries about this season have been eased after today’s showing. Let me know what you think – what did you make of today’s performance? Did you see an improvement on last season today, or do you feel more of last year’s negativity is still yet to come?

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  • THFC4EVER says:

    If you cant beat a team who played as badly as Spurs. Then I would be VERY worried.

  • notanyoldiron says:

    Callum, there were many positives to take from yesterday. But Allardyce’s team selection and use of subs isn’t one of them. That game was there for the taking. Anyone who has played, and watched football knew it. Allardyce knew it, but he was going to settle for a safety first point! And f….d up. Plain and simple!

  • Stoney says:

    “I was thoroughly impressed by the side’s performance, and I am convinced that if we continue to play in a similar fashion we will beat a lot of Premier League sides and have absolutely nothing to worry about this season.” Absolutely hilarious. You play rubbish football. You’ll get beaten again and again. You’re going to get relegated. Shows how poor and how small you are to be ‘impressed’ by that. Spurs played poorly, had quite a few first team players missing, and played with 10 men for over an hour. Get real spammer.

  • Mitchell says:

    Lol spurs fans are awful peoppe

  • Scott says:

    Great article and completely agree. Too many people completely overreacting to yesterday’s defeat. We only have half a squad fit and were unlucky in the last minute. Lot of positives to be taken.

  • Jason says:

    I also thought we played really well and only for the fact we ain’t got a decent striker was the difference between defeat and us getting a decent victory. Hopefully Valencia/Sakho will be the answer we are looking for to provide much needed goals. Coyi

  • ronboy29 says:

    I was at the game and therefore did not really need a report. As for’ tricky footwork from Nolan!’ I must have blinked and missed that and all I saw from him was 90 minutes doing his usual standing- off game, never putting in a tackle and mainly easy option side-passing.Could you honestly believe that he would get a game from any other manager than his best pal bfs? I could go on about the other Bolton dead-beats , O’Brien and Vaz Te but the main criticism must centre on the mind-numbing mamagement in firstly team selection, secondly failing to capitalise on a very poor Totts. performance, failure to start with two up-front at home, then failing to correct this tactical error once we had the man advantage and then strange substitutiions.A full-back for a full back – explain that when another attacking player would certainly have seen us over the line. Yes there were some good signs and we did pass the ball rather better than last year. Kouyate looks an exciting addition and Valencia too. Mind you I wonder if he could have come on a little earlier as he seemed so full of running. But who knows the bfs mindset?

  • pat says:

    What a joke bfs is,starting with vaz te,nolan and cole,I’d nearly hope we lose 5 or 6 more to get rid of him.

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