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West Ham pass the ‘real’ test with flying colours

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In many ways the fixture against QPR was the real test of this West Ham team. Games against Liverpool and Manchester United aren’t going to define our season (until we start challenging for the title) home to a struggling QPR however and dealing with the expectation from fans, neutrals, pundits, journalists etc. And winning comfortably is an indicator of how far this side have progressed.

It may not have been the most convincing of performances, but the ultra attacking line-up named by Sam Allardyce did what was required to secure the three points; and just as importantly secure the first clean sheet of the season.

The remit for Big Sam this season was to finish in the top 10 and play with a more expansive/expressive game and even Sam’s harshest critics would have to admit that so far he’s delivering the goods. The club’s decision to stick by him in the summer looks a very shrewd piece of business indeed.

The performance against QPR yet again shows how this team has evolved this season. Without playing particularly well, nowhere near the level reached against Liverpool and the 2nd half against Manchester United we found ourselves 2-0 up; the goal threat we now carry means that even if we aren’t on top of our game we’re always liable to nick a goal or two. Last season this simply was not the case; we were toiling with striker light formations or labouring with the likes of Carlton Cole/Mladen Petric /Modibo Maiga up front, thank God those days are over.

You’d struggle to find a harder working strike duo in the league than Enner Valencia and the goal machine that is Diafra Sakho. They chase lost causes, run the channels and constantly harass and smother opposition defences, not giving them a moments rest and right now Sakho is profiting from all the hard graft with an excellent strike rate of five goals in five starts, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before Valencia is finding the back of the net at a similar rate of knots.

The metamorphosis of this side from the previous campaign is personified by a man who simply should be in this current England squad; Stewart Downing, last season he had the odd good game (much like West Ham) this season however Downing’s movement, range of passing, clever through balls, etc. And most importantly consistency make him and the rest of his team-mates a force to be reckoned with this season.

Burnley away next up after the international break and Sam’s boys will fancy themselves, but then they do most weeks these days.

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4 comments
  • peter iron says:

    The performance showed the depth of the squad this season .We are certainly missing Kouate & Noble at the moment ,but are able to manage albeit without seeming quite so solid in the middle of the park . COYI

  • Johnny Mac says:

    Yes, Kwame (maybe you read my brief match report from the previous artcle?) and with the next game, well Sam already has the psychological battle for that contest won already, as you would remember, that the last time we played at Burnley in last season’s League Cup, we totally controlled and won that game 2-0, so if we could do that with the squad we had last year, then just imagine what we are going to do to them with our current squad, and Burnley haven’t had the money so they’ve hardly spent anything on improving their squad. Sean is a very impressive manager, but he does badly need personel on the pitch, so get a big under your belts for this next game lads as we face Man City at home the following week, but no, the pressure was on a little bit yesterday due to everyones expectations with playing the bottom team, and when a team can win 2-0 without playing particularly well, then you know we are on the right track. I am a look more relaxed watching our games this season as we now have the players there right before our eyes and it a very pleasing and heart warming sight at that. Straight ahead and lets reach for the highest heights fellas COYI

  • Johnny Mac says:

    Editing needed in previous post, sorry, mean’t to say “get a big win under your belts” & “I am a lot more relaxed watching our games this season”

  • Ryan lee says:

    For once we have a feel good factor going in to games and Wiv burnley next things are looking up. The qpr game was not our best but a win and a clean sheet will do the world of good. A top ten spot is realistic but for me 4th place is any ones this year.. If we keep on as we are then we are in Wiv a chance!

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