West Ham aim to bounce back at Forest. Can our newcomers make a difference?

If you watched last Sunday’s encounter with Manchester City on TV you may also have seen the pre-match Sky punditry. I reckon that the build up to the game was skewed roughly 80/20 in favour of talking about City, and in particular the addition of Erling Haaland to an already formidable squad of players. And some may say they got it right! City dominated possession of the ball with about 80% of it, and Haaland was the key difference between the two sides scoring both goals and showing frightening pace at the same time, which together with a proven ability to find the net at the highest level will take them to even greater heights than those they are already on. A daily newspaper in their preview the game went further than Sky with their two-page spread on the game, and I had to scour the article in great detail to work out City’s opponents!

Now don’t get me wrong, their ball retention is excellent and they show great skill and movement, and I believe they will win almost everything they are in for this season. Perhaps the two points cushion that they already have over Liverpool is enough to seal the title already? And as such it was inevitable that they would win relatively comfortably against a West Ham side whose starting eleven featured a whole side of players who were there last season, a team already with injury issues, and one that the manager (if I’ve got this right) seemed to announce before the game were not really ready for the season!

But Haaland was the real difference wasn’t he? Without his performance we may well have got away with a draw similar to the one at the end of last season despite being outplayed by a superior side. One characteristic of the current West Ham is that we are not likely to repeat the 5-0 defeats that have been a feature of matches against the top sides in the not too distant past.

I was disappointed that Areola went the wrong way for the penalty, even though he wouldn’t have saved it had he done his homework. It is evident that Haaland likes to open his body and go for the keeper’s right hand as he also showed when scoring the second goal. It’s very similar to how Thierry Henry used to do it in reverse, opening his body and going to the keeper’s left. I picked it as he ran up to take the penalty, but as I say it was so good it wouldn’t have been saved anyway!

I was a bit disappointed with our display. The effort was there but we seemed a bit passive. You really need to get into City’s face to stand a chance and we didn’t, although I guess the very hot temperature was a factor. We seemed bereft of ideas and our only real chances of scoring were likely to be as a result of set pieces in attacking areas. But somebody needs to explain to me why we don’t exploit this situation more. At times we have free kicks in the opponents half but we end up passing sideways and backwards, the ball then goes back to our keeper who kicks long and almost always surrenders possession, with our opponents having the ball roughly where we had the free kick. If scoring goals from set pieces is our forte then why not push forward at the free kick and send the ball into the opposition penalty area exactly as we would from a corner. It’s a bit Wimbledonesque I know but if it’s an effective weapon then we should use it surely?

It’s only one game though and there are still another 37 to go. The league table doesn’t really take shape until we’re at least 10/12 matches into the season – just look at where Arsenal were early on last time and then compare it to where they finished. If we get to that stage of the campaign, or perhaps at the time of the break for the World Cup, and we are struggling then that is the time to worry more as you always seem to be playing catch-up from that point. Games against Manchester City and Liverpool aren’t the ones where we would expect to pick up points. Of course we should be trying to match them but in reality the top two are in a league of their own. The next one this Sunday at Nottingham Forest is in many respects a more important one, and a fixture where we should be looking to collect three points against a promoted side. Having said that the early games in the season are often the ones where the promoted sides are at their most dangerous.

So what will happen this weekend in the ‘ham’ derby? Can West bounce back to overcome Notting as both teams strive to collect their first points of the season? The first game doesn’t give us a lot to go on. Since my first article of the season last week we have added Cornet to the squad and I reckon that both he and Scamacca will play important roles in this game. I’ll make a prediction – Lingard will open the scoring for the home team responding to chants from our fans along the lines of being one greedy ‘person’! Cornet will equalise early in the second half and then Scamacca will open his account to score the winner and we will have three points and be up and running for the season. What are the chances?

4 thoughts on “West Ham aim to bounce back at Forest. Can our newcomers make a difference?”

  1. It’s a fair shout that the season starts now, losing to £Man Citeh (And the Scally’s for that matter) doesn’t really effect West Hams season. In season gone by, we’d be talking about that about the top 4 or 5, even 6 teams, how far have they come!?!
    IMHO, a point at forest would be OK, a big win on Thursday is more important


    1. great article, thank you.
      could we add 7 quid a pint, i bet no one stayed after the game, to drown their sorrows, lol.
      hoping for a win this week, but with our dodgy defence, and forests first prem game for a long time, it will be hard, with blingard knowing much about us, i can see him scoring, i hope im wrong, but it looks like one of those stories thats written in the stars.
      another thing i have noticed is moyes recruitment system, we go for players we want, then out of nowhere, other teams want the targets, this is a credit to moyes, we identify a player, then the likes of newcastle, everton, wolves are after them, seems like were doing their scouting for them, as they know how methodical moyes is.
      enjoy your sunny weekend, raining here in thailand today, but at least its warm rain.


      1. Hi Paul – thanks for your comments – yes it certainly is warm here!
        You are right – you can see the Lingard headlines now!
        It could be tough but I’m really hoping for a win to get our season up and running.


    2. Hi – thanks for your comments.
      Yes Thursday is important too! But although a point would be ok on Sunday these are the types of games where we need to win if we want to chase top 6/7.


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