The ups and downs of a West Ham supporter can’t be overstated. Life as a hammers fan has been very turbulent in recent times. We’ve had our moments through the past few years, but I’ve ended up becoming completely emotionally dormant with Sam in charge. Yes the Spud treble was magical and Big Fat Sam turned into Samuel Allardici the mystical technician. I kind of expected him to implode at some stage, but never thought it would end up so badly with him going mental.
I’ve always been in favour of the two Dave’s and Brady. They saved us from the Icelandic disaster we found ourselves in and has given us some financial stability. Yes, they’ve made some questionable signings and the appointment of Grant left me low on confidence. The appointment of Super Slav as manager was just what we needed. I can’t think of anyone else who would be able to speak to the fans in the manner he does. He is made for this club and is one of the main reasons why I can’t wait to see how our beloved Hammers stick it to the big boys.
The season started with a bang, the win against Arsenal was one of the best wins I’ve seen in a long time. It was a well organised performance with our beloved hammers firing on all cylinders. The defense was rock solid, our midfield well balanced, the strikers chipped in and our set pieces were top class. I rate that performance as one of the best I’ve seen, it was poetry in motion thumping the Gooners 2-0 at the Emirates.
The ballsy move of playing Reece Oxford the teenage sensation against Arsenal was destined to backfire against Leicester. It was a painful experience watching him trying to deliver an attacking performance of similar level to his all-round defensive brilliance against Arsenal. We were way too slow moving forward and were totally exposed on the break, giving away two first half goals. Slav subbed Oxford at HT and our whole team looked different, Payet got a great goal and we were unlucky not to equalise. Oxford is not to blame for the loss, he should never have started, but how can you drop him after that legendary display at the Emirates. It was a lesson learned and a healthy reality check for our young rock star. We ended up getting out-foxed by the foxes losing 2-1. Its a game we should’ve won, the dubious decision of the ref not to award a penalty and a straight red to their goalie at HT robbed us of our perfect run. Not to mention the absurd red for Adrian’s attempted bicycle kick.
The Bournemouth game should have been a gauge of where we are as a team. Playing against a bottom half team should have been plain sailing. We picked a strong team and everything was set for a comfortable win. I had my reservations on our formation with our 4-4-2 diamond. Its a complicated formation if you don’t have the right players for the system. You can’t have two full backs just running around aimlessly. It was the worst performance by full backs that I’ve seen in years. Both of them basically gave away all 4 goals. We came back into the match equalising in dramatic fashion but then gave away two more goals through our fullbacks. All the ridiculous water breaks also did not help our game. We ended up losing 4-3 after a late goal from the departed Maiga, we should have thumped them, but I guess you’ve got to get one game like this a season.
The bookies were giving us a hard time for the Liverpool match, stacking the odds 10-1 that we would implode once again having not won in 52 years at Liverpool. Super Slav stuck to his guns and we put in a memorable performance. The Jewel from Argentina scored the fastest goal of the season clocked at 2:28 to set up a comfortable win. Noble is playing some of his best football of his life and continued his prolific form in front of goal with a perfectly placed goal in a crowded box. The result was aided by Lovern having a nightmare and Rodgers having another tactical meltdown. I was really happy to see Sakho scored a deserved goal at the end to embarrass the sorry Merseysiders 3-0. Super Slav nailed it in the post match interview stating; “We parked the bus but we did not put the handbrake on … when a bus moves with the ball that is just great defending.”
The transfer window have been kind to us. The owners and Super Slav did some really good work to ensure that we get what we need. We’ve shifted a lot of dead wood and brought in some real quality and depth. We basically saw a full team leave and another full team come in during the window. Some exciting players coming in like Payet, Obiang, Lanzini, Ogbona to name a few and great work on deadline day. I’m happy to see that we managed to finalise the final 4 pieces of the puzzle. Bilic has worked with Jelavic before and will get him to fire on all cylinders. Moses is buzzing to prove he is more than the squad player Jose think he is. Antonio is a bit of a surprise for the neutral, but a real powerhouse for those who have seen him play. He will score goals and add a lot of speed and width to our attack. The one that I’m most excited about is the resigning of Alex Song. Song is what we’ve missed in our matches against Bournemouth and Leicester City. His calming presence and precision passing will take our attacking play to the next level. We will be one hell of a team to face home and away once everyone gets going.
I would hate to be Steven McLaren come 13th September. Super Slav and his band of brothers look ready to rock n roll. I bet McLaren is up with nightmares from facing Slaven’s Croatia side. Like Moses rightfully said:” if West Ham is as good as rise of the Krays,I can’t wait to start”, I’ve got news for him, the rise of West Ham will be one for the history books! Onwards and upwards! COYI – It’s Hammers time.