“We were massive,” Moyes said. “We played with great passion. It’s not just Yarmolenko. It was the team. His message and his name will be heard all round Europe. But the story is not just about Yarmolenko. The story was about West Ham.”
West Ham said farewell to David Gold, a life long Hammer, with a respectful tribute to the joint chairman who was born in the shadow of Upton Park and even played for the youth team as a promising youngster between the ages of 13 and 16. Mark Noble, newly appointed sporting director, laid a wreath with Gold’s daughters as fans watched a video of David Gold talking about his life.
Spurs struggled to deliver when in good positions and this cost them as Antonio got the better of Kane to stab home his 6th goal in 10 games for the Hammers. Antonio, who has proved to be unplayable when in this rich form, gave centre back Cristian Romero and run for his £47m price tag with his physical play making it a miserable Sunday afternoon for the Spurs centre back.
We found ourselves back in the relegation zone for our match against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Saints against the backdrop of fan protest with an estimated 3000 marching against Gold, Sullivan and Brady. The protest, organised by Hammers United, started in Plaistow and ended outside the ground with speeches and chants urging fans to support the team and not the board but highlighting the issues fans have with the way the club is being run.
Our first game under Moyes for his second return to the club saw a dominant Hammers put four past a struggling Bournemouth at the London Stadium. It could not have been a better script for Moyes with captain Noble scoring 2 – including a penalty and both Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson helping to end a run of four consecutive defeats which lifted the Hammers out of the relegation zone.
With the score at 10-9 to Blackburn up steps Ogbonna with only the goalkeepers left to have a go and as soon as the ball left his foot hearts just stopped. Then, as if time had slowed and sped right up again, the ball strikes the bar goes up in the air and the Blackburn players and staff sprint onto the pitch in celebration.
Time had run out on the team and the week ahead seemed to be affected by this poor result. When Morley said he fancied a 3-0 win for the Hammers in his pre match interview, some of us fans said we would be lucky to get a draw. Palace are playing some tidy attacking football and we are looking soft at the back on the counter.
To the match and Bournemouth did not really provide a real test for the team. The worry though is the lack of goals from open play and it was Benni who bagged another goal through a penalty shout after a VAR review of a potential hand ball. Decisions, it seems, are going our way and provide evidence that overall across the season we get an even shout of calls for and against us. Someone must have the stats on that.
I felt we should have had this match comfortably under our belt by half time allowing for some careful substitutions as we closed the game out but that’s not the West Ham way and our injury concerns continue in defence with the loss of Angelo Ogbonna after only 22minutes and then his replacement Craig Dawson being substituted 15mins from the end of the match. With Nayef Aguerd still a little way off returning to the first team squad, our defensive woes continue.
The introduction of Antonio, replacing the inspirational Scamacca on 66mins, provided more pressure on the Wolves defence in the closing stages to see out a deserved home win that hopefully sets us up for Thursdays match against Anderlecht in the Europa Conference League. Can we keep up our good form in the competition as well as manage to negotiate a kick start to our premier League Campaign? This is where Moyes will earn his pay and justify money spent in the summer to give us greater depth, especially when everyone is fit.