The Stratford Arena, The Queen Elizabeth Stadium or whatever you want to call the unnamed ground where West Ham United now play their football didn't do a bad impression of being a 'happy home'. Today's (Sunday) visitors under the managerial guidance of ex-Irons boss Sam Allardyce obviously hadn't read the 'end of term' script as they proceeded to go a goal ahead courtesy of one of Allardyce's favourite weapons, the long throw!
Schoolboy defending at it's worst, however as has often been the case, going a goal down seemed to give Hammers the much needed kick up the back side that they tend to need before going on and winning the game. Such was the case today, Declan Rice ran the show but was ably abetted by the entire team, especially PACMAN!
Lucas Pacqueta stunned, amazed and enthralled the home crowd with touches of pure genius that completely baffled the visitors and often his OWN team. It has been such a long while since the club have had a 'proper' creative mastermind, Dimitri Payet is the closest that there has been recently, but he and Pacman have different qualities. What they both do have in abundance is the ability to get the crowd on it's feet with moments of pure individual brilliance.
The crowd was fully rocking by the time Manu Lanzini was fed a sumptuous pass by who other than Pacman to complete the three goal victory. Jarred Bowen had scored before that but the Hammers equaliser was scored by 'Captain Fantastic' Declan Rice! His perfect volley helped drag the team forward to victory.
Thousands stayed behind to witness the traditional end of the season walk about by players and their families, but for many there was a feeling of great sadness because the 'elephant in the room' was that this was more than likely the last ever time Decs would stride out in front of the home crowd wearing the Claret and Blue captaining the team just like former greats Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds.
No one can ever question the love and commitment he showed to the club and it's fans, he will be given a warm welcome if and when he returns as an opposition player, even if it is for the Gooners! Replacing such a player will be impossible, least ways a like for like replacement, but with a few tweaks here and there the team will be able to cope, but it won't be easy.
Today was nearly the end of one era, there is the small matter of a European final in which history can be made by a team led out by their leader, albeit for the third grade Cup, the club haven't won anything for so long fans would hardly recognise a trophy if it landed in front of them, they do recognise pure talent and in Declan Rice they have witnessed the growth and development of a very very special player indeed.
Several players apart from Declan Rice may well have turned out for the club for the last time, with the futures of Lukasz Fabianski, Angelo Ogbonna and Manu Lanzini among others unresolved as they have yet to be offered new contracts. -Ed
Not just Rice
But could pacman be off too,the scouse were sniffing when he first came but he's now adjusted to the physicality of the prem & producing moments of magic that is getting the westham crowd & pundits alike swooning,surely he hasn't gone unnoticed? I reckon there will be a few bids in for him pre season,lose Rice & him & we are back to square one imo
I know how many of you may
I know how many of you may feel,but im going to give Moyes a pat on the back here,as i feel he has adjusted where needed,we have survived the Premier League issue,amd win that Euro thing will be another plus in his direction.
I have to beg to differ
Just like last time we avoided relegation with Moyes at the helm,, I believe it was despite Moyes not because of him. And this season we avoided relegation because of the failings of the other teams around us not because of any great football on our part. I really hope that this little run of wins in the Mickey Mouse Cup ( final not played yet)and a couple of late wins in the league hasn't diminished the memories of what has been a pretty dire season, and not just results wise. Lets be honest, if this season had been with Allardyce at the helm all hell would be breaking out.
I honestly believe we will
I honestly believe we will need a bigger input of new additions this summer than last. Ward-Prowse has to be top of that list along with Rico Henry at Left Back. I also believe 2 new Centre Backs are required as Zouma & Augerd are too injury prone. Then we have the striker issue. Ings is not up to it. Scamacca needs games and he is also injury prone. How much has Antonio got left in the tank? Though he tries he is not a striker. Another addition for me would Havey Barnes from Leicester.
I agree Enfield,and like the
I agree Enfield,and like the players you mention,Danny Ings is a proper lightweight,hes had his day,we definitely and have always needed a striker,Scammaca dont impress me either.