Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 2 August 2019 at 1:16pm
Written by : @ConorCulver
After losses to Man City and Newcastle in China and a close win over Fulham last weekend it would be easy to think that West Ham haven’t had the greatest of pre-seasons, and that this could lead to a poor start to the season. But this is not the case, as pre-season is useless for all but fitness and chemistry reasons and there is nothing (other than the two-time reigning champions on the first day) to worry about.
First, let’s look at China. If we were to assume that the Premier League Asia trophy is an accurate representation of how the partaking teams are to fare this coming season, then expect Wolves to be the Premier League Champions. It isn’t too outrageous to think that this is not going to be the case. Also, we have to bear in mind that neither new boys Fornals nor Haller were present in China and so it is wrong to assume that we would have been at our strongest. The same could be said for Newcastle and all the other teams there but it just goes to show how much effort truly is put into this tournament by the teams in it. As a result of this lack of effort it is not one to look into too much, the tournament is a completely different kettle of fish from the Premier League and West Ham treated it as such.
The Fulham game was reported as a dominating performance in which we didn’t put our chances away and against better opposition could easily have been dropped points (in a league setting). However it is good to win those games and it is essential to win those types of games in order to do well in the Premier League. Also, Fulham aren’t the worst opposition to have; it is likely that they’ll do well in the Championship this year and may well return to the Premier League.
The Herta Berlin game was a mixed bag in terms of performance. Pre-season or not, we shouldn’t be conceding three goals to a relatively poor German side and our defensive issues really do need sorting but this should be improved by the returns of both Masuaku and Fredericks. Going forward however, we looked decent – we did score five after all. Fornals looked superb linking up with Haller, who is an absolute bully up front, and fans can’t wait to see more from him. We played some good football at times which will please both the fans and Pellegrini, and we do look dangerous both on paper and on the pitch when we’re going forward. However, the defensive frailties remain and need to be sorted out given that our opener is against, perhaps, the best club team in all of football.
We next face Bilbao in the Betway Cup and this should be a good test. This is the game that Pellegrini will be looking for a good performance in before heading into our first game of the season against Manchester City. But up until this point, it’s just pre-season, so nothing major to worry about.