For the second year running West Ham crash out of the Europa League to Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu in a frustrating night at The London Stadium and as much as we had a number of chances, I think it’s fair to say the visitors did a job on us.
With the match level on 1-1 from the away leg Astra needed to get a goal and then sit back and defend and their game plan went exactly how they wanted it to. After soaking up the claret and blue pressure for 40 mins they caught us on the break just before half time to take a valuable lead.
The second half was all one way traffic and if it wasn’t for their keeper having the game of his life we’d have scored 4 or 5, but it wasn’t to be.
As frustrating as it was there were some positives one of the biggest ones being the look of Fletcher in the second half, but on a night when another European adventure is over before it properly begins, then positivity is a very hard emotion to feel.
I was at the game last night and I felt we really missed Mark Noble, I hope he was rested rather than injured because his industry was absent from the team. Im not a season ticket holder and due to my family/financial situation I don’t get to many games so a lot of you probably see a lot more of our team than I do, but I have been to both the home Europa games and the difference between the team with Noble and without is a marked one. Antonio was his usual energetic self and I hope he receives an England call up on Sunday as I feel he really deserves it.
Enner Valencia seems that he cant wait to get away and to be fair I think we all need him to go along with Sakho, I feel sad it hasn’t worked out for them both but Valencia has never looked like he has pulled up any trees for us and Sakho’s attitude stinks. Im slightly confused as to the Fernandes signing as I thought he would be an Obiang replacement but all ive read on him says he is an attacking midfielder.
I would rather have had us sign Bony or Remy as well as Zaza (who looks like he is incoming) than another midfielder. Once we have Ayew, Carroll, Zaza, Calleri and Fletcher I think we have a tasty looking strikeforce. Not at all sure on Gokhan Tore I thought he would be a tricky winger but he seems to want to come inside rather than beaing his man and im confused by Bilic’s tactics of playing Antonio on the left and Tore on the right and constantly switching them. Let me know what your thoughts were on the game last COYI.
I haven’t heard about an Injury to Noble just have assumed he was rested, you’re right he was missed.
Lots went wrong last night but mainly I think it was players performance and first half intensity that was the biggest issue rather than the wrong line up or tactics. When you look at stats, on any other day we’d have won that but far too many players just didn’t turn up.
Let me start my next sentence by saying I love Antonio, I love his energy, I love his attitude (Chelsea game aside), I love the way his pace scares defenders and I love his celebrations. However, am I the only one that thinks ability wise he isn’t as good as everyone makes out?
I’m not denying he is a massive asset to the club and I hope to see him continue running at defenders and using his pace and if he can improve his ‘football brain’ I think he can be as good as people say, but if he really is international quality as it stands at the moment then England have big problems.
Everytime I’ve seen Fletcher I thought he has looked good, I hope we see more of him in the coming weeks and months. I’d much rather have him coming off the bench than Valencia and on yesterdays performance any other player.
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