West Ham show huge potential as they brush Manchester United aside
PUBLISHED: 15:30 23 September 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
‘You’re not West Ham anymore’ sing Manchester United fans and they are right
At one point during Sunday's game, the Manchester United fans started singing 'you're not West Ham anymore'.
Absolutely right. This new West Ham team eased to victory without having to get out of second gear as they moved into the top six of the Premier League.
The Hammers have changed and so have Manchester United. This was possibly the worst United team that they have ever faced and they lost with a whimper.
The likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney are now ghosts to haunt their current crop of average footballers.
But enough of them. This was West Ham's day and perhaps a pivotal moment under Manuel Pellegrini.
He has slowly crafted this team into one who can take on just about anybody in the division.
There is attacking endeavour all over the park, but there is also balance given by Mark Noble and Declan Rice and solidity from Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna and of course Lukasz Fabianski.
This was not a vintage match, though not as bad as Match of the Day painted it.
It was a fourth clean sheet on the trot, it was a team that didn't suffer after injury and suspension forced two changes.
Aaron Cresswell has not had the best of campaigns, but he came back into a confident side and thrived.
Pablo Fornals replaced Manuel Lanzini and showed there is plenty of promised in the youngster.
Having the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Jack Wilshere and Robert Snodgrass coming off the bench shows the strength in depth and this can only be good for the club.
Pellegrini is a man of few words. His press conference lasted less than two minutes, but his team is talking for him.
"I'm very pleased," the boss said. "Playing Manchester United at home is a special game for our fans and I think they enjoyed the game from the beginning.
"They didn't create too many chances, we tried to play high up the pitch, to have good recovery of the ball and you must be happy when you score two goals and don't concede."
Andriy Yarmolenko broke the deadlock just before half time after Noble and Felipe Anderson set him up in the box to beat Harry Maguire and fire into the corner.
"For 45 minutes we perhaps played too fast, and both teams lost too many balls, so to score the first goal was a key factor to try and win the game," said Pellegrini.
"I said at half time if we continued to defend as we did in the first half, not just in our box, but force them to make mistakes immediately when they came into our half, then we are not going to concede too many opportunities.
"That's how it worked out and then that beautiful free-kick finished the game."
It did. Many, including this reporter had written Cresswell off. But this was a fine display, a battling and confident display and it will be tough to leave him out at Bournemouth on Saturday.
"You can see and hear that all the fans are happy and the team is playing well so all of us together must try to add another three points in the next game.
"When you talk about future targets you must demonstrate in every game on the pitch a winning mentality.
"For the moment we are in a good position in the table, but we must continue doing it in every game to try and keep the position."
You're not West Ham anymore. No, this team seems much better than most of the old sides.
It is not a finished product, but it is a breakthrouygh.
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