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Positives and negatives: West Ham 0-2 Fulham

Written by Sammy James on 14th April 2024

Andreas Pereira West Ham
Credit: Paul Terry (Licenced via Imago Images)

As away days go, Sunday’s win in Stratford was pretty much perfect. Nice weather, a comfortable win and our hoodoo against the Hammers buried in the mud. A top day all around.

Before we get into the positives and negatives, I’d like to quickly send my best wishes to West Ham’s George Earthy who suffered a serious head injury towards the end of the match. In the stands, it was hard to tell quite how serious the situation was, but after the event it’s evident that it was an extremely concerning state of affairs. All my best to George for a swift recovery.


Pereira’s clinical catch

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Marco Silva takes credit for improving most of our squad, but maybe we should be giving a little credit to Dorival Jr. The Brazil coach seems to have given Andreas the kiss of life he needed ever since his call-up to the Seleção.

Since the March international break, Andreas seems to have raised his performances to the level we know he’s capable of. His off-the-ball abilities have been widely praised, but as we all know, his goal return has not been good enough for somebody who plays nearly every game at number 10.

He took both his goals well today, even though for a second I thought he’d spurned that first goal over the bar. I also thought he was also excellent in his all-around play and he was involved in nearly all our good attacking forays. It was fantastic to see him take the acclaim from the Fulham faithful after the full-time whistle.

Bassey bosses Hammers

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Calvin Bassey’s performance at centre-back was imperious, and the hapless Danny Ings quite frankly didn’t stand a chance. Calvin was quicker, stronger and hungrier than all of the West Ham attackers, who simply bounced off him like he was a walking trampoline.

Tosin was good too, but he still seems to have a tendency to gift the ball straight to an opponent at least once per game. Calvin rarely switches off and seems capable of giving full-90 minute displays of the highest quality.

Palhinha says no

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Joao Palhinha has had a couple of not-so-great games by his high standards recently, but on Sunday he was back to his absolute best. He made seven tackles in the game today, which may not sound like a lot, but when you consider that the second-highest total was three, it stands out like a sore thumb.

Joao won the ball back for Fulham time after time, and quite frankly our attackers should have made more of the transitions that his dispossessions allowed us to have.

Considering West Ham’s almost arrogant assumption that they could just take Joao from us last summer when Declan Rice left, it was lovely to watch him put in such a masterclass at the London Stadium.


Farcical stadium entry

The London Stadium doesn’t have the best reputation, but it doesn’t help that getting into the bloody place is a nightmare. Despite arriving 15 minutes before kick-off, I found myself at the back of an absolutely gigantic queue, and I missed the first five minutes of the game. Those that arrived closer to kick-off would almost certainly have missed Andreas’s opener.

Everyone’s safety is the most important thing, but do we seriously need patting down three separate times? Had it been a more important match and not quite such nice weather, I think fans would have been much grumpier.

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