This is a fixture I tend to watch very much through my fingers. West Ham vs Manchester City is not a comfortable game for any hammers fan. Baring the FA Cup final where West Ham put on a good show but were unlucky in the end. Manchester City is normally an absolute whitewash. Having scored 15 goals in the 3 meetings to the hammers 2. It can be said it’s not the favourite fixture of this author.
Today is the rescheduled match from the beginning of the year after a postponement due to Dubaigate. Many fans feeling the game should have gone ahead as West Ham might have had a chance. But it was not to be. So it is this cold January day that these two sides meet.
It was clear that Manchester City meant business, trying to keep their title hopes alive. West Ham appeared to be sluggish and slightly overwhelmed by the Manchester team. Some very loose passing between the hammers meant that Manchester City had all the possession. It didn’t take long for the former champions to strike. A mix up between the two centre backs and Chloe Kelly slips through. Finding Caroline Weir who was able to secure a tap in. 1-0 to the sky blue team and this Hammer settles in for a long hard 90 mins.
After the goal, Manchester City kept up that pressure and West Ham seemed to fade away. Sloppy passing and miscommunication led to Manchester City just passing the ball between them. If any of you have seen the Simpsons episode where Soccer comes to town. Then you have seen the first 20 minutes of this half. It was all Manchester City on possession and chances and it was West Ham’s Mackenzie Arnold who was the busiest on the pitch.
Around 30 minutes it seemed that West Ham remembered they were playing an actual football game and not just training. So they stepped it up and put pressure on the home side. Numerous corners coming to nothing. But it was good to see the action at the other end. For a short time anyway.
Just before half time, a scramble over the West Ham third lead to a lot of miss kicks and stunted clearances. It fell to Georgia Stanway to poke the ball home. Manchester City double their lead and West Ham are in trouble. A few moments of extra time extended West Ham’s misery and they were lucky to not concede a third.
The second half kicks off and once again the pressure was on West Ham. Both Kelly and Hemp having shots palmed away by Arnold. Then corner after corner from the home side and this writer had the feeling Manchester City were not done. After the third clearance, a mistake was to come. A corner by Greenwood pinged across the box. Finding Ellen White’s head who managed to find the roof of the net. Three-nil. Though as my mother said it’s rude that Ellen scores against the team she supports.
The fourth goal came not that long after with a mistake from the usually unflappable Maz Pacheco. Her foot got caught up in the pitch and she slipped over. Rose Lavelle pounced and picked up the loose ball. There was no stopping the rocket she launched and there the mount became impossible to climb. 4-0. West Ham were looking like deers in headlines and to be honest it was dumb luck the scoreline wasn’t worse rather than anything West Ham did.
This writer is going to be honest, I know he has only led the charge for three games but I am already disillusioned by the new manager. When we were 2-0 down at half time that’s when the changes should of happened. Not at 80 mins. The changes were uninspired and frankly wasteful. I am not seeing the grafting that he promised and we are not benefiting under the new manager bounce.
West Ham need to wake up and realise that we are in a relegation battle like it or not. We need to fight to the death of every game. Every game is a cup final. We have been banking on there being worse teams below us. We can’t rely on this and we need to pick it up and quickly. I want players to put their heart and soul into it. I am just not seeing it. Will I support my team if we get relegated? Of course, I would but my fear is we will lose key players and we will lose the backing of the club. I really really don’t want that.
Player of the match: none but I did have a delightful half time veggie sausage sandwich.