Rage Against The Machin

Another week on the West Ham rollercoaster...

After an awful start to the year of our Lord 2024, the last seven days have brought smiles and hope back to east London. The return of Lucas Paqueta seemed to lift his team mates and sparked a welcome return to form, after six games without a win, which has derailed hopes and seen the anti-Moyes faction of our support swell in numbers.

Embed from Getty Images

The victories against Brentford and Everton certainly weren’t flawless, but a rediscovered grasp of attacking swagger has lifted the spirits. Afte rtwo months of disjointed, stagnant and sluggish performances, we looked a completely different outfit against the Bees.

From the off we looked sharp, incisive and full of intent. Paqueta’s presence lifted his team mates. Jarrod Bowen, notching the first West Ham trick at our newish home, looked to have put his injury behind him, with a display described as unplayable. There was a real striker's instincts on display as he took his league tally to 14 for the season.

Mohammed Kudus looked sharp and the often lamented Tomas Soucek defied his critics with a performance of quality, including deft flicks and vision. Not bad for someone who is unfairly tagged as an awful footballer.

Our goal-fest was capped by a stunning strike by Emerson Palmieri, who has been a real shining light this season, but noticeably thrives when accompanied on the left by Paqueta. His ability to drag opponents away, create space and combine with the left back with clever interplay has been key to a lot of our joy.

Downsides were present though. Captain Kurt Zouma got caught flat-footed as the despicable Neil Maupay got clear to score and make things uncomfortable for us. Zouma has looked far from his best in the decline in form. Laboured, leaden-footed and unfit. It’s rumoured he’s carrying a long term injury. It’s certainly not been dispelled. A question mark begins to loom over him.

Then to Merseyside. Goodison hasn’t traditionally been a happy hunting ground, but we notched a third victory in our last four visits.

Embed from Getty Images

It had all the hallmarks of a miserable day. The home side amassing almost double the efforts on goal. And after seeing a first half penalty saved by the magnificent Alfonse Areola, Beto notched with a crunching header after Dinos Mavropanos seemed to lose all hope of cutting out a testing cross. Just his second goal in 22 games; it’s what West Ham do.

Bucking the trend of years gone by and 2024 in general, we bounced back. Zouma heading home to pull us level before a sublime finish by the aforementioned Soucek in injury time.

The Czech has his deficiencies, but his ability in the opposition box is second to none. A wholehearted individual with the knack of scoring vital goals. This one was incredibly special, taking down a Kudus cross and volleying home in style. It sent the travelling support into raptures.

But we weren’t finished there. Five minutes into injury time and we hit our hosts on the break. Bowen finally laying the ball into the path of Edson Alvarez, who deftly lifted the ball over Jordan Pickford to make it 3-1.

That he did so after a lung-busting run from his own box, running at full pelt in the 95th minute was even more impressive. Factor in the fact this followed on from a performance of great work rate, determination and action was testament to the impact he has had since arriving from Ajax in the Summer.

In his 31 games with the club he has cemented himself as a key component. Strong in the tackle, composed and intelligent on the ball. Filling the boots of our former number 41 was never going to be easy.

Embed from Getty Images

But Edson has made the transition away from the past incredibly smooth. Early on he looked a tad reckless and a homing beacon for officials cards, but has settled and is a vital cog in allowing, when fit, our attacking triumvirate to flourish.

The leadership and passion he displays should have him in the frame as club captain should Zouma's ailing body give up. He leads by example and displays the attributes so loved by West Ham fans.

* Like to share your thoughts on this article? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

* Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the highlighted author/s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of KUMB.com.

More Opinion