This whole season has been filled with doom and gloom around West Ham United. Slaven Bilic had the team on a relegation flight, David Moyes briefly had us thinking we’d turned it around, and then we were right back in a relegation scrap.
Fans were upset, the board were upset, players were upset, and it culminated with an ugly scene against Burnley that I hope we never see again.
Yet, the good feelings are back at West Ham, at least for now. Our 3-0 stomping of Southampton has buoyed the confidence of the squad and fans that relegation is hopefully behind us. A much needed confidence boost was given to a number of players who’d been much maligned this season.
Joao Mario notched his first goal and a couple of assists and showed the talent that we’d hoped he’d have. I’d make the signing permanent this summer, he’s exactly the player we needed this season. It’s too bad he had to settle in late in the season rather than at the start. Given a full off-season I think he could recapture his form of a few years ago.
Cheikhou Kouyate played one of his best games in the past two seasons. He was breaking up plays and charging forward like we saw in 2016. For a guy who’s been criticized immensely for his poor passing, he set up two excellent goals with some good passing and vision.
Rice and Ogbonna both played excellently together for one of the first times ever. That should hopefully bolster the rookie and veterans confidence as we head to the end of the season.
It isn’t just the win on Saturday that’s bringing good feelings. Family fun day has been an excellent event for the team to take part in. Sure, it’s a bit hoaky as an adult but that’s not who it’s for. It’s for the young fans that look up to these athletes like heros. It’s about giving those fans the chance to see these heros upclose rather than from the stands or on the tele.
This is what it's all about.— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 3, 2018
Class from Arnie. pic.twitter.com/Hxc644xjrv
Just look at how much fun both Arnie and those kids are having. Then Arnie gives one his warm-up top and you can tell it’s something that he’ll take with him the rest of his life.
We had a great time this afternoon at London Stadium celebrating our @WestHamUtd Junior Party ⚒//Hoy echamos un buen rato juntos en la fiesta hammer con los más jóvenes!!#London #WestHamUnited #Party #MooreThanAFootballClub #ADR13N pic.twitter.com/cci8xw2QX5— Adrián San Miguel (@AdriSanMiguel) April 3, 2018
None of this can completely take away how dire this season has been. Yet, it’s a welcomed break from the doom and gloom that has covered this club for the past three months. It’s a nice reminder of how great football can be and the joy that the game brings to so many.
Come on you irons!