West Ham tonight managed to win in a pre-season friendly away to FC Copenhagen. Now this is a team that have been in the Champions League and are certainly no pushovers.
This is the one and only match I've been able to watch so far but the early signs are promising. West Ham tried to keep the ball for extended periods of play, being patient in their build up and hoping for an opening to arrive, which is a good start as when Avram was in charge we couldn't keep the ball if our lives depending on it, another pleasing sign was the team defending as a complete unit, this may be down to the 4-1-4-1 formation, but it certainly worked as we didn't concede, although you could suggest we were slightly lucky at times thanks to the offside rule. The only criticsm I could possibly point out, was that we lacked the special creativity in the final third to find that opening our possesion football was giving us the time to carve out, it could be down to a lack of runs from Piquonne or it could be a missing killer ball from Noble, Nolan, Parker, Collison or Boa Morte, but this seem to change when Christian Montano and Frank Nouble came on for Collison and Piquonne, Nouble wasn't afraid to make a daring run to try to break free of the opposition back four, as Noble consistently tried to look for him, while Montano brought an incredible pace to the wing and a drive to create more chances for the team, this later proved to be the perfect move as he managed to break lose to set up Sears to score our one and only goal, but one was enough.
I was pleased to also see a team not looking to just lump the ball forward to the front man, like many people worried we would do under West Ham, we may not be an all out attack minded team, but we are playing it simple and playing it safe, I personally would rather win 1-0 by controlling a game, rather than going all out and losing 5-4 or something else ridiculous just because the team wouldn't defend. This to me is all promising signs, but as experienced before, we can have an incredible pre-season, only to see it slip as soon as the season begins, so let us hope it won't! Also if the rumours are true and West Ham are signing winger Matty Taylor from Bolton, then that will no doubt help our wide play out (and based on personal opinion, push Boa Morte out of the line up, leaving Taylor, Sears, Stanislas and Barrera for the wings and allowing Collison to play in his more natural position of centre midfield).
Although I would still add that I feel we could do with at least one more defender and a decent striker. This season I hope also lets us see more of the likes of Spence, Montano, Nouble and Abdulla as they all look determined to prove their worth for us!