After The Whistle : West Brom 4–2 West Ham
“I’m an experienced manager and you don’t get too carried away when you lose or if people are moaning and groaning or if you win and you get the plaudits.” — Tony Pulis
Before this game there were some doubts over Tony Pulis’ future at the Hawthorns. With the manager admitting he too was unsure about what would happen regarding his position at the club following the takeover at the club by new ownership.
Added to that was the discontent by the Westbrom fans about how their team plays. After just one win in 13 Premier League games, the fans are seemingly fed up with the manager’s characteristic conservative style of play. The fans are ready to move forward from being known as a defensive team and finally see their team play with attacking verve and creative swagger.
And they got just what they wanted as West Brom took a shocking 3–0 lead in the first half to send the Hawthorns into raptures. Pulis signed Nacer Chadli last month from spurs for a club record £13m, a player that has been brought in to provide more attacking flair to a side massively lacking in that department.
As far as big first impressions go, The Belgian midfielder showed his new fans what he is capable of, and his performance in this game has left the fans tantalizingly rubbing their hands together with glee in anticipation of what is still yet to come from him this season.
His first came after 8mins when West Ham’s fullback, Masuaku handled the the box to gift West Brom an early penalty. Chadli stepped up to score his 1st goal for his new club. West Brom scored their second goal when Rondon fired home from a deflected clearance by Ogbonna. Before half time it was three. From a West Brom corner, James Collins clearance fell to the man of the moment, Chadli whose shot was diverted in by James Maclean.
After the interval West Ham were hoping restart on the front foot but it went horribly wrong again after 55mins when from a poor West Ham corner Darren Fletcher sent Rondon clear on a counter attack who unselfishly set up Chadli to score his second and West Brom’s fourth of the afternoon. West Brom had not scored four in a league game for two years.
Both West Ham and their manager could not believe what was happening before their very eyes. The visiting London club had most of possession in this game but a combination of poor defensive errors and a lack of clear cut opportunities were letting them down again. West Ham did continue to fight and managed to pull two goals back through another Antonio header (his 5th goal of the season) and a Lanzini penalty, with Payet instrumental once again.
“We still tried to have a go but Arsenal’s quality came out in the end and they deserved the victory”thegoldcoastreport.com
For West Brom, this victory was a massive relief for their under pressure manager but you get the sense that this most likely does not happen too often this season. Tony Pulis may still never really change his tactics but with a player like Chadli in the team looking to have hit the ground running, there could be more to expect from this West Brom side attacking-wise in the coming weeks.
For Slaven Bilic, he would be anxious to get his team back on the training field to reassess their defensive woes. That’s three defeats in a row now with 11 goals conceded. It is too soon to call for heads to roll but the new era at West Ham is off to a very shaky start.