It’s now time to take a look back at some of the main causes of discussion in the wake of West Ham United’s admirable away victory over David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon, as the East Londoners claimed a second win of the season on the road at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“World-Class” Arnautovic Delivers Once Again
Club-record summer signing Marko Arnautovic earned the widespread plaudits of both Pundits and fans throughout the Footballing world for yet another eye-catching showing in West Yorkshire.
The former Stoke City man now has a staggering six goals and four assists in his last eight League games, including three of the latter and one of the former two days ago.
Arnautovic won the ball superbly off Joe Lolley to set-up his Captain Mark Noble for the opener on 25 minutes, before displaying magical skill to flick the ball over Tommy Smith and volley home within 15 seconds of the restart for the second-half.
A short while later, he was in the thick of the action once more, laying the ball on a plate for Manuel Lanzini twice and looking to form a new deadly duo up-front worth the Argentine.
With his devastating showing, the Austrian International continued his rise to becoming a new fan favourite under David Moyes and is now paying back every penny of his £25 million price tag one match at a time.
This is coming after Arnautovic made a sluggish start to life in East London under Slaven Bilic, whom he failed to score for and was sent off against Southampton in only his second appearance under.
However, there is little doubting that the electric attacker has turned a new leaf with his new Manager Moyes and is poised for some exciting times ahead, as well as a new romance with West Ham’s supporters, they will be hoping that he can keep his eye on the ball.
Skipper Noble Back In The Goals As Lanzini Nets First Brace
Two of the main highlights of the memorable outing from a Hammers perspective surely came in the form of afternoons to savour for Skipper Noble and his fellow midfielder Lanzini.
It would be a particularly special outing for the Argentinian playmaker as he scored two goals in a PL match for the first time to add to his total of 18 in a Hammers shirt since joining in summer 2015.
He achieved this with two very neat finishes indeed, the first coming on 55 minutes when he put the finishes touches on a wonderful team move and Arnautovic pass by firing low past Lossl.
And the second a mere six minutes later as a stunning individual run by his Austrian teammate, who later joked about Lanzini moaning at him for his lack of service in recent weeks, allowed him to finish high into the back of the net from the edge of the area.
Whereas, Noble who has endured an up and down season so far, grabbed his 50th career strike far earlier, staying cool, calm and composed to open the scoring after Arnautovic had dispossessed Lolley in a dangerous position.
The pair are now both on three notches for 2017/2018 and appear to be hitting form at just the right time, along with the rest of their sides injury-ravaged starting Xl in Huddersfield on Saturday.
However, one question remains, can they both continue on in the same vein for the crucial run of fixtures that lay ahead? Starting with the FA Cup Third Round Replay visit of Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday evening before AFC Bournemouth travel to Stratford in the League.
Up And Down Day For Lolley In First PL Home Start
On the flip side of things, it would be a day to forget and remember at the same time for many different reasons for Terriers wide midfielder and Englishman Lolley.
The former Kidderminster Harriers man was making his first Premier League start at the John Smith’s Stadium and it all began in disastrous circumstances for him.
With 25 minutes on the clock, Lolley received a pass from a goal-kick Lossl had taken, before he had time to turn, Arnautovic was on to him like an Eagle stalking its prey.
The touch that the Austrian got of the ball played in Noble for the match’s opening strike, it ultimately proved a costly error for Wagner’s side, who are now below the Irons for the first time this season in 13th place.
Although to his credit, the wide man picked himself up from the catastrophe fairly quickly to level the scores up 15 minutes down the line with a piece of individual magic.
Picking up the ball on the right side, Lolley drove into the box, gliding past defenders with ease and unleashing a curling effort that buried in the far corner, his first Top-Flight goal.
If it couldn’t save Huddersfield anything in the end, it certainly was a moment of encouragement for Lolley and the Terriers, who will now be looking over their shoulders at the bottom three and may be facing more of a battle than they would have thought a few months ago to stay in the Division, winless in five.
Hammers Up To Season-High Position
15th place was the highest that the Irons had been in the Premier League Standings this season heading into the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium at the weekend.
Ironically, that was the position they were in ahead of the trip, a joint campaign-high, having been there after beating Stoke in December and after beating Swansea City under Bilic at the back end of September.
Although now, Moyes’ boys sit 11th a single point off Watford a place above and just two behind Everton in ninth position, some achievement considering that the East Londoners were on the very cusp of the bottom three places when the Scotsman took over in November 2017.
Since then, Moyes has been able to change the club’s fortunes dramatically, they’re now looking up at the European places rather than down at the Relegation Zone.
The Hammers are unbeaten in four games on the road in the League, and the highlights of the former Manchester United Boss’ tenure so far have surely been three-goal away wins over Stoke and Huddersfield and a string of impressive results against the “Big Six”.
However, on the topic of achievements, his team’s latest scalp was his 200th English Top-Flight triumph as a Manager, needless to say that being in the same bracket as the likes of good friend Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Harry Redknapp is far from a bad thing.
While his critics have now been well and truly shut up, many will proclaim that the job of survival is far from complete yet for the team from the Capital, although with some winnable fixtures ahead, things certainly are looking good under David Moyes.
So, now that everything there was to talk about in the wake of the joyous trip to West Yorkshire two days ago has been well and truly covered, will there be yet more positive points to draw on come Tuesday night? When Paul Hurst’s Shrewsbury have visited East London in Football’s oldest Competition.