It’s now time to trawl back over some of the main causes of discussion in the wake of last night’s thrilling East London matchup up between the Hammers and the Baggies, as David Moyes’ side left it late to move up and out of the Relegation zone.
Hammers Begin 2018 In Winning Fashion
For the first time in two years, the East Londoners have welcomed in a New Year with a victory, namely last night’s key win over fellow strugglers the Throstles.
The last time that they managed to claim three points in the first match of the year, Liverpool were the victims at Upton Park, the second win in a run of four consecutive victories during the 2015/2016 campaign.
This time around, it’s Moyes’ boys’ first triumph since mid-December, having lost out to Arsenal and Newcastle United and drawn with AFC Bournemouth since then.
Three points, which could prove key in the battle for Premier League survival, were also significant in moving the hosts up to 16th and level on points with the Cherries above, while Albion remained in the bottom three and a full four points from safety.
Things had looked like they would pan out differently in the first period when James McClean fired the Baggies into the lead with a deflected strike, his first League goal since September 2016, one that also came against West Ham.
Although Andy Carroll struck twice, which we will touch on later, to turn things around in an end-to-end encounter and raise the roof on a rainy London Stadium.
Moyes’ men have now lost just one of their last six League matches and there is plenty of action ahead to try to keep that run going, Tottenham Hotspur are next up at Wembley just tomorrow night as the fixtures pile up, can they win there for the second time this campaign?
Carroll Ends Goalless Drought In Style
Early April 2017 at the KCOM Stadium was the time and location of former England striker Carroll’s last goal before yesterday evening, that was to change in East London.
Carroll was on top form after his nine-month drought, making his first start since November and marking the occasion with two fine strikes at two key points in the affair.
The first came in the form of the hosts’ equaliser early in the second period, he rose stunningly to get on the end of a superb Aaron Cresswell delivery and glance the ball past Ben Foster.
Carroll’s leveller was his first goal in any Competition in nine months, but he wasn’t done there by any stretch of the imagination.
The once most expensive Englishman in Football left fans waiting until deep into added-time, however, he found himself on the end of a cross from in-form Man of the Match Marko Arnautovic to convert from a tough angle with his weaker foot and secure all three points in the 94th minute of the affair.
Assister Arnautovic now has five goals and one assist in his previous five League matches, while impressively, Carroll has now managed to net four times in eight appearances against the Throstles in Claret & Blue.
On the night that Pardew returned to his former club, the tall attacker also managed to carry on his quite remarkable knack for scoring PL goals in the month of January, making it eight in his last eight starts.
He and almost every Hammers fan will be hoping that his new-found streak can continue through his favourite month to play in and namely carry straight on in North London come Thursday night.
Livermore Incident Overshadows London Stadium Affair
While most of the headline-making action occurred on the pitch, there was a certain occurrence in the second-half of the encounter that worryingly made the headlines for the wrong reasons.
While visiting midfielder Jake Livermore, who only started because of a late injury to Matt Phillips, left the field matter being substituted in the 64th minute, he was involved in an altercation with a fan in the West Ham United end.
Allegedly, the England man was on the receiving end of abuse from a small group of members of the Claret & Blue Army, one of them shouting a slur about Livermore’s son who sadly passed away in 2014.
The midfielder confronted the fans before being escorted down the Tunnel a short while after by members of the West Bromwich Albion Coaching Staff aggrieved by the incident.
MooreThanJustAClub understands that both clubs are investigating the incident at present and can comment no further about it.
That wasn’t the only touchline altercation, however, as tensions ran high in the important matchup as home Assistant Manager Billy McKinlay appeared to be involved in some needle with Alan Pardew which was quickly diffused.
There is little doubt that both parties will be looking to put the incident behind them as soon as possible and focus on the Footballing matters that lay ahead in the next few days.
What Did The Managers Have To Say?
Let’s now hear from both Managers as they spoke in their respective Post-Match Press Conferences at London Stadium, which MooreThanJustAClub were fortunate enough to be in.
“Two great goals (from Carroll) a great centre-forward’s header, that was as good as it gets, I was a centre-half and I don’t think you could stop his leap and his jump”.
“I’ve got to say it (the late winner) didn’t look likely for long periods but, I think we lost a goal in the last minute at Bournemouth which shouldn’t have counted, we played Newcastle here and they scored an offside goal and we missed a penalty, tonight things went for us”.
“I’ve got to say they were two brilliant finishes, stunning goals by Andy, so from that point of view, you earn your luck a little bit, we kept at it”.
“We were poor in the first-half, changed the system at half-time, altered things a little bit, got 15 yards further up the pitch, got closer to the goal and played much better in the second-half”.
“I think Ollie (Burke, when he gave the ball away in added-time) has come on the pitch, we are under pressure to win but in that scenario, I would expect him to run it in the corner and it was a tough last 20 minutes”.
“Once West Ham got an equaliser, their tale went up a little bit and were hanging, physically and mentally”.
“It’s heart-breaking for the players, it’s difficult to offer them any comfort because, first-half, I thought they was very, very good and second-half, we just git tired mentally as well as physically I thought”.
“Our passing was just a little bit off, we didn’t exploit although we still had two big chances to maybe have won it, so I’m just disappointed for them because they deserved a draw tonight”.
So, now that everything there was to talk about after an entertaining affair in East London has been well and truly covered, will there be yet more positive points to draw on when Thursday evening comes around? After the Irons have paid Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs a visit at Wembley Stadium.