I can rarely remember a final game of the season being more welcome than this one. Despite a respectable mid-table finish, the season feels like it has had far more negatives than positives and I for one was not sorry to see the fat lady sing and the curtain come down.
In a weekend where once again David Gold took to social media and dropped the sort of gaff that Donald Trump would be proud of, it was highly refreshing to see some young players make the bench, even if this was largely as a result of our injury list. Equally three points, whilst not entirely unexpected against a pretty poor Burnley side, was nonetheless a welcome way to sign off the season. Much work is needed at the Club across the summer, both on and off the field. Whether or not we have the right people at the club to achieve this is a topic of much debate, but is also one for another article.
Whilst there were no outstanding performances in the team, a couple of players are certainly worthy of a mention. For long parts of the season he has been much derided and criticised, but Sofiane Feghouli turned in the level of performance we were led to expect when he was signed. He looked bright, dangerous in attack and finished off a very good move to level the game at one apiece.
Andre Ayew appears to be slowly growing into the role of club record signing, although rumour is rife of his summer departure. His link up play and energy levels have really improved this past half a dozen games and he was where needed to head home the winning goal. Ayew’s role within the team has rarely been defined this season and I believe that were we able to do so then we really do have a player on our hands. My fear is that we never will.
In a weekend when the subject of young players was such a hot topic for West Ham, my man of the match was one such player, Fernandes. Stepping into the midfield hole left by Noble and Kouyate, Fernandes took his performance onto a level that we have previously only glimpsed. He looked confident on the ball, picking out passes with aplomb and linking the defence and front line with ease. Despite his physical stature he was strong on the ball and at times made the game look very easy indeed. Having recently taken the club’s award for signing of the season, there would appear to be so much more to come from this young talent.