Huddersfield Town – West Ham United
Both West Ham and Huddersfield picked up three points ahead of the weekends clash in West Yorkshire. Huddersfield’s three points against fellow strugglers Fulham lifted them off the foot of the table and into 18th, leapfrogging the Cottagers and Cardiff City. Whereas West Ham’s 4-2 victory at London Stadium against Burnley, whom they were level pegging on 8 points, managed to create a six point gap between the Hammers and the relegation zone.
Huddersfield have struggled for goals so far this season, with their goal against Fulham on Monday evening (Which also happened to be an own goal) being their first at home this season. On the other hand, West Ham comfortably put four past Burnley and could have easily put four more past The Clarets in a performance that oozed confidence going forward. Which is something that could cause problems for Huddersfield who were only tested with one shot on target in 90 minutes from Fulham.
This will be my third away day of the season, after Arsenal and Brighton and my first ever trip to The John Smith stadium. I’ll be travelling to the game via the West Ham fan coach service which sees me leave London Stadium with fellow fans at 08:00am for an estimated four hour coach ride.
As for the game itself I think if West Ham can pick up where they finished against Burnley a week ago it will be a comfortable win. I just can’t see the attacking mentality that Manuel Pellegrini has invested in his West Ham side giving Huddersfield many opportunities against Hammers shot stopper Lukasz Fabianski, I can also see the Terriers struggling to capitalise on any opportunities given their record in front of goal which sees England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane as the top goalscorer at The John Smith Stadium since their promotion to the top flight.
Score Prediction – Huddersfield Town 0-3 West Ham United
FT Huddersfield Town 1 – 1 West Ham United
Pre Game – 1 Minute Silence
The final set of Saturday fixtures ahead of Remembrance Sunday includes the traditional 1 minute silence while The Last Post echoes around the stadium and we all remember all those who have lost their lives fighting for their country. It’s always a moment that puts everything into perspective and never fails to remind me that those who sacrificed their lives for the country are the reason I can go and watch West Ham games without fear that something bad could happen. Lest we forget.
6 Minutes – Huddersfield 1-0 West Ham (Alex Pritchard)
The worst possible start and the last thing myself and the 2999 other West Ham fans who travelled 200 miles to West Yorkshire wanted. There’s nothing else to say other than I was annoyed, very annoyed. The goal came from a shot that should have been prevented and ultimately should have been saved by the keeper.
At that moment I thought it was going to be one of those games where a struggling side, like Huddersfield would whack the hand brake on and park the bus for the rest of the game as West Ham tried to break through, which would have been a carbon copy of the Brighton away game I went to earlier on in the season where West Ham lost 1-0.
However, I accepted what happened and labelled it a bad start, I told myself that it’s happened with the knowledge that there was still 84 minutes to play. After all, I did want a fast start to the game.
I simultaneously took a big sigh of relief when the ref blew the whistle for half time, thank christ that was over. As far as a performance on the field goes that is about as bad as I have ever seen us play.
The 15 minute interval of every game is when the emotional impact of the first half catches up with me and I have an idea of how my emotions have been effected by the game so far, mostly because my attention is on the game as it unfolds in front of me and i’m not really focusing on much else.
As for this occasion in Huddersfield, I was just pissed off. The bottom line was that I was incredibly angry caused by the performance I was seeing after the money and time spent getting there. It looked like it was going to be a case of a day wasted.
74 Minutes – Huddersfield 1-1 West Ham (Felipe Anderson)
A huge feeling of relief consumed me when West Ham brought the game back to level pegging. Over the years there have been countless occasions where West Ham would have lost a game just like this. My seat was front row and the away section was rocking when the goal went in and so was I.
In the moments that followed the equaliser I had mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. Excitement that West Ham would kick on from the equaliser and find a winner, the players’ celebrations were fairly mute which showed they had the same idea. However, I couldn’t ignore the feeling of anxiety that had me thinking while West Ham were pushing bodies forward to find a winner that Huddersfield would catch us on the counter, which, I have to add, they would have done if they had the talent at that end of the field.
With all that in mind my left leg was shaking with nerves for the remainder of the game and my heart was jumping up and down whenever Huddersfield were on the attack. Unfortunately from where I was stood in the ground its hard to get a perspective of how close Huddersfield were getting on some occasions due to the goal they were attacking being at the other end of the stadium to where I was.
Overall I was disappointed in the performance. It was as if West Ham didn’t show Huddersfield the respect because they’re a worse team on paper, but this is the Premier League! Every game is winnable and most teams in the league will look at West Ham and fancy their chances.
The game itself was poor, very poor. The football quality was low and it will go down as a very forgettable game over the course of the season. The combination of those outlooks of the game filled me with frustration as I boarded my London bound coach for the return journey. I just couldn’t shake the thought of how winnable the game was, and for that reason alone I couldn’t apply my focus to some writing work I wanted to get done before watching some TV shows I downloaded to my iPad. Instead I just gazed out the window deep in thought about the frustration the trip to the football had caused me.
I’d managed to shake this by the time I got back to London. I was looking it more as a point away is always a good point. I’d take that over a loss and everything that has followed has been positive, I can accept that it was a poor game, but before kick off it could have been a thriller that West Ham won. There’s no way of knowing what’s going to happen in a game of football, something I find to be especially true supporting West Ham.
Despite the frustration caused by the game itself, I don’t regret my decision to go. Away games in the Premier League are always so much fun and one of my little bucket list items is to get through as many of the 92 stadiums in the football league as possible, which now stands at 26. I also have to add, as far as an away day goes, Huddersfield’s John Smith Stadium is one of my favourites and as for an atmosphere generated by a home crowd, it’s easily one of the best, the stadium was rocking from the word go.
I now head into a weekend free of West Ham before the toughest test in english football. A home fixture against champions Manchester City on November 24th.
See you then!