West Ham United – Burnley
Both West Ham and Burnley are better sides than their position in the Premier League table suggests, making this game a must win for both. West Ham goalkeeper Luckasz Fabianski has made 44 saves in the Premier League this season, joint highest in the league with Burnley’s Joe Hart, who struggled to find consistent form while on loan at the London Stadium last season.
West Ham have made defensive improvements in recent weeks, conceding only one goal in each of their previous three games compared to the nine they shipped in the first three games of the season. However, Burnley, who were very impressive defensively last season, have shipped nine goals in their last two games, albeit against two of the three teams yet to taste defeat this campaign, Manchester City and Chelsea.
I can see a very close game. This fixture marks the start of a favourable set of fixtures for West Ham which sees them play only two sides higher than them in the Premier League before the new year, whereas Burnley’s defensive struggles in recent weeks will have them lacking confidence that end of the field. I’m going for a home win, West Ham 2-0 Burnley.
FT: West Ham 4 – 2 Burnley
Pre Game – 1 Minute Silence
As we near November 11th it’s a tradition for all Football league games to mark a minutes silence to remember those who lost their lives during the two world wars and other conflicts. It always adds an extra slice of emotion to the occasion and football takes the back seat as we remember that their are more important matters at hand. In a game that is constantly changing this is a tradition I both hope and expect to remain, and rightly so. Lest we forget.
10 Minutes – West Ham 1-0 Burnley (Marko Arnautovic)
I was thrilled and excited. West Ham started the game exactly how I wanted them to and were rewarded for the attacking threat they showed in the opening 10 minutes of the game. The perfect start.
45 Minutes – West Ham 1-1 Burnley (Johann Berg Gudmunsson)
The worst time to concede. Against the run of play. A real kick in the teeth. I was fuming, arguably Burnley’s first chance of the game and only time they set foot in the West Ham box. With West Ham creating enough opportunities to easily be three or four goals up, to concede that way was both frustrating and infuriating. The anger levels were very high heading into the interval.
Despite West Ham playing almost the entirety of the first half the way I like to see them play, at half time I wasn’t happy. Entering the midway point drawing a game we deserve to be winning had me feeling like I had just received a big punch in the gut and I didn’t know what to expect from the second half.
If the equaliser on the stroke of halftime had that effect on me, a fan, what would it have on the West Ham squad who were putting in a serious shift and were punished for one lapse in concentration.
68 Minutes – West Ham 2-1 Burnley (Felipe Anderson)
West Ham started the second half the same way they played the first, on the front foot, and 23 minutes into the second half were rewarded for it by record signing Felipe Anderson who was having his best game in a West Ham shirt so far.
I was delighted with the second goal and was filled with excitement watching the team knock the ball around so beautifully in the build up. However, I was fully aware the game wasn’t won yet, after all, there was still 22 minutes plus added on time to play and we’d already let Burnley back into the game once, who was to say they couldn’t crawl their way back into it again? And for that reason, I was very nervous.
77 Minutes – West Ham 2-2 Burnley (Chris Wood)
Exactly what I, or any West Ham fan, didn’t want to happen. Sean Dyche’s response to going 2-1 down was to bring on attacking players and go for the equaliser, which they got when his two subs, Robbie Brady and Chris Wood teamed up from a corner with the latter heading home.
I can’t remember the last time a game of football made me this angry. I thought that was game, set and match and the thought of West Ham coming away from the game with anything other than 3 points was criminal in my eyes, West Ham were by far the better team.
84 Minutes – West Ham 3-2 Burnley (Felipe Anderson)
Just six minutes later and the anger was crushed as West Ham scored a third, but the excitement didn’t last long, it was replaced with fear and anxiety that Burnley would find a third equaliser and with players who offer goals such as Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes on the field I convinced myself it was a real possibility.
My heart began to beat out of my chest severely once the game kick started for the final five minutes. I didn’t know what was going to happen, West Ham could win, West Ham could lose, it could be a draw. I just had a feeling this game wasn’t put to bed yet and that created an anxiety within me.
90 Minutes – West Ham 4-2 Burnley (Javier Hernandez)
And breathe. In a desperate search to find their third equaliser of the game, Burnley got caught on the counter and Javier Hernandez did what Javier Hernandez has done throughout his career, and put the ball in the back of the net. I was relieved, with three minutes to go there was no way West Ham could throw this game away now and I felt like I could finally start to celebrate an exciting performance which gave West Ham the 3 points they deserved.
What a game to get this new series on the blog started with! A very exciting game to watch, neutrals would have loved it, and later on in the evening I found that I could enjoy watching the highlights on Match of the Day compared to the roller coaster of emotions that watching the game live had on me.
Throughout the course of the game I cycled through all of the emotions. A beautiful style of play going forward that genuinely got me off my seat with excitement. Four great team goals including two superb finishes for West Ham’s second and fourth goals which created a warm feeling of enticement that already has me excited for next weeks game.
Then you had the other end of the spectrum. Burnley had no right to get back into the game, they’re the worst team i’ve seen West Ham play so far this season, yet they managed to draw the game to level pegging not once but twice. I felt the anger and frustration when Burnley scored their equalisers, and it also had an anxiety effect on me when West Ham took the lead to make it 2-1 and 3-2, because I didn’t think we could hold it, the stats speak for themselves, Burnley had three attempts on target and scored two of them, so I feel like those feelings were justified to an extent.
However, at the end of the day, West Ham were the better team and got the reward of a precious three points against a team who they were level on eight points with at the start of the day. The style in which West Ham approached the game had my eyes and mind glued to what was going on at all times and the 4-2 win has had me in a positive mood which has reflected in my attitude towards everything I have been involved in since.
Next Game – Huddersfield – West Ham | 10th November 2018.