Now that the excitement of the Olympics has started to fade, it’s time to start thinking about other sporting endevours taking place in the East End of London. To tell the truth, with the distraction of all that was going on in Stratford and the success of Team GB, I haven’t really been following the summer goings on at West Ham as closely as I would normally. We’ve added a few new players, and lost a few but apart from Rob Green, nobody of any significance has departed. The most notable incomers are Momo Diame on a free from Wigwam, French international Alou Diarra and striker Modibo Maiga from somewhere foreign, along with Jussi Jaaskelainen as the new ‘keeper and the return of the ginger Pele, James Collins.
Time will tell how the changes will work, but on first showing on Saturday against the Villa, Diame looks to be a good signing. Maiga made a brief appearance at the end of the game, and should probably have scored when put clean through, but he took the ball a bit wide when rounding the ‘keeper, and a defender got back in time to clear off the line. Jussi had very little to do as Villa were restricted to a few long range efforts.
It was good to get the season off with a win (only 37 more points needed to stay up!), but Villa were a poor side that offered nothing in attack, despite having plenty of possession in midfield. They will need to improve greatly if they are to avoid the drop. But the same could be said for us to some extent, as we also failed to offer a great deal up front, other than from set-pieces, one of which led to our goal. However, it’s early days yet and hopefully when all the new signings are fully involved, we will look a better side.
Several of our successful Olympian athletes made a half-time appearance, among them Mark Hunter (rower and keen Hammers fan) and Nicola Adams (boxer), whose beaming smile continues to delight. She was happy to pose for photos with a number of fans, showing off her gold medal. Unfortunately I was too far away to get any decent pictures myself. Shame Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton or Jessica Ennis weren’t there though…
Useless piece of info – I sit close to a lad who is “Hank Marvin” in a TV ad.