Monday 26 July 2021

Five things we learned from West Ham's 6-2 thrashing of Celtic

Preseason continued with an unexpected thrashing of Celtic in Glasgow. The game lacked the romance of the last meeting of these sides in 2000 for the so-called Di Canio celebration when Harry Rednapp's side lost 2-1.

Bit it was a different story on Saturday as the Hammers smashed in six goals and tormented an inexperienced Celtic back line.

The game may not have provided the test Moyes was hoping for but none the less there were some revealing insights to be taken from the match

  1. West ham are a serious Premiership standard outfit. Even with a below full strength team they coasted against a Celtic side that are already into their season having started their Champions League campaign last week. With Rice, Soucek and Coufal all missing they still dominated and were able to uo the intensity at will.

  2. Said Benrahma is facing into a big season in 21/22. He was impressive last year but gave the impression that he never quite hit top gear. Saturday's performance highlighted his hunger and sharpness with the bonus of a superbly taken goal to underline how much he is ready to step into the gap left by Jesse Lingard's departure. 

  3. Michail Antonio is a top striker - and now that he has taken on the number 9 jersey will hope to hit double figures in goals next season. After a Summer break he looks fit and ready to tear things up. The arrival of a decent back up and / or striking partner can allow for careful game management of his dodgy hamstrings and keep him fit. 

  4. We are still some distance from capturing new recruits that will challenge for first team place. David Moyes indicated that the club were not yet close to any major signings but it is clear that holding on to Declan Rice will require some decent transfer activity. In reality, there's still plenty of time for business and the real transfer action starts in August. 

  5. This looks to be a big season ahead for the impressive Issa Diop and also time for Conor Coventry to make the transition to the first team squad. Both have made strong cases for game time with their preseason form.