Pablo keeping positive

As home league debuts go, Pablo Barrera's performance on the weekend was one that did not deserve to see him finish on the losing side.

The Mexico winger was making his first start of the season since joining the club from Pumas de la UNAM in his homeland. He was given licence to attack by Avram Grant and did just that against Bolton Wanderers, with his rampaging runs reminiscent of the form that, in particular, terrorised France at the FIFA World Cup.

Although ultimately finishing on the losing side for the second straight game, the 23-year-old is convinced the long-term picture is bright. "There are enough good players so I believe in the team. In the first half we showed that we can be better than the result suggests.

"The scoreline doesn't for me reflect what happened on the pitch and I'm sure in the coming weeks we will be better." He is not just committed to making an impression on the pitch. Barrera is working hard on his English lessons to ensure he can do his talking off it as well.


Barrera may not be able to join in the banter just yet but is rarely seen without a smile at Chadwell Heath. There has also been help from a couple of team-mates as well to ensure he knows what is required.

"Sometimes I just have to do hand movements because the only players I can speak to are Luis Boa Morte and Benni McCarthy. Benni played in Spain and Boa is Portuguese which is quite similar."

He is settling in well to life in England and eager to play as much as he can. "My first impressions of the Premier League are that there are beautiful stadiums, cities and supporters, and the football is faster.

"By that I mean in Mexico they play more with short passes. Here they play more with long balls to find the striker so you have less time to think."

Although results have yet to materialise, Barrera knows he made the right choice to head to east London - having done his homework before setting out from North America. "I really like English football and when I knew West Ham wanted to sign me I looked on the internet to try and find things out about them.

"Then I asked my agent about them. I felt it was a club I had to come to. [I read about] the facilities of the club, the players that have played here now and in the past."