From the Terraces

From the Terraces
Fan blogger Joe Difford looks back at Saturday’s game against Watford…
After the well-timed international break, Slaven Bilic and his players were mostly fit and raring to go against Watford in the second Premier League game at the London Stadium.
However, a shocking thirty minutes saw us throw away a two-goal lead where we were completely in control.
It may seem difficult to find any positives in Saturday afternoon’s clash, especially because we were in complete control in the opening exchanges. But the Premier League is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is far better to iron out these issues in the first few weeks of the campaign.
After receiving his first England call up, Michail Antonio was raring to go and nodded home from a Dimitri Payet corner after just five minutes. The winger has scored more headed goals in the past year than anyone else in the league, and added yet another shortly after.
This time, we were treated to an outrageous, audacious piece of skill from Payet on his return, as his rabona cross floated perfectly for Antonio to head home at the back post.
Result aside, it is amazing to see Payet back in Claret and Blue, and if he can provide more assists for Antonio, the new England recruit should finally get on the pitch for Sam Allardyce’s side in the next set of internationals.
Manuel Lanzini was full of energy as usual, as he almost scored a goal with a similar bit of skill to Payet’s cross, but it bobbled wide. Simone Zaza showed off some impressive hold-up play on his debut, just a month after scoring here when Juventus visited in pre season.
As we approached half time however, everything seemed to fall apart and Watford bagged two in quick succession, one an unfortunate mix-up between James Collins and Adrian.
Having conceded two just before the break, we came back out a little jaded, and Watford capitalised, scoring two more and leaving east London with all three points.
There is no hiding the fact that Saturday was a frustrating, disappointing day in many ways, but as all of us Hammers do, we must find the positives and rally behind our men for the trip to West Brom next week.
Many of our injured men are back and perhaps this loss will be a huge wake-up call and push us on to do better. After such a great season last year, we will now realise that this year is completely different.
With Payet back, Antonio the league’s top scorer and a number of others looking good, we just need to shore up the defence, which has been changing since day one because of injuries.
Some may want to forget Saturday ever happened, but the best thing to do is keep hold of that result, the way we are capable of playing, evident from the opening half an hour, and use it to drive us on to three points at West Brom.
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