Łukasz Fabiański: We have our identity as a team and as a Club

Since returning to action following COVID brought football to a halt in March 2020, West Ham United have played 70 competitive matches.

Of those 70, an impressive 37 ended in victory, 15 in draws and just 18 in defeat. In comparison, the Irons’ 70 competitive matches prior to the pandemic resulted in just 26 wins, 12 draws and 32 defeats.

So, we asked goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański, what has changed?

“Obviously, the results help, but the change in mindset is that we know what kind of team we are and what our strengths and weaknesses are and I think we have this belief that we can cause any team problems in this league and that’s what makes us really good, that we have our identity as a team and as a Club,” he explained.

“That mindset helps us to be in this position that we are in now.”

In many ways, Sunday’s 3-2 Premier League win over Liverpool summed up what manager David Moyes has called a ‘new West Ham’.

The east Londoners walked out at London Stadium full of confidence that they could end the Reds’ 25-match unbeaten, and surrounded by staff and supporters who shared that belief.

It took just four minutes for West Ham to go ahead, utilising their prowess from set-pieces to force Fabiański’s opposite Alisson to put Pablo Fornals’ corner through his own net.

Liverpool found their feet and fought back to level through Trent Alexander-Arnold’s well-taken free-kick, but Moyes’ men regrouped at half-time and produced a superb second-half performance, Fornals scoring a trademark goal on the counter-attack before Kurt Zouma headed in from another corner, this time delivered by Jarrod Bowen.

Although substitute Divock Origi scored late on for the visitors, West Ham would not be denied their first Premier League win over Liverpool in eleven attempts – a victory that was their fourth in a row in the top-flight and one which lifted them to third in the table.

We have this belief that we can cause any team problems in this league and that’s what makes us really good

Łukasz Fabiański

“That was a game of two halves, in all honesty, with the way we played,” Fabiański told West Ham TV. “I think we struggled a bit in the first half with the way we looked to cause them problems. We scored one goal from a set-piece but I think, in general, Liverpool was the team that had a lot of control of the game.

“The second half, I think we were able to keep the ball a little bit more and then we started breaking and creating some good chances and we managed to catch them on the counter-attack and we managed to get another goal on a set piece.

“Then, obviously, we started to defend and we were able to defend our lead until the final whistle, so I think, overall, it was a very pleasing performance for us and especially for the fans, because I think they really enjoyed it.”

The Hammers score against Liverpool

One aspect of West Ham’s play the players, manager Moyes and the Claret and Blue Army are enjoying more than most is their omniscient threat from set-pieces.

It is now 32 goals scored from set-play situations, not including penalties, since the start of 2020 – six more than any other Premier League side.

Watching from the other end of the pitch, Fabiański almost feels sympathy for his opposite number as the devilish deliveries and giant Hammers players swarm into the six-yard box from all angles.

“The way we work on the set-pieces, when I look at the opposition goalkeeper, you can see how aware they have to be of our threat and the way we make it so difficult, especially for the goalkeepers,” he observed.

“That’s a really big asset to have, to use it in that way, so our Gaffer is really is keen on working on set-pieces and making sure we cover all the things.

“It’s been working for us, so I think we will continue to do it for the rest of the season.”

With 23 points from eleven Premier League matches played, Fabiański and his teammates are already setting records, but the No1 says they do not want to let up or allow standards to drop.

Instead, they want to return from the final international break of the year refreshed and ready to extend their winning run and maintain their position at the top end of the table in both the Premier League and UEFA Europa League

He concluded: “So far, it has been great and I just hope we’re going to keep on working and keep on pushing and we’re going to try to deliver consistent performances and stay a very competitive team until the end of it.”