WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done

Irish Hammer 12:53 Fri Oct 22
Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Come on you rip roaring goal scoring IRONS!!!! 🙅🏻‍♂️

Three games, three clean sheets and nine points – Moyes has West Ham looking like naturals in Europe

Perhaps, after everything, supporters had no reason to fear how West Ham United would cope with European football, as the side have played with such confidence many may well consider them favourites to win the competition.

It is a measure of West Ham’s progress that they have not played like a side who are newcomers on the European stage. Instead, they have played like a team that have the belief they will last the duration.

The comfortable 3-0 victory over Genk was all the sweeter considering manager David Moyes made six changes from the 1-0 win at Everton. Victories in previous games against Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna mean West Ham sit top of group H with a six-point advantage. But what has been most impressive is they are yet to concede a goal in the competition. The last team to win their opening three Europa League group games without letting in a single goal was Sevilla in 2019/20, who went on to lift the trophy.

Can West Ham follow suit? Given the nature of their performances, it is clear their European adventure won’t be coming to an end anytime soon. For those who have booked tickets for the upcoming return fixture in Belgium against Genk, many may have also had one eye on a potential date in May. Seville’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium will stage the final of the Europa League final — and one West Ham player believes teams will be keeping a close eye on their progress.

“The main thing is topping the group,” says Jarrod Bowen. “The home games are vitally important. We want to win away too. If we can stay strong, keep the confidence then I think teams will be fearing us. We could be the team to look out for. We’re only a few games away from a big cup run. We’ll keep pushing. We’re winning games so that makes the players keep wanting to put the performances in.”

Over the years we have seen English clubs not fully appreciate their involvement in this competition. Although West Ham narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season, they have fully embraced playing in the Europa League. Before the game against Genk, there was an impressive light show with supporters taking it in and perhaps casting their minds back to when they yearned for moments like this.

It was a night where Bowen continued his good start to the season, Tomas Soucek showed once more he is slowly getting back to his best, the defensive pair of Issa Diop and Craig Dawson impressed and the exciting young prospect Daniel Chesters made his first-team debut. He is the ninth player from the academy who has received a debut from Moyes since he returned to the helm. The West Ham manager even had the luxury of resting Michail Antonio ahead of their next league encounter against Tottenham Hotspur.

BT Sport pundit Joe Cole said this is currently one of the best West Ham teams in the last 30 years. In fact, in an interview with The Athletic in September he went one step further and said: “Villarreal won the Europa League last season but Villarreal are not better than West Ham. Antonio walks into their team, so does Soucek, Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma. If Villarreal can win the Europa League, then so too can West Ham.”

The Thursday-Sunday schedule of playing in the Europa League can be very taxing, yet Moyes has been able to spread minutes through the squad. Alphonse Areola made it three clean sheets in three appearances and Andriy Yarmolenko had one of his better performances in a claret and blue shirt.

While Moyes is aware expectations will continue to rise providing the club maintains their form, his primary objective is to secure qualification from the group.

“I expect to win the games as a manager of West Ham and with the players I have got, I go into the games with that attitude,” he said. “But because we’re new to European football, they’re new surroundings, new referees, teams we don’t know, players we’re not aware of, strengths and weaknesses, sometimes you can go in not as prepared as you’d like to be. So I am really pleased with the way the players have gone about their work.

“I’m keeping relatively calm. I’m not going to take anything for granted. I want to be in Europe after Christmas. That is my plan for this year and the players have done a brilliant job. We’ve got to keep working to get those extra points to make sure we qualify.”

An hour after the final whistle, fans were singing Forever Blowing Bubbles outside the ground. Those who stayed behind to watch Bowen do his post-match interviews chorused praise. A smattering of supporters had the pleasure of hearing Sweet Caroline blast through the speakers.

Good times have never seemed so good for a long time for West Ham.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 8:41 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Thanks Irish
I thought Yarmolenko and Lanzini played very well last night, both can fit into our “1st” team.

daveyg 8:31 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Good post Irish.
Soucek looked back to his best. Perhaps more plastic surgery over the coming months !!! He didn't look knackered either,playing the full 90.
Hopefully go for the win in Genk then more youngsters can obtain game time.

Alwaysaniron 5:28 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Irish Hammer 4:23 Fri Oct 22

I can't deny any of that. At the ripe old age I have reached I can honestly say that this is the best I have felt about our team. What I like most is their togetherness. No 'Billy Big Bollocks' and some genuine nice lads who seem to really get on as mates. They appreciate the fans and that means we warm to them. Gone are the 'Bentley Boys' and thank the Lord for that!

Thanks Alan 4:33 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Vexed 1:00 Fri Oct 22

My pleasure.

Great article.

Thanks Irish, your work on here is much appreciated.

Irish Hammer 4:23 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
Alwaysaniron 2:46 Fri Oct 22

I'm just spreading the happiness of being a Hammer right now !


Alwaysaniron 2:46 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far

I'm starting to think you write these yourself and then claim it as another 'special/nice/well thought out piece you've uncovered somewhere... :-)

El Scorchio 2:34 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
He's rotated the squad really well so far, and we haven't had many key injuries, so here's hoping he can carry on in that style. Nailed it last night and got to rest a few players for Sunday.

Having such a lead in the Europa group is fantastic as we can hopefully get one more win and then rest players properly for the final two, knowing we'll top the group regardless, and allow us to concentrate more on the league in November/December.

I do think the EFL cup might be sacrificed though, given who we've unfortunately drawn and the fact that we have some important games very close, either side of it.

BillyJenningsBoots 1:14 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far
I get that we've made a great start and we should be confident enough to believe that we could win it - but lets stay calm. The impact of Thursday night football may not hit the squad until the new year with possible injuries etc.. Lets hope we can get a player or two in the next window!

Having said that its also a great time and we should be happy hammers right now.... esp with Spurs' Euro campaign going down the proverbial!

Vexed 1:00 Fri Oct 22
Re: Nice little Article on our European journey thus far

Exciting times.

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