The Runner Sports

Red Card Reid And Altona 93

West Ham ended their trip to Germany with an eventful match against 4th tier German side, Altona 93. The match ended 3-3 and was an absolute wild ride the entire time.

The story line that draws the most attention in this match was the eventual sending off of West Ham team captain Winston Reid. Reid was handed his first yellow card for a play on a 50-50 ball that was scrummed away. Both players grabbed each other and jostled for position, however a foul was called on Reid. He responded with a stern face and a few select words. His response earned him a card, presumably for criticizing the referee’s decisions so far into the match, primarily the foul called on Obiang which led to a Altona 93 goal.

As the first half neared completion, West Ham was awarded a free kick to which Reid sarcastically applauded the referee’s decision. He was surprisingly handed his second yellow card and subsequent red card for the round of applause, and West Ham was reduced to ten men.

The call was asinine and clearly showed that the referee was trying to be “the man” on the pitch. This was made even more apparent when Altona 93 attempted to play with ten men in solidarity for West Ham’s victimization by the referee, a gesture that was shut down by the referee. Playing with ten men is certainly a disadvantage, however their play up to that point was less than stellar.

West Ham, as now seems to be a tradition, conceded the first goal of the match. Twitter quickly reminded the groaning masses that ‘preseason is just for fitness and chemistry; do not read into the scores too much.’ As true as that may be, conceding first, let alone at all against a 4th tier German team is fairly unacceptable for a Premier League team.

Adrian appeared uncomfortable at times, and again failed to command his defenders on a free kick which lead to the first goal. On the third goal, a free kick was allowed to drop in the box which was blasted past him to give Altona 93 their third lead of the match. Adrian did, however, pull out a fantastic kick save on what seemed to be a for sure goal. The Manchester City preseason game should prove interesting as both Adrian and Joe Hart have failed to grab the reins for number one keeper.

With Mark Noble and Cheikou Kouyate out with injuries, and Josh Cullen sent on loan earlier that day, Pedro Obiang was the main man in the midfield. He did not disappoint. Obiang picked up right where he left off before injury last season, tackling everything in sight and smoothly jumping up in the play. He released Chicharito late in the game on a silky through ball. Reminiscent of his pass that initiated an Andy Carroll goal against Southampton, Obiang in the last calendar year has developed into a more offensive player, while not discounting his unbelievable defensive skills.

As mentioned, Chicharito had his first team action for the Hammers, and boy was he impressive. He played the final twenty minutes of the match and created two ten-bell chances. Admittedly, one should have been a penalty. However, his perseverance and unwillingness to drop inside the 18-yard box saw him execute a shot that was zipped wide of the goal, negating any possibility of the penalty being called.

Okay, okay… it was only twenty minutes against less than par competition for West Ham, but Chicharito looked like something West Ham has been desiring for a long time – a pacy striker. It will be exciting to see him lineup against Manchester City with the likes of Lanzini feeding him the ball.

Andre Ayew and Toni Martinez netted goals for West Ham while Sam Byram initiated the odd play that saw the Altona keeper kick the ball back into his own net to tie the game. Martinez was a spark plug in this game and was involved in nearly every play up front for West Ham. While a loan spell looks imminent, he has played himself into first team contention, especially after scoring in the manner he did.

Ayew was also effective, he is solid in a roaming role up front, able to be an outlet but also initiate offence through crosses and passed. His goal was an absolute laser off his boot that blazed passed the keeper. Byram was a game changer for the Hammers after coming on for Zabaletta. While being groomed by Zab, it seems Byram has had a fire lit under him this season and should see first team action regularly with Zabaletta getting the lions share at that position. Declan Rice was another stand out for West Ham. He scooped a sure goal off the line late in the game and was his usual self – responsible and dominant on the back end. With Burke gone on loan, Rice is poised to stay with the first team this season.

COYI

Adam Smith
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Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
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