West Ham secured three valuable points against a weary looking Watford side at the London Stadium. Here are five things we learned.
Arnautovic is key to the Hammers survival
After missing three games through injury, Marco Arnautovic made a goal-scoring return to the Hammers line-up yesterday.
His second half tap-in, sealed West Ham’s win over Watford and underlined his importance to the home side’s chances of Premier League survival.
Arnautovic was a constant threat to Watford’s defence, with his powerful runs and at times dazzling footwork. With no other player like him, the Hammers must hope he stays to fit for the remainder of the season.
London Stadium is beginning to feel like home
Although the London Stadium is a long way short of being the majority of West Ham fan’s ideal ground, it is beginning to feel like home.
With only one defeat at home since early November, West Ham are at last playing at the London Stadium like the home side. For much of last season, and the beginning of the current term, the vast ground felt uncomfortably like an away stadium.
Whether it’s the fans, or the team learning to adapt to the bigger pitch, West Ham have found some much-needed home form.
Watford looked tired
After beating Chelsea last Monday 4-1, Watford should have come into the game against West Ham with high hopes of getting another important win.
Last season they won 4-2 at the London Stadium, but yesterday they looked leggy and weary, rarely threatening the West Ham goal.
Having had more than 60% of the possession, Watford should have made more chances; instead they lacked the penetration that ravaged the Blues last week.
Big blokes that fall over easily
One of the annoying factors of modern day football is the sight of players falling over at the slightest touch. Someone with the stature of a rugby player and more than six feet tall will invariably fall to the ground as soon as he feels contact.
Not wishing to do Watford to great a disservice, the Hornets do have a lot of tall players who seem to fall over a lot and make the game a mockery.
What was once a contact sport is rapidly becoming a game of human chess, with each team keeping the ball for long periods and tackling ruled out as it usually results in a free-kick.
Javier Hernandez deserves his goals
It has not been an easy start to his Hammers career for Javier Hernandez, but recently he has been given a run in the first team and has importantly scored goals – twice in the last two games.
After a bright start to the season, injury and other strikers being selected ahead of him, restricted Hernandez games and rumours abounded that he leave in January.
Strikers Diafra Sakho and Andre Ayew were sold in the transfer window, and Andy Carroll is, as usual, a resident in the treatment room, so Hernandez can expect to keep his place in the Hammers first team in the near future. Let’s hope he can continue to display his poacher’s instincts and continue to score goals.