Steely West Ham battles to win hard-fought point at Fulham

From Craven Cottage – We are not talking about the red card because it was a disgrace.

Every Football Manager player is guilty of taking a quick vacation seeing a game on the schedule that makes them “bleurgh”. For West Ham, their 0-0 draw at Fulham on Saturday night had that feeling.

To be fair to the Hammers, most of us can probably empathize with them – there has been a lot football recently. While watching the fans and the media can only become mentally tiring, the players are the ones making the stretches in a compressed season with an international tournament at the end. This is the real slog.

Said Benrahma, Mario Lemina
Said Benrahma found it difficult to get involved | Justin Setterfield / Getty Images

There will certainly be a few West Ham players with eyes on Euro 2020. In one of the club’s best Premier League seasons yet, there is clearly a plethora of talent across the pitch. Well, it wasn’t that obvious today.

David Moyes’ side arrived at Craven Cottage as the highest ranked London team in the football pyramid, occupying fifth place and a few points outside of the Champions League places.

And despite their recent form, there was very little for Hammers fans to shout from home – just the eight shots in total, one on target.

Bobby Decordova-Reid skied a volley early in the second half, the first real chance to score for Fulham. Ivan Cavaleiro’s dink failed to find the net soon after. There were warning signs, but the sirens barely sounded.

Nonetheless, Moyes realized it was going to be an uphill battle until the end for his side, and threw on industrious couple Mark Noble and Andriy Yarmolenko for the flair of Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen.

Fulham threw everything they had at West Ham in an attempt to score three vital points in their fight for Premier League survival, but he was only limited to half the chance. The efforts of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been extremely important to the hosts, but you wouldn’t say West Ham have been particularly lucky to be on the same level.

Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard couldn’t keep up with his stellar debut | Pool / Getty Images

It wasn’t the prettiest of games (be very generous with it) but in this all-season season you’re going to have to keep going – the cream will rise to the top, and West Ham won’t be too far from that. Their European aspirations are real.

West Ham fans should take comfort that their squad are likable to say the least – Noble and first-team coach Kevin Nolan appeared to be the clingy guys of a tight-knit group pre-match. It’s a far cry from the Shambolic Irons iterations that came before them.

It wasn’t a horrible Saturday for the Hammers, just one of the most forgettable of a tough season. Spin it as ‘Ten-man West Ham chasing European hopes,’ another point and another clean sheet. Things are going well right now, you can’t take that for granted.

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