Well, this is what happens when you have a team that has scored 5 goals away from home in the league this year and take them to play Manchester United at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney returned to the lineup and scored 9 minutes into the game, thanks to a fine ball from Anderson to Javier Hernandez who squared to Rooney for a tap-in goal. A mostly impotent first half from West Ham gave little to look forward to for the rest of the game, and truthfully other than a couple half-chances (at best) the Hammers never really looked a threat to score. It wasn’t all bad though. I don’t generally root against Rooney, but for some reason I took a little pleasure from his penalty attempt. And on the plus side, at one point we did have five academy members playing on the field at the same time (Tomkins, Spence, Potts, Collison, and Lee). On the whole the youngsters did not play too bad, other than Tomkins getting beat for pace (again) for Manchester United’s goal. Spence held his own against a tricky winger in Nani, while Potts was solid along with having a crucial clearance off the line. It’s nice to see some of the kids getting playing time, and this does nothing but help the team depth for the rest of the season.
Now that the FA Cup is done and over, the team can focus on securing a second season in the Premier League. Unfortunately, this weekend’s upcoming game against QPR just got tougher with the news that Rangers has signed Yann M’Villa and long-time West Ham target Loic Remy. QPR has a nice collection of individual talent and may be able to put out a stronger side than West Ham, at least on paper. Whether Harry Redknapp can get that talent to play as a team in time to win this game, and ultimately save Rangers’ season is big question. At least this game is at home, so the Hammers may be able to have a couple shots hit the back of the net.