The Watford win was a very important one for us. If we want to do well this season and we want to be battling at the right end of the table, these are the games we need to win.
Watford had lost two coming into the game and were there for the taking and we put them to the sword. Terrific result and great to see Haller opening his account for us.
One notable absentee from the Watford squad was Jack Wilshere. I heard he didn’t play very well against Man City and being hauled off at half time away at Brighton speaks for itself.
Does he fit in our system? Is there a place for him? With all the injuries he’s had during his career, it is a bit like having another Andy Carroll but there’s no doubt he is a good player.
Having said that, I’ve never seen him play that well for us and I’ve not read any reports that he has played particularly well.
I thought he may have possibly been let go over the summer but Pellegrini clearly believes in him.
Whenever I saw him play for Arsenal or indeed England, I always felt he tried to do too much. But, to be fair to him, I’ve probably not seen the best of him. Maybe an Arsenal fan who has followed his career can tell me what I’m missing?
One player who was in the squad – and for the first time this season – was Mark Noble. It was fitting that 15 years to the day after making his debut, he slotted home the penalty to give us the lead at Watford.
We’ve all been talking about Noble for the past few season will he still get game time or won’t he? But whenever he has played, he has never let West Ham down.
Yes, he’s been lacking in pace but pace isn’t everything. Just look at Pirlo. I watched him play for Italy at the World Cup in Brazil, and he never broke a sweat but nobody could get close enough to touch him because he made space for himself.
Trevor Brooking was like this. He always managed to find himself in space and opposition players would be looking at each other and asking each other who was marking him.
I don’t think you need to have explosive pace to contribute to a game. Noble’s experience is very important to us even still. You can’t buy the Premier League experience he has.
If you have just Rice and Noble as a two in the middle, you need someone creative like Lanzini or Wilshere with them but the question still remains whether or not Jack is up to the task.
I heard that Jack had a good pre-season and this form should have been carried over into the season.
I never care about the team having a good pre-season and winning each game. Going undefeated throughout pre-season is no indication of what will happen during the season.
One of the best seasons I had at QPR, when we finished second, came after a pre-season that saw us lose every game, and we lost to some pretty average sides too!
But what is important during pre-season is that you get your match fitness up and make sure you get your own personal performances right, that should mean you hit the ground running at the start of the season and clearly this hasn’t happened with Jack.