Sam Baldock was on the scoresheet on Saturday and will be keen to continue impressing Big Sam during pre-season.

As you are all aware by now I’m sure. West Ham United’s pre-season is well and truly under-way. We were one of the first clubs in the Premiership to get to work and hopefully that is a sign of Mr Allardyce trying to get the squad as sharp and as fit as possible.

It all started off with a training camp in Austria, which seemed to be not only good to start training but help the new and old players get themselves some team bonding. If you are interested to see some of the events of the training camp then head on over to the and there are plenty of pictures and news to read about this.

There was also a pre-season friendly against FK Austria Wien. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best performance as it saw the side lose 3-1, but there was a strong mix of players, from those who I’d expect to see feature heavily such as Cole, and those who I wouldn’t be surprised to go out on loan like Lletget.

What was nice to see, though, was one man on the score sheet in the form of Sam Baldock. I genuinely felt a little sorry for him as he looked a great player for us and then hit an unfortunate injury and then stopped getting a look in towards the end of the season. For me, he is one of those players who will make intelligent runs to lure defenders or even lose them and will try to get himself into those positions where, if the ball is there, he will have an opportunity! That’s what he showed in his goal, by dropping off the defender to meet a Cole cross and get himself a goal. I honestly thought it looked like he could be going out on loan this season, but if he impresses Sam then he may just be given a chance in the top flight.

One thing that I was shocked to read, though, was that we played a 4-4-2 with Cole being supported by Baldock to begin with. This was something we rarely got to see in the Championship and sometimes it worked, others it didn’t, so I do wonder if Sam is going to be testing a few formations to give us more options.

Hopefully this will unravel during the next few friendlies. Hopefully we’ll see a couple of wins as well, but we must remember that these upcoming matches aren’t all about winning, it’s about getting that match fitness and sharpness back before the team go to work on their main goal of keeping the team in the top flight.

Our next fixture will be away to Borehamwood, let’s hope to see the side make some progress and get themselves ready.

Come On You Irons!


You can read more from Banno over at his own West Ham Blog here.