After the lights had dimmed at the Olympic Stadium and everyone had gone home from yet another European exit at the hands of Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu, there was time for reflection.
Sitting on the DLR on Friday on my ride into work, my usual ritual of checking social media occurs when I stumble upon many furious and upset Hammers still in disbelief that we had come so close to the group stages of the Europa League, but much like Annie Power at Cheltenham in 2015, had fallen at the final hurdle when the passage to victory looked clear.
For those that know me personally, I don’t act quickly when it comes to judging players and performances. Gokhan Tore looked extremely nervous when replacing Ayew against Chelsea, didn’t set the world alight in both games against Astra but did provide an outstanding assist for Antonio’s header against Bournemouth.
Many fans have already written Jonathan Calleri off after he has appeared in three games. He flew to London from Brazil after the Olympics last Tuesday to sign for the club and before he knew it, hopped onto another plane to Romania to start the first leg.
For anyone that is a tiring schedule, let alone for a footballer who is trying to impress his new club on his debut. I looked on Twitter 22 minutes into the match to which numerous people commented, saying Calleri looks rubbish and out of shape. The poor bugger has spent more time on a plane than he has being a West Ham player.
I am not saying that he will go on to become a Paolo Di Canio or Carlos Tevez but once he is a bit more settled and used to England, then we should make our judgement. I am not blind, I am aware he missed a glorious one-on-one chance against Bournemouth and had two decent chances against Astra, but give the guy time and I am sure he will start firing in goals for us.
Realistically we have not had a brilliant start to the season but we were minutes away from picking up a point away to Chelsea on the opening weekend and even though the performance on Sunday was unsatisfactory, we still beat a decent Bournemouth side.
To recap, we are no longer in the Europa League and we are two games into a 38 game Premier league season – and we already have three points. It has a similar feel to last season when the Romanians got the better of us last year before a daunting trip to the Etihad against a free-scoring, undefeated Manchester City.
We all remember what happened then and more importantly, what a brilliant season we had after that game. Let’s get behind Slaven Bilic and the boys on Sunday like we undoubtedly will and get this season well and truly underway.