It was one of last season’s brightest spots in a campaign mired in darker ones when West Ham last ventured to west Yorkshire to take on Huddersfield Town.
The John Smith’s Stadium was the scene of a 4-1 victory for David Moyes’ side against David Wagner’s men when Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic tore the home side to shreds.
In fact, it is the scene of this writers only ever perfect 10 player rating ever handed to a Hammers player and that was to Arnautovic, who only scored once that day but so sensational was his performance, he earned that score.
Lanzini got two of the other three and Mark Noble the other to give the Hammers the lead back in January of this year. Joe Lolley had made it 1-1 with a long-distance ping before West Ham got properly rolling.
Arnautovic scored within ten seconds of the restart before he and Lanzini combined for both of the Argentine’s goals in the second half to give them a priceless three points in probably their best display under Moyes. The visitors banged in three goals in 16 minutes to blow away Wagner’s team in a ruthless display of counter-attacking football.
Now under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham have the chance to win successive Premier League games for the first time since January 2017, which is a terrible record by all accounts, but there is a real chance they can end that drought this weekend.
Huddersfield have won just once this season and that was on Monday night over hapless Fulham, and have only scored one goal at home this season as well and even then, that was on own goal by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
On paper, West Ham have a far better squad this time around than they did when they last visited the Kirklees Stadium. That was during Moyes’ spell when he deployed Arthur Masuaku at left wing back and played three centre backs with James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna in the team as well.
Reece Burke and Josh Cullen were on the bench for that game back in January, yet there is now ore strength in depth with this side despite the injuries Pellegrini is having to deal with.
Back in January, the Huddersfield game was seemingly the one where the team came together for 90 minutes for only the second time that season, the other previously being the 3-0 win at Stoke a couple of weeks previously as West Ham went on a seven-game unbeaten run at the turn of 2018.
Pellegrini’s side were 4-2 winners over Burnley last time out and demonstrated exactly what they were capable of if they could find consistency. It’s a symmetry this time around as we saw what happened at the Bet 365 Stadium last season (remember when the lights went out at the ground and kick off was delayed by an hour? That day and Diafra Sakho scored aswell) before they headed to Huddersfield and put on a show.
The Hammers have such a favourable run of games between now and 2019 that this is the kind of game that can build on the Burnley victory and really kick start the season after, in Pellegrini’s own words, was a “really bad start.”