West Ham United scraped through in the Europa League qualifying match against Birkirkara.
West Ham United came very close to going out of the Europa League before their challenge had even started, as they scraped past Birkirkara last night following a tense penalty shoot-out.
West Ham were nowhere near their best as the Malta side secured a 1-0 win after extra time, which cancelled out the Hammers’ first leg win and forced the match into a spot kick situation, to determine who would go through.
One player who held his nerve during the shoot-out was talented youngster Diego Poyet, who came on for the final half an hour and extra time, producing a very professional and mature performance for his age.
All players can do in Poyet’s situation as a youngster looking to make an impression, is work hard and do the right things with the right decisions in the high pressure moments, which will equate to something positive for the club.
That’s exactly what Poyet did last night and manager Slaven Bilic is likely to be impressed by the maturity and calmness he saw in the young midfielder, which was missing from some of his more senior players.
The downside for Poyet looking ahead to the return of the Premier League is the midfield signings the club have made this summer.
West Ham’s midfield looks well stocked in terms of the options the manager has and it could take a piece of misfortune for another player, in order for Poyet to get a chance to play through the middle of the team.
He’s got to be ready for his next chance and he’s certainly done his chances of more game time no harm at all based on the ability and bravery he showed during the match last night.
Here’s what West Ham fans had to say about Poyet’s performance and penalty last night.
@WHUFC_News - Nolan constantly runs away from play for knock downs. Poyet wants the ball be part of build up. Nolan wants to be on end. Gaps— Lee Powell (@leepowell83) July 23, 2015
@WHUFC_News sad when the lump Nolan is played ahead of the likes of a hungry Poyet IMO— Craig Jackman (@75_chicoIron) July 23, 2015
How cool was Poyet's pen though