Five things we learned from West Ham's stunning opening day win over Arsenal

Slaven Bilic - West Ham Vs Birkrikara

West Ham United caused the upset of the opening weekend by convincingly beating title tipped Arsenal, but what did we learn from the match?

Goals from Chiekou Kouyate in the 44th minute and Mauro Zarate in the second half gave Slaven Bilic a winning start to life in the Premier League with a famous shock victory over Arsenal at the Emirates.

The Gunners are many pundits' tips for a genuine title tilt this season but it was West Ham who came out on top with Hammers attacker Dimitri Payet and 16-year-old Reece Oxford the stars in the visiting midfield.

So what did we learn about West Ham from the game?

1) West Ham could ram a few pundits' words down their throats this season

From the minute West Ham parted ways with Sam Allardyce in the summer a number of football pundits have been very outspoken on why the little old Hammers should be careful what they wish for. Big Sam was a virtual guarantee to stay in the league, and that according to pundits such as Alan Shearer, Graeme Souness, Jamie Carragher, Richard Keys, Alan Brazil, Robbie Savage and many others is the height of the club's ambition. Hammers fans are tired of watching sneering pundits like Souness belittle their values. Even ahead of the game Sky Sports pundit Souness mocked the 'West Ham way' saying it is a fallacy. Well the West Ham way is very simple. It is seeing players giving 100% and trying to play football in the right way attacking the opposition. Bilic was a risk they said. West Ham will struggle without Allardyce they said. Well West Ham fans everywhere will enjoy watching them eat humble pie tonight. If Allardyce was manager today West Ham would have played five flat across midfield and one striker with a very clear intent to play for a clean sheet and a draw. To see Bilic play Sakho, Zarate and Payet together, away from home let alone at the Emirates... now that's the West Ham way.

2) Do believe the hype: Get used to the attention Reece, now you're not just West Ham's next big thing, but England's too

So much has already been said and written about 16-year-old Reece Oxford after his stunning Premier League debut at Arsenal but when he woke up today he may well feel a bit heavier than usual. Not because he still has Mesut Ozil in his back pocket. More that the Hammers' youngest ever player is now not only West Ham's next big thing, but England's too. It will be a long time until we see another debut like that on that stage from one so young. And while the club clearly think highly of Oxford as both a player and a person – they allowed him to be interviewed post match even though he is only 16 and are obviously confident in his ability to handle the media. But the Premier League is littered with the ghosts of promising players past. I am not for one moment suggesting Oxford – who has been roundly applauded by fans across the country and a plethora of pundits – has not got the ability or mentality to cope with his new found fame. But let us remain patient with our precocious talents and nurture them at the right speed for club and country. He does look one hell of a player, though, it must be said.

3) Payet could make the last season at the Boleyn Ground a special one

As everyone knows West Ham are embarking on their last ever season at their famous Boleyn Ground home of 112 years. It promises to be an emotionally charged season for the Hammers but it is also one the fans want to enjoy and remember for years to come. Well if star signing Dimitri Payet's Premier League debut at the Emirates is anything to go by it will be. He was quite simply superb and outshone all other attacking players on show for both sides. He already looks a snip at £10.7million and showed skill, pace, awareness, strength and no lack of willingness to get stuck in and defend for his teammates either. Fans are salivating over his style of play. He is a player that very much epitomises the 'West Ham way' and like Brooking, Devonshire, Berkovic, Di Canio and Benayoun will have fans excited to watch their team play every week. A very clever player and could turn out to be one of the signings of the summer.

4) Rock solid: Ogbonna and Reid will take some beating

While all the talk was quite rightly about Oxford and Payet after the game, there were two players quietly going about their business at the back for West Ham which should be just as exciting. One of Sam Allardyce's big ticks against his managerial credentials was that he gets you nice and solid, not conceding goals, a good base to build from. But let's not forget Slaven Bilic was a defender too. A much better one than Allardyce ever was and a top class international with it. Yes pre-season, with so much chopping and changing at the back, West Ham looked somewhat shaky in defence. But at Arsenal Winston Reid on his return from injury and Italian international Angelo Ogbonna were rock solid. After an early booking some may have feared the worst for former Juventus man Ogbonna. However his calm, assured display alongside Reid – the man regarded as West Ham's captain-in-waiting and best defender by many – will breed confidence throughout the side. Much has been made of Arsenal's lack of penetration against Bilic's side but it was because those two were like a brick wall whenever they did get through to the last line. At this rate opposition strikers will need to be on top form to get any joy against them.

5) It can't all be positive can it... is the only way down after this?

While the performance warranted it, this report would not be particularly balanced if we didn't look at one negative for the Hammers from the game. But there isn't one. Which means the only bad point about the result is that things can only go downhill from here, can't they? West Ham had their best ever start to a Premier League season last summer and were fourth by the new year. That will take some beating and after such a brilliant result to start the season with a bang it begs the question can it really get any better for Bilic's side? Well if they sign a top striker like a Charlie Austin or Javier Hernandez the answer would be yes. But it is a long hard season and relying on the brilliant Sakho, who is the main goal threat, would be brave and foolish. Andy Carroll cannot be counted into the equation as he is merely an expensive bonus for Bilic if and when he does return to full fitness after an injury ravaged career. The Hammers are in for a good season, but get that striker in and it could well be a great one.

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