I was a little surprised that I wasn’t more upset with our defeat on Tuesday night.
Like most of us, I thought we would win, perhaps by a single goal, but that we would have enough about us after the win at the Etihad, to progress further in the League Cup.
Although we took the inform and only unbeaten Premier league outfit to extra time, it probably shouldn’t come as a great shock to lose to Leicester, as they are proving to be a decent team. However, there is always one team that shows early promise only to fade away later on.
You could point to the fact that we lost because we played out of our skins against Manchester City. Therefore, the boys were tired and there were some heavy legs out there. You could suggest that playing two tough games within four days took its toll, but really we shouldn’t be making excuses.
These players should be fit and raring to go and two games in a week should not be beyond them. We looked a shadow of ourselves up until Zarate scored and it took us a while to settle down. Why though? Of course, had it been a league game, we would have earnt a point, but maybe, had we had more luck with our penalty claims, we would now be in the fourth round.
Leicester fielded their second string team out there and still looked better than us and now we’ve lost to them twice, by the same score and being completely outplayed by them. We now have a considerable depth of talent within our ranks and those that came into the team for us, Zarate, Collins and Carroll are all decent players.
It was good to see Collins get a run out, he’s a player that I’m pleased stayed with the Hammers, Zarate looks like he could be a different player for us this season and although the jury is probably still out on Carroll, it was good to see him playing.
We can’t get carried away with our success on the road this season, even though we earned nine more points than we thought we’d get and there will still be the highs and lows throughout this season. Bilic seems to have stamped his authority on the team and his playing ethos is starting to show.
The players are getting to grips with his tactics and understanding their individual roles within the structure of the overall team.
Good days are ahead, but everyone needs to remain with their feet on the ground. We all know, as we’ve proved, that anyone can beat anyone else on their day.
A cup run would have been a nice addition to the Premier League, but this competition remains elusive to the Hammers. It just seems to be the cup that we get close to (sometimes) and then it just fades away until next year.
I applaud Bilic for putting out a strong team and no doubt he will do the same in the FA Cup, so we can hope for a cup run there instead. Whilst Europe didn’t seem to interest him too much, the domestic league and cups certainly appear to galvanise the Croatian.
All in all, disappointment that we lost to the Leicester B team, good to see a couple of players back amongst the fold and a little timely reminder not to get carried away.
Norwich on Saturday and they will need to re-focus and grab those three points to remain on the tail of both Manchester clubs.