After conceding fourteen goals without reply in three cup matches, and scoring just two goals in the league since New Year’s Day, few could have foreseen the run of results West Ham have had since travelling to Stamford Bridge at the end of January.
Modibo Maiga was in a serious dip in form (whether he was in any kind of form in the first place is a whole different matter), Andy Carroll had been injured for what seemed like forever and Carlton Cole was doing his best, but it wasn’t enough.
Our defence have been ravaged by injuries and suspensions, leading to the panic buying of Roger Johnson. We were not scoring enough and we were conceding way too many, and our captain had gone and got himself sent off yet again. All these things combined led to a January to forget for Hammers fans.
Before the game away to Chelsea, if anybody had offered me a draw I would have had their hand off. So a gutsy, goalless draw against a free scoring Chelsea side in their own back yard was a fantastic result, which gave the team something to build on going into run of games where we could possibly pick up a point or three.
James Tomkins, James Collins and Winston Reid were all starting to make their comebacks and the sight of big Andy Carroll warming up on the sidelines was enough to give the fans, including myself, a bit of hope.
The January signings of Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello have also sparked a few other players into playing a lot better, it seems.
The team played well against Swansea and a captain’s performance from the returning Kevin Nolan, scoring two goals for himself and the team, secured a much needed and much deserved three points.
The Aston Villa game was one I would of happily taken a point from, but the team wanted all three and that’s what they got. Two quick-fire goals from Captain Kev after the break was enough to take all three points back to Upton Park. Form comes and goes in any football player but four goals in two games is a statistic that any player would be proud of, so hopefully Kevin Nolan will push on and show the other players, the staff, the manager and the fans exactly why he is the club Captain.
I have been the biggest critic of Kevin Nolan in recent weeks and have have questioned whether he deserves it or not, but he certainly deserves all the plaudits coming his way for his recent performances, and long may it continue.
The Norwich game was one I penciled in as a home win and the boys didn’t let me down. The game was on at 2:45am for me so I couldn’t watch it, but when I checked the result in the morning it put an extra skip in my step for the rest of the day.
So our recent form has come somewhat of a surprise, but a welcome surprise nonetheless. It gives us fans renewed hope in avoiding the dreaded ‘D’ word. Something which we’ve been too accustomed to over the last decade or so.
Results like the last four not only effect the club’s league position but it also effects the morale of the team in a positive way and also the fans, who pay good money to watch the games home and away.
When the fans are in good voice, the team plays so much better. As we approach the business end of the season with only twelve games left, I hope this current form continues into the Southampton, Everton and Hull City games, and beyond.
Fingers, and Hammers… crossed.