It’s been five Premiership games since we went to White Hart Lane and turned over the Dustbin Lids by playing the now infamous 4-6-0 formation.
For the Spurs game, it worked because they had never seen us play that formation before and also they missed a couple of chances in the first half that would have made it a different second half.
Now, our future opponents have seen this system and have worked out a way to play against it – just as the results have shown. Since the Spurs game, our record in the league is played five, drawn two, lost three, scored two and conceded nine.
If that keeps up we will be in serious trouble after Christmas as we have a fairly hard set of away matches coming up – Liverpool, Man. United and Arsenal. Although we do get the pleasure of playing Fulham, Sunderland and West Brom all at home before the end of the year. Those three home games will have a big impact on our season because I hope we get at least seven points from those three games, nine would be better.
Our biggest problem has not only been scoring goals but creating the chances. And now our defence – that had been playing well -seems to be gifting the opposition a goal here and there, which hasn’t helped. Combine that with a non-stop growing list of injuries and we are lacking quality options to pick each week.
I watched the Chelsea game at The Olde Ship pub in Santa Ana with a couple of fellow Hammers. It was during the second half that my mate Dave asked “Is Nolan playing today?” It took us a few minutes to come to the answer yes. Firstly, the way Kevin Nolan disappears from the action makes me why he is still the captain.
His contribution is very poor and, secondly, what does he have on Fat Sam? Because if he played for any other team, with the “performances” he has put in this season, he would not even make the subs bench. A captain has to set the example for the rest of the team. I have been spoilt by being luckily enough to have seen both Bobby Moore and Billy Bond captain West Ham and both lead by example. I hope Kevin Nolan scores a hat-trick against Fulham next week and proves me wrong, one goal would even help. If “captain no show” doesn’t score, I don’t mind anyone else banging in a goal or two. It can come off Carlton Cole‘s arse for all I care, as long as the ball ends up in the back of the net and we end up with all three points.
All season we have had a goal scoring problem, no matter who is picked as the sole forward. What’s wrong with trying one or two of the young players from the Development Squad? What are they being developed for? There is no way they could be any worse than the present “strikers”. Maybe they would prove to be the answer to our scoring problems, as well as saving us some money in the January transfer window?
Talking of the transfer window, if we are still struggling after Christmas, what decent forward would want to come to a club involved in a relegation battle, with the prospect for second tier football next season? Also, IF Andy Carroll is back by then, they will know that they will always be the second choice forward.
If I was doing a school report on the season so far, I would give the team a D- and the comment MUST TRY HARDER!!
As we move toward the move to the Olympic Stadium, it’s important for West Ham to become a globally recognised football brand. The Chelsea game was the third time this season we have been on national TV here in the States and on all three occasions we have lost.
Americans love winners and, on those performances and results, I believe we have not captured too many new fans here.