After our park the bus and defend like hell performance at Chelsea, where we defended in numbers and managed to put at least one player in front of any Chelsea shot and then our win over Swansea with their falling to the ground cheat Chico Flores, it’s now time for the team to show the old fashioned East End spirit of blood, guts and backs against the wall enthusiasm for playing for West Ham.
For most of this season it has been missing, maybe we were just waiting for Andy Carroll to return to the first team squad but, over the last two games we have shown the rest of the league that we know how to fight for every point required to survive. Why the players could not show this spirit in September will remain a mystery.
With the arrival of the three players from Serie A on loan for the rest of the season, it will be interesting to see where they slot into the starting eleven. Pablo Armero will probably start at left back now that Roland Rat has left the club. But the other two will cause a problem to Fat Sam and his selection process.
We normally play a goalkeeper and four defenders. Our midfield will be Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing playing wide, crossing for Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan (Mr. Invisible), and playing just behind him – (if they are not suspended). With Mark Noble starting in midfield, that’s ten. So there is only one starting place available. Most of the season we have played just one up front, I see no reason Allardyce would change that because he is fixated on keeping clean sheets, so the last starting place goes to either Antonio Nocerino, a midfield player the manager has described as a “box to box player” or Ravel Morrison, who for some reason comes into the starting eleven one week, then can’t get on the subs bench the next week!
I personally would drop Nolan, though. You might get the feeling I don’t like him and you would be correct in that assessment. He has not performed in most of the games this season and getting sent off for the second time just before Christmas against Liverpool was disgraceful.
Okay, he scored two goals against Swansea and we are led to believe he teams up well with Andy Carroll but, he is a professional footballer and so far this season he has cheated not only the club out of the wages they have paid him but also all the fans who go to see the team home and away.
In his place, I would play Marco Bordello, an out and out forward, our third Italian on loan, who wants to put in a solid few months as he pushes for World Cup inclusion for the Italian team going to Brazil.
We need to win more games than we have so far this season and to win games we need to score goals and play with the pride and passion that all our fans have for our ‘ammers.