The Results Based Business
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 31 January 2019 at 6:49pm
Written by : Lewis Knox
“It’s a results based business” is something consistently heard over recent years about our beloved football club; however, the thing that hasn’t been consistent is our results. The results will always be the deciding factor in what a club can achieve but every fan will also tell you it’s the grit and desire of every one of our players that must be shown if you want to be loved at West Ham United.
Often this season, fans are scratching their heads, asking the same questions – “why does it look like we don’t care this week?” “Surely the players can see how big of an opportunity this is?” It seems like only West Ham can beat teams like Arsenal or Man United but then lose to Brighton or Burnley, or only pick up a point against a down and out Huddersfield. Well it’s hard to believe we just have bad luck, or it’s just typical West Ham, there must be a fundamental reason why this keeps happening to us? To try and save us all from pulling our hair out, here are three reasons this is happening.
The first reason is of course injuries. There isn’t a clear answer as to how we’ve been so badly cursed, but there must be something going on at training? Maybe they’re being pushed too hard? We we do know is that because of the many injuries we face every season, we actually look like a team that has no squad depth. We find ourselves struggling for a right back and having to play Antonio there purely because Fredericks took an injury and Zabaleta – as much as he has impressed – he can’t do it week in week out. We sign Nasri on a free transfer who hasn’t played in years because Yarmolenko picks up a long term injury only for Nasri to become injured himself (although in fairness the signing of Nasri looks like a good bit of business, long-term). We have Carroll, Arnautovic, Perez, Hernandez (and you could also include Silva) but we still seem to struggle to have a good enough back up option or a plan B.
Then there’s the second point: competition. A top side always has squad players competing for there position; if you don’t put in a performance someone will be eagerly waiting to take your place. Do we have enough of that at West Ham? Unfortunately, no.
The only real competition we have for places seems to be with Snodgrass and Antonio, but even then we seem to play one of them out of position. Let’s look at our left back situation, one that has pained many of us for a long time. Right now Aaron Cresswell is our only capable left back; yes he dipped in form after his injury, but of recent weeks he seems to have started to turn it on again for us. Masuaku is not a left back – we all know that – but we have no option but to play him there at times, so who really is competing for that spot right now? Looking at all of our positions, it’s a struggle to see who is going to be worried they might be dropped if they don’t play well. Players can afford to get complacent.
Lastly, our players are fatigued. Since Pellegrini has took over he has finally more or less found a starting 11 in a consistent formation. Some of the form we have shown this season is proof of how important that is, but the problem we now face is our players aren’t used to it. Under Moyes and Bilic there were so many chops and changes that the players were reluctantly getting rest; this season they can’t afford to.
Overall, we can overcome this – and the solution is simple. We need to trust Pellegrini. Since his arrival he has taken us to play like a mid table side which, believe it or not, is a far better position than we were in this time last season. He has been given a three year project and next season expecting these dips in consistency would be less frequent. He will get this right for us. It’s so frustrating to watch a poor display, but this man will work his magic – he just needs time.
He is far too good of a manager to not succeed at West Ham.