The Highs and Lows of the Hammers
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 2 February 2019 at 12:00pm
Written by: Kevin Wesley
It’s been a roller-coaster season with some highs and some extreme lows. This does seem to come with the territory of being a fan of West Ham United. The move to the new stadium was not embraced by a large portion of the fan base. The team has struggled, and home form is something that is still elusive, though there have been some great home games – including when West Ham played immensely and beat Arsenal one nil, held a very much in form Chelsea 0- 0, and beat Manchester United, all at the London Stadium.
West Ham are both frustrating to fans and non-fans alike; look at Twitter on match days and you see evidence of many a betting slip sent awry down to the Hammers’ result.
So what is it about this team? Why can they never seem to build a decent run of form?
It’s a mixed bag – it’s hard to attract players (and we often end up with players who have had a bad attitude at some point, or been seen as replaceable elsewhere) and it’s equally hard to keep those who do seem to be playing well.
Anderson is one who is both electric to watch and frustrating in equal measure; breathtaking pace and skill, sometimes not entirely interested, but good enough to probably catch the attention of bigger teams come the summer.
The pre season was full of promise; 100 million spent, nine players bought in, a new manager acquired (and one with a great pedigree, having a Premier League title under his belt.) Anticipation was big – though not out of control; yet still no one could predict that having started with a big loss away to Liverpool, West Ham would lose at home to Bournemouth then away to Arsenal and again at home to newly promoted Wolves.
Fortune’s always hiding, it surely is.
Pellegrini seemed to get a grip with things; when he found his preferred 11 and stuck with it, West Ham won four games in a row (Newcastle, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Fulham) but then saw that form drop at home to Watford.
Sure, injuries have played a large part, and always do – they never seem to have a big enough squad, and players who one season seem good enough turn out to be liabilities the next season. Angelo Ogbonna is a prime example and Arthur Masuaku is the same. Is it the management? Is the attitude too laid back? Is it the owners, who have come under serious criticism over their time in charge of this football club?
It remains a mystery for most and the anger and frustration is apparent in every West Ham fan when the final whistle blows on another disappointment, when the players leave the field after failing to look any where near motivated enough.
Questions are asked but answers seem to be few and far between.
The appalling display against League One Wimbledon seems to be the rock hard surface of the ground floor, not only agonising to watch but also a shear horror show of bad performances, from some who never seem to let themselves down.
Pablo Zabaleta has suggested that the offer from China that turned Marko Arnautovic’s head upset the dressing room and made the players lose focus, but they are professionals and paid to be present and focused. This situation did have an effect, but it’s only one example of many problems the club face.
Hopefully they can get to the bottom of things before a repeat of last season turns this mid table side into a relegation fight.