The HamburgHammer Column
The sight of Zarate trying to get rid of a resilient bin liner bothering him prior to taking a free kick was quite symbolic. He threw it away, but it settled just a metre or so away from him again before finally being removed by a steward. Against West Brom the game in itself was entertaining enough, played against the backdrop of a wet and windy afternoon in East London (being mirrored by the way by a wet and windy afternoon in Hamburg as well). Apart from the bin liner there was some football garbage to be seen on the pitch too, but also some pretty nice skills.
Our defence again looked at times all over the place culminating in the unlucky equaliser stemming frrom a deflection off Reid’s arm that gave Adrian no chance.
Our goal in the first half from that sublime unstoppable well measured gem of a freekick was a sight to behold. If it had been scored by a Man U or Arsenal player I’m sure we would hear about it for the next four weeks. As Zarate still plays for West Ham we’ll be lucky if the pundits talk about it for four hours, but it was indeed a magnificent goal.
I also liked the link up play between Zarate and Lanzini who seems to get into his role as a younger version of Payet more and more.
Obiang worked quite well playing alongside Kouyate.
Jenkinson on the other hand appears to run out of excuses, again he had a below average performance and this will not have gone unnoticed with Bilic.
Same as Carroll (again) not doing a lot really when he came on. He’s a very expensive luxury player to have and I don’t think West Ham as a club can really afford to have that kind of luxury player. I can only hope Newcastle will be desperate enough in January to make West Ham and Carroll an offer they simply cannot refuse.
Don’t get me wrong, I am aware of what Carroll can do and I’m also grateful for the goals he has in fact scored for us (some vital ones too), but in the long run he delivers too little while costing the club too much in wages to justify keeping him really.
Our whole team though right now (with exceptions in Lanzini, Adrian and to a degree Zarate, Cresswell and Kouyate) are underperforming and playing well short on confidence. Which is natural if you fail to win a game for a while. I’m sure things will improve for us again, but make no mistake: The injury to Payet has knocked us for six.
We are still trying to find a way to cope without him and we are clearly struggling. Payet was the secret missing ingredient to make our team and club tick.
With him gone we still haven’t quite found a surrogate ingredient, Lanzini may continue to grow into that role, but the dish will still not taste quite the same as it ever did with Payet in the side I’m afraid.
Bur there is no point in moaning and cursing our bad luck with injuries (who knows how long Sakho will now be out after having to leave the game early ?). We need to maintain that “us against the rest” mentality and mindset of togetherness now. We are losing a bit of touch with the top regions of the table, so we are indeed looking at a solid midtable position near the top now I reckon. Which of course is not the end of the world at all. As this is still, I believe I mentioned this several times before, a season of transition. We are moving into the OS next season and we will be a Premier League club. Considering that there is an ever decreasing number of home games left at the Boleyn I was saddened to listen to the flat atmosphere at Upton Park on the telly. Sure enough the crowd was nervous as we failed to score that vital second goal, but again this showed to me that atmosphere is very much depending on the way our team plays, not necessarily where it plays.
The atmosphere will be magnificient in the OS if our play on the pitch warrants it, it will be very much crap if the performance (and result) leaves something to be desired.
Which brings me to the final (personal) note. My parent’s house has finally been sold, there is still some legal paperwork required, but the day is not far off now when my brother and I will be handing over the keys to the new owners and then we can finally try and move on. It’s hard leaving behind all those memories (good and bad) and, yes, leaving behind a house that was a home to me and a lovely place to return to for the visits for the best part of 35 years.
Not quite as long as the Hammers have been at the Boleyn, I know, but I now start to get an idea of what a lot of you guys and gals are going through now with our upcoming move to the OS.
Man U next then, a game I will only be able to watch the first half of because I’ll have to attend the Golden Wedding anniversary of my uncle (my mom’s brother) and my auntie.
I hope we’ll get at least a point there. And please let us finish the game with no further injuries. That is something we can really do without. God bless!