The GoatyGav Column
Two points out of the last twelve available puts us below Watford in the last four games. There are only two teams with worse hauls and those are Norwich and Southampton. When you look at it that way it’s not much worse than the first four games of last season. Our predicament really got real on Saturday and there I’ve got some serious concerns about the coming games.
Confidence is definitely on the wane at West Ham right now. Some players are suffering more than others. For my money there’s something wrong with Felipe Anderson. Something’s definitely going on with the bloke IMO. He’s been off the boil for a number of games now. Where he was putting in great shifts on match-days he’s now gone back to strolling around like he’s walking off a Sunday roast. I found myself screaming at him like a demented lunatic, to get up with play, on one occasion when we were attacking as he was ambling along around the half-way line. Annoyingly, though, by the time he got hooked he’d actually started getting in to the game.
I’m an optimistic bloke who will, generally, give the benefit of the doubt, where it exists, to people. I’m also a big advocate of Manuel Pellegrini, who I remain fully supportive of, during this difficult period. His substitutions on Saturday, however, baffled me. I ask you – Yarma or Snoddy to make way for Ajeti? And in the eighty-sixth minute? There’s a reason that Haller looked isolated – and it wasn’t just because Anderson was hanging around the half way line either.
It’s not even that we have the excuse that our Physio room is particularly busy. We’ve usually got about nine players out by this stage of the season. At present there’s only two first teamers.
Don’t get me wrong as it’s not all bad. Declan seems to be getting back to his, old(?), consistent self. It now seems quite clear that he was suffering from a bug, of some description, which affected him detrimentally. Roberto is ably deputising for Fabianski. I don’t think any criticism which I’ve heard about him is warranted. As we left the ground on Saturday I heard one or two criticising him but I really don’t think he deserves it. You could argue that he should have saved Mousset’s goal but I thought it was an extremely smart finish. First time shots like that catch keepers while they’re re-setting and this was one of those. In fact it was such a decent, first time, strike that it brought several applause from West Ham fans in our section. But despite the positives I’m really of the opinion that, on current form, we’re in the bottom three and, from our performances, deserve to be. Without doubt it’s time for the team to get their stuff together.
I really don’t want to be sat here typing even less positively after the Newcastle game. On that subject I wasn’t too upset to see that Sean Longstaff will miss the match next Saturday. He’s one of the few players that’s really making a positive impact at the Barcodes and they’re going to miss his services bigtime IMO. It’s really high time to get our season back on track, after several lacklustre games just before and following the last international break.
The West Ham Women’s team put up another great fight against Chelsea this weekend but, unfortunately, couldn’t retain the lead after going one up, through a ‘sniffer’s’ strike from Adriana Leon, with thirteen minutes of the second half on the clock. An impressive crowd of over two thousand witnessed three late strikes from Chelsea which sent the blues top of the league after Arsenal beat the impressive Man City ladies. With five played the ladies have recorded two wins and sit three points behind fourth placed newly promoted Manchester United Women. There’s no let up in this division. Next up it’s a visit to the powerful Manchester City side where Matt Beard will hope his team gives a good account of themselves. Best of luck to the Ironesses.
The Under 23s continued their impressive Premier League 2, division 2, campaign with a creditable four-one win over Norwich City. Anthony Scully continued his amazing scoring run with the opening goal, followed by a brace from Dan Kemp and an excellent team goal from Amadou Diallo that sewed up the win for the Hammers and kept the boys three clear of Manchester United who kept up the pressure with a three-one victory against fellow title chasers Stoke City. Next up a visit to mid-table Swansea City on Sunday. Best of luck to the lads for that one.
Have a good week, all, and let’s hope the team can get out of the slump next Saturday.
COME ON YOU RIP ROARIN’ IRONS!