Talking Point

OK, most my posts so far have been as a reaction to an awful defeat… So here we go again. apologies in advance. I’ll try and end it well… 

We conceded 4 goals in 14 minutes against Arsenal at the start of December.
We conceded 4 goals in 17 minutes against Manchester City in the FA Cup.
We’ve conceded 35 goals in the league so far, scoring 23. 

Our manager looks depressed and seems to have run out of ideas. 

So who (or what) is to blame?

Slaven blamed the players. 
Someone blamed the coaching staff
Half the West Ham faithful blame the stadium move. 
Some of us blame Slaven. 
Many of us blame the board (most of us?)
Lots of us blame summer signing flops …

Noone has talked about the new training facilities. Slaven wanted that to feel like a home, where players could feel comfortable, bring their families, who could stay. Maybe thats part of this attitude issue – we’re too comfotable and not pushed in training. Maybe we’ve become a social club…

I’d say its a bit of all of the above, but I don’t want to get into a blame game. That just makes me write even more negatively!

I wrote a post some time ago about our passion on the pitch which seems to still be non existent apart from a handful of players (Reid should keep that Captain’s armband in my opinion), which was followed by several other posts of a similar frustration.

Mike Ireson’s post here sums up many of my frustrations after Manchester City in the FA cup too. 
We lose a goal, heads go down, we lose another 3 in 17 minutes. 

Against Arsenal, 1–0 down at half time, still in the match, then Sanchez makes light work of us, 11 passes, runs round the defence and we’re 2–0 down, heads down, lucky goal by Carrol later, but 5–1 down 14 minutes later. 

Where to turn next?
SJ wrote a recent article on the importance of the January transfer window. It really is vital. We need to do better business. But so far we’re a laughing stock. Twitter, Four Four Two, even Buzzfeed are mocking us in articles and galleries of ‘players we tried to (apparently) get’. 

We’re a football club that feels like we’ve lost our way somewhat. Fans are disillusioned with what the vision is. The board are playing at being a bigshot board, and losing. Players are hot and cold on performance. Ms Brady has “ended the Insider column” on the official site. Let’s be honest Karen, that’s the least of our problems right now. 

We need to resolve this attitude and passion issue on the pitch, and in my opinion, it’s vital we get in a solid rightback with premier league experience and someone who can actually finish in front of goal. Someone (sorry I couldn’t find it) wrote in a recent article on WHTID asking why can all the fans see lots of the problems, but Slaven and coaching staff seem oblivious to them. That does worry me too, he admits we have problems, but seems to carry on experimenting and nothing seems to be getting done.

I honestly don’t think a new manager will help, but where we or Slaven turn next who knows.

But more positively…
Now, on a more positive angle, lets forget the FA Cup. Who needs that distraction anyway. :-). What we must remember is that football really can change so quickly, as we’ll hopefully see in the league over the coming weeks. We’re currently 13th in the league, playing relatively poorly and inconsistently, but still scraping some lucky results…but we’re 13th! Could be top 10 in a few weeks. Some comparison stats for you for this stage last season and now.

comparison stats for league game 20, 2015/16 - 2016/17

The most interesting one I felt on this was that we’ve had almost half as many goals from set pieces this time last year than this season. When I first came across this I was confused – but Payet… surely he scored more. Surely he was our saviour last year from set pieces and that surely couldn’t be beaten this year in our current state?

Then I remembered Antonio. And it’s not just about Payet…

Can the fans help?
Now, of course we’re not to blame for the current fortunes, but we’re a huge part of a great club, and it’s as much our job to get behind the great club we all love as it is to criticise it, slate the manager, get on the players backs and cringe at the ridiculous ways that we become a joke every transfer window (my post summed up there). 

But its also our responsibility to stand with them when its going so bad, to stay to the end, not just to the 50th minute, no matter how hard it is to watch goal after goal fly in.
Yes we’re shocking at the back way too regularly at the moment, but we must get behind our team. I was gutted when so many white seats appeared so early against Manchester City. I hate watching us lose as much as the next, but we must stand with them. Protest, get your banners out, create more chants like "you’re nothing special, we lose every week’ to make light of it on a cold wet night under the lights, but lets get behind them. We All Love West Ham.

Whether Sullivan and Gold believe it or not, West Ham IS about the fans. The heart and soul of West Ham United FC, is about the dads and sons, mums and daughters, grandads, brothers, sisters and mates, passionate about the claret and blue. Back at Upton Park when we rose up in noise it was incredible, and I too am yet to feel that same feeling at the LS. I don’t know if I will. But we’ve moved now, and whilst many of us still can’t get heads round it or don’t want to be there, WE are West Ham and we must stand up and be counted (although probably you might have to sit, as the stewards will tell you off).

Slaven said in his press conference after the FA Cup defeat ’Its hard to feel positive". Yes it really is, but we have to dig deep. As fans and as a team. Together. West Ham. United.