Talking Point

Blind Hammer puts the Sunderland game in perspective.

There will be few West Ham supporters not disappointed with the manner of conceding 2 points on Saturday. Not only did we concede points late in the game, yet again, but we contrived to let the most ineffective attack in the league score twice.

On a straight comparison we did not, for large parts of the game, achieve any sort of dominance against, what the table tells us is the worst team in the league. This inevitably invited the observation that we are little better and actually lucky not to be relegation material ourselves.

Whilst we are in the midst of one of the worst injury crisis Bilic has had to cope with, Sunderland, also were similarly deprived of key performers through suspension and injury. The observations of fans after the game made for gloomy reading.

An often quoted maxim is that “the table does not lie”. My point in this piece is to argue that in contrast, it often does.

Every football match is a competitive event and to that extent each individual match is relatively unpredictable, depending of course on the relative strengths of the protagonists. If we wanted evidence of this we need look no further than Sunderland themselves. Despite their position it was only a few weeks ago that this self-same team, allegedly incapable of scoring goals, actually scored 4 goals without reply against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Wind forward a few weeks and this same Palace team, so ineffectual against Sunderland, were in the space of 7 days defeating Chelsea away and Arsenal at home. This unpredictability is the stuff on which football thankfully thrives. In the Championship Reading can, in the space of 7 days lose 7-1 away to a struggling Norwich team having a dreadful run of form, but then in the same week go to Villa Park and win 3-1 against a side who had previously won 7 out of 9 games.

None of these results make any sense at all when referenced against the table and the form book. If we are to believe the table and form guides West Ham are unlikely to pick up a single point between now and the end of the season. Hopefully this will not prove to be the case.

If we are to give any credence to the maxim that the table does not lie this relates to a general assessment of position at the end of a season. It does not necessarily relate to any particular match

When we beat Chelsea in the League Cup, earlier in the season, nobody sensible could claim that we could now be compared to Chelsea, simply based on this one result. Similarly the result against Sunderland whilst disappointing, did not condemn us as the worst current team in the league.

It is not generally a happy time to be a West Ham supporter. However some perspective needs to temper our disappointment. . Remember to celebrate and savour the successes just that more when the good times arrive again.


David Griffith