Let me put in a word for the owners, even though it is understood that the moral compass of the two pornographers cannot be repaired by their delusional belief that ownership of West Ham would bring them applause and gratitude.
The move to the London Stadium was inevitable from the time that the UK won the right to host the Olympics. The problems with the stadium should be laid at the door of Seb Coe, who did not want to understand that the legacy of the stadium would be as a football stadium. And it should have been built as a football stadium which could be converted for athletics, not as an athletics stadium which could be coverted for football.
Then, there was the idiocy of spending a further £325 million to make the stadium suitable for football with all the nonsense talk of retractable seating. It was inevitable that our two sharp owners would negotiate a deal that doesn’t even cover the costs of the owners of the stadium , whose annual losses have been in the millions with the latest reported loss being £28 million . It is lunacy that £6 million is spent each year of taking out seating and putting it back. But, whoever the owners of West Ham would have been, the club would have ended up at the London Stadium.
Secondly, after the disastrous protest at the Burnley game, the owners did listen to the fans. They appointed a supposed top flight manager. They also stopped interfering in the purchase of players and appointed Armando Herrero as Director of Football.
This is all now history. We have what we have and perhaps it is time for an analysis. We are stuck with the stadium. West Ham contributed £15 million to the conversion and the London Borough of Newham, one of the poorest in the country, contributed an insane £40 million.
Let us turn to an analysis of the players, our major asset:
Goalkeeper. It was a brilliant coup buying Fabianski, but poor judgement to let Adrian go and buy a dud as a replacement.
Full Backs. Zabaleta is almost finished. Fredericks I find to be lazy, but could turn out well if he uses his speed. Cresswell has come back to form. Masuaku should be playing in midfield, but may do better with three at the back. I still believe he is a talented player. We need to purchase a couple of full backs.
Central Defenders. Reid is coming back at last but it is unlikely he will regain his form quickly. I believe Diop is a great player and I have no idea how he has ended up on the bench and he may be sold. Balbuena is steady and has recovered from his loss of form. We need another central defender, especially if we go to three at the back, which worked successfully against Gillingham. Ogbonna is playing better than he has ever done.
Midfield. There is a complete lack of pace. Noble has improved dramatically this season, but this should be his last season. Lanzini is totally out of form. Sanchez was a complete waste of money. Wilshere was signed by a complete moron. Snodgrass is slow . Yarmolenko is laborious and should be sold. We should still have faith in Anderson who is able to produce that spark of genius. Fornals is progressing but hasn’t yet shown brilliance.
Attack. The jury is out on Haller. I question his positioning and his passing against Bournemouth was abysmal and he fluffed his chance against Gillingham, but he may come through. I have nothing but praise for Antonio, whose effort is magnificent, but he is not a centre forward. He should play on the right, so he can cut in. Ajeti is an enigma. We are told he can score goals, but he seems lightweight. Diangana should be recalled as soon as possible.
So, there you have it. The best side would be with three at the back with two at the back as the situation requires. Therefore:
Fabianski, Fredericks, Cresswell, Balbuena(substitute Lanzini), Diop, Ogbonna, Rice, Fornals, Anderson, Antonio, Haller
I believe in playing the same side as often as possible and the above talent should be enough, together with our experienced manager, to get us out of trouble……just.