West Ham United have not had the best of winters really. Since the Chelsea home game, we have looked a shadow of the start of the season. Injuries to key players, a dip in form for those who remain, and poor away form has left us looking over our shoulders at the teams below us. We are currently 6 points ahead of the bottom 4 teams. I think we will have enough to survive with 11 games remaining, but what has been the problem with Sam Allardyces players?
Goals : Something we have been lacking all season, despite the odd glimpse in our home games, our away goals to game ratio is terrible. Carroll has struggled with injuries, Carlton Cole has hardly been prolific in his career and Maiga not been given a chance. Chamakh and Wellington came to us on loan in January, but have yet to be given a real chance.
Defence: At the start of the season, we looked a solid defensive unit. We kept a few clean sheets, and we knew that even if we didn’t score, we had a chance to pick up a draw. When we did score, we also knew our defence would hold out, and we picked up wins. Jaaskelainen (barring the Spurs match) has been getting shakier, the full backs have not been stopping the crosses, and the midfield gets overrun to easily which doesn’t protect the centre backs.
Midfield: Diame started the season on fire, but since his return from injury, he has not looked as influential. He still makes the surging runs, but his final pass has been poor and his shooting terrible. He has a good engine, but he has looked jaded in recent weeks. Trouble is, we have no one else like him, so he is key when on form. Nolans goals have also dried up. We rely on his goals from midfield, and is another who has had a massive dip in form. Noble remains consistent, but he gave away a poor penalty at Villa.
Overall, I think its fair to say that all our key players have either got injured or had a dip in form at the same time. A shining light has been the performances of Joe Cole – let’s hope we can keep him fit and pray we can pick up some points over the next few weeks to make the end of the season more enjoyable.