Meek surrender yes, season ender no
Gutless, meek, pathetic – just some of the words used by West Ham United fans to describe their side’s League Cup exit at the hands of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The 3-1 defeat at home to Mauricio Pochettino’s much-changed Spurs side has left many Hammers fans flat.
As Tottenham fans have been keen to point out, their team has won more times at the London Stadium than West Ham so far this season.
The despair and angry reaction of a large section of West Ham fans following a second limp surrender to their rivals in as many weeks is understandable.
Anger understandable but let’s not overreact
A sense of perspective is needed, though. Because a more considered view reveals the club has not been in better shape for years.
Yes Wednesday night was disappointing.
Yes three or four players – you all know who – did not cover themselves in glory.
And yes Manuel Pellegrini still has plenty of rebuilding to do over the course of his contract.
But some of the reactions from Hammers supporters quite frankly beggar belief.
In young trio Declan Rice, Issa Diop and Grady Diangana it could be argued West Ham have not been in a better position since the golden generation of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and co.
Much was made of Pochettino’s 10 changes just 48 hours after a tough game against Manchester City.
Make no mistake this was no Spurs reserve team.
Young blood should give fans plenty of optimism
Four of those players were first team stars with Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Christian Eriksen and Harry Winks coming back in alongside fellow first team regulars Victor Wanyama and Davinson Sanchez.
If anything it was West Ham’s reserves. Pellegrini is dealing with a Premier League-worst injury list.
The Chilean has been denied the talents of the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko.
If West Ham can somehow get Reece Oxford’s career back on track and make some wise and quality additions in future transfer windows they have the makings of a genuine Premier League force.
Certain players have undoubtedly spurned the chance to save their flailing West Ham careers.
The likes of Michail Antonio, Arthur Masuaku, Javier Hernandez and Angelo Ogbonna are surely nearing the end.
But as hard as it may be to swallow the double Spurs defeat, the future is bright for West Ham if Pellegrini builds his team around the young blood impressing so much this season.