Battling Hammers refuse to bow despite injuries

So no Cresswell, no Zouma, no Oggy and no  Fornals yet here we are celebrating our second win on the trot over Christmas and the New Year.

Now off to the Afcon

And given the power that Palace packed into their game we should be very proud that we came away from Selhurst Park scoring three goals and winning despite the late scare with so many top players missing.

I don’t want to make Arthur Masuaku a regular scapegoat but we didn’t look the same team without Ben Johnson in the second half.

His driving runs down the left and crosses into the box with his “wrong foot” during the first half had been a bit special.

And unless he was subbed for having received a yellow rather than suffering an injury we didn’t look the same in the second 45.

Issa Diop is looking frail at the centre of defence and we are still waiting for Vladimir Coufal to reach the heights of last season.

With  Pablo unavailable we  might have hoped to see more of the increasingly impressive Nikola Vlasic but that may happen when Said Benrahma leaves with the Afcon tournament srarting.

Given the current circumstances the win today was impressive against a totally committed Palace and hopefully we can now look forward to a relatively comfortable period with Leeds coming up in the FA Cup followed by a game at  Norwich.

With 34 points from 20 games given the loss of Cress, Zouma and Oggy we have to be happy and have fingers crossed for January arrivals.

We were not at our best at all in the second half and almost failed to see the game out  but given the problems we have with injuries fith place and 34 points will do for mos of us at this stage of things.



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon