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Crazy game demonstrates our Irons major issues

Zaba – still our best right back

It was perhaps the most extraordinary game of the season which appalled and delighted in almost equal parts but what did we learn from a 90 minutes which almost reflected our entire campaign.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini was keen to look – as we all were – at the upside and whatever we may have thought about the overall performance at the end of it only the three points mattered.

However, we can’t be blind to the fact that there are issues and there can be little doubt the manager has probably addressed them in his own mind way back.

Starting from the back it became clear that the best right back in the club is now 34 years old and infinitely more reliable than Ryan Fredericks.

The General – needs to return quickly

Zaba needs to stay until we can find a quality player for that position or until Ben Johnson comes of age because he does look a very good player potentially.

There is also no doubt that the return of Fabian Balbuena will make us a much better team but whether he is partnered by Issa Diop – who as explained in another piece  looks as though he needs a rest.

We learned too that cover for Declan will be needed in the summer as he too saw his performance drop due I believe to tiredness. Between them these two young men have played 66 games this season.

Maybe the boss will go back to Besiktas for his Chilean countryman Gary Medel who was a realistic target in the winter and who seems determined to leave. However, he may also believe that he needs to give Carlos Sanchez a run although the reality is that age is against both men.

Nasri – looks a better bet that Noble

In midfield Samir Nasri was a game changer when he appeared as sub and looks a far better and more creative player than Mark Noble who may be lucky to keep his place in a fortnight’s time.

LIke the two younger man Noble too has had a very busy season and at 32 in May looks in need of a rest after 26 appearances.

We learned too if we didn’t know already that Felipe Anderson needs to up his game over the 90 minutes and that Michail Antonio may still have Pellergrini question marks over him following another subbing.

As for Marko Arnautovic and Chicharito, the jury remains very much out although I believe the manager will remain focused on bringing in Maxi Gomez and Aleksander Mitrovic from Fulham should the club be relegated.

What worries most is that lethargic start to games against the sort of team who came visiting yesterday and it does appear that there may be a sub conscience relaxation in the players minds.

It’s been going on for too long away and invaded home territory yesterday and it maybe the only way to sort it is to bring in players known at this stage only to Pelle and Mario Husillos with an entirely different psyche.

Right now the West Ham Way – where an attitude of “you score three and we’ll get four ” – is alive and well and I’m fed up to the back teeth of regularly reaching for the blood pressure tablets. 🙂



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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

6 comments on “Crazy game demonstrates our Irons major issues

  1. Mooy ran rings round our midfield yesterday, bit of a hard nut, I say let’s get him when Huddersfield go down!

  2. Good points.
    However, and there is always an however:

    “Zaba needs to stay until we can find a quality player for that position”

    WHICH position is that, exactly?
    I have rarely seen what is supposed to be a right-back, with such poor positional sense.
    When he plays, up to 1/4 of the pitch is vacant, as demonstrated yesterday.

    “……there may be a sub conscience relaxation in the players minds”.

    I would prefer to call it: Total disrespect for the opposition.
    As suggested elsewhere, the players’ collective attitude is the initial responsibility of the coach.

    What an indictment on the coach and squad as a whole, that a novice like Rice, however talented and ‘mature for his age’ is deemed to hold the team together. A 20-year old should be due a rest, not be called up to a national squad.

    The close season will import yet another batch of international ‘talent’, when there is still sufficient available on our doorstep (country).

    The owners need to stop trying to play with the big kids and realise what is required to be best of the rest

  3. Good article. A couple of minor disagreements, we need a player to play alongside Rice, not to give him a break and that player should be a box to box midfielder. Secondly Mitrovic is not a PL striker so I really hope we have learned our lessons from buying players from relegated teams. We also need a left back which has been shown up in the last few games. My shopping list, right back (unless Zaba stays), possibly a centre back, left back, centre mid, left sided wing player and a centre forward. So if Zaba stays 5 top players and I mean top players, young with potential. No more rejects from PL teams.

  4. Sorry Hugh, Defending from set pieces was horrible yesterday, and Zabaleta was on the pitch, not Fredericks. How does this game show that we need to replace Fredericks??

    Also Nasri is not competing for a place with Noble, unless we are trying to get back into games. Normally, it will be Nasri or Lanzini, and at Cardiff and against Huddersfield, Nasri wins easily.

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