Europe and the “fatigue factor”


By Rich Sprent

SDOWNINGThe West Brom game demonstrated perfectly just how fragile a good squad can be when looking at European football.

Let’s make no bones about it, West Ham could be worthy of a top six place. Yes, top six which, if Chelsea win a domestic cup. would qualify the Irons for the Europa League…. assuming of course  we can stand the pace.
However, we’re looking slightly crestfallen after two defeats and a draw when playing an extra game over the holiday period.
However, let us not get overawed by what the Europeans do, or rather, don’t do, it is only ONE extra League game fitted in a week between Boxing and New Year’s Days.
It is a good indicator of what could be to come next season with the pressure of a midweek game each week. We’ve heard a lot nabout the fatigue factor this week – we will need to get used to that or do something about it!
Arguments can be made over forward selections with the African Nations Cupdrawing near and Mauro Zarate being loaned out but  it was the midfield that looked decidedly average against West Brom.
The team was reliant on Song who had poor support. Kouyate looked energetic in winning the ball but laboured in his passing. Amalfitano looked lively but had little movement around him. Downing (pictured) was desperate for colleagues to win him space.
The midfield options on the bench? Jarvis, Nolan & Noble! A struggling Baggies side nullified arguably the strongest Irons line up. The benched players weren’t going to light up the sky over the Boleyn.
The summer, and indeed January, investment is going to be critical for West Ham’s advancement.

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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


  • bubs says:

    I agree about next year but as for are last game we are on paper much better than the team we played and at 1-0 we should have gone on to win, our players had not played any more than the opposition because of our fixtures our players had not travelled and had slept in there own homes for all the games,in one week Mo Farrell had to cover 20 times as much distance than our midfield did in there 3 games,there supposed to be athletes,Noble was missed Jarvis played well as he is well rested,Poyet ,Zarate not even on the bench.Valencia wasted on the bench even Nolan could have put in a energetic 15 mins at the end,we have the squad but we have to use it to its most efficient way .ie rest AC for 1 game like Chelsea and play Valencia with Sakho, play Song not Noble who had not played for a month,I know it’s easy to comment after the result but come on rest your best player against Chelsea,look at Chelsea defenders who would they rather defend against quick nimble attackers or a tall static centre forward?Hugh we are still looking for excuses not sorting out the problem we have a manager who can only play one way and had to change because of injured players in his mind we were just lucky playing the other way and nowhere has his main men back he has gone back to what he likes.

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