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Irons chill out time after some amazing highs


By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings


I’m no fan of enforced breaks to our Premier League programme!

The international breaks are always a frustration, particularly when they seem to invariably come at a time when West Ham are going well. We have now entered what’s called the winter break.

Ironically the disparity in ‘games played’ – indicated by the present league table – shows certain clubs have already enjoyed more than their fair share of breaks already.

West Ham of course, along with Manchester City, have played 23 games so far, only Chelsea with 24 by their name, have played more. While the rest of the league have played fewer – several clubs by a significant amount.

Much as it goes against the grain, this is one break I very much welcome. I suspect David Moyes and his team share the same sentiment.

The past two months have been particularly gruelling for the Hammers. Since the beginning of December 2021 West Ham have played 13 competitive games, 10 in the Premier League and one game in each of the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup. That’s put a massive strain on everyone involved.

During that time we have taken 14 points from 10 league games. On the 1st December our home point against Brighton saw us in fourth place in the table on 24pts – one ahead of Arsenal and two ahead of Wolves as a snap-shot of the top six.

Today we stand in fifth place in the league – a single point behind fourth placed Manchester United but still a point ahead of Arsenal. So we have stoutly kept pace at the top end – even after such a heavy workload.

It shouldn’t be forgotten either we have maintained that form despite the loss of influential players such as Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zooma, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell and recently Tomas Soucek.

The present break will give Moyes breathing space to regroup, refocus and maybe even reinforce his team.

The manager was quoted saying a little while ago that he was hopeful the upcoming break would allow him the time needed to concentrate more on strengthening his squad before the transfer window closes on the 31st of January. We wait to see if that will be the case.

The loss of a point on Saturday frustrated us all. But let’s put that behind us and look forward not back. We’ve had some amazing highs already this season.

Our form in Europe has been brilliant – we’ve enjoyed memorable wins over Chelsea and Liverpool as well as a number of other excellent performances.

Our next Premier League game isn’t until February 8th against Watford. That’s not to dismiss the important FA Cup tie at Kidderminster.

The players and the management team now have a welcome chance to ‘chill out’ just a little, before returning refuelled, refreshed and hopefully revitalised for the big four months that lay ahead.

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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