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Passive Hammers again show why life is difficult

By Simon Leyland

I know the old adage about “respecting the point” but I am still not happy.

It is blindingly obvious  we are having a difficult league campaign, and today  again showed why – we play with such passivity compared to last season. Our ashen faced supremo still insists on this miserable 5-2-3; which meant:

Three uninspired centre-backs trudging around the backline in front of an overly cautious midfield duo,

Two wing-backs desperately trying and inject life into a stale front three.

The sight of Paqueta, the one player with creative spark and vision, forced off early for Soucek was painful – quite literally annulling the team’s forward drive in one stroke.

I can understand the need for defensive resolve, especially against a star-studded Chelsea line up. As for Chelsea they now have so many to choose from, I suppose it is like the Potterman struggling when he’s faced with the chocolate aisle of the supermarket.

A Mars or an Aero? No I’ll have a Bounty. No, a Twix. Definitely a Twix. Ooooh, look Lion bars……..!

For all their physical qualities and aptitude in the tackle Rice and Soucek offered nothing in attack, frequently failing to even enter Chelsea’s final third in possession.

The result meant Benrahma, Antonio and Bowen were starved of service and deprived of options, thus eroding West Ham’s danger in our infrequent attacks.

Coufal and Emerson tried admirably to inject life into the team on the flanks and provided their best moments in the game – it was Coufal’s incisive cross that allowed Bowen an assist for Emerson – but their efforts were constantly underpinned by the team’s general lack of imagination.

When all three centre-backs occupy vacant, uncontested land far from Kepa’s goal what hope was there of troubling Chelsea?

So many players in the team look bereft of confidence, leaving the team a shadow of the brute it was last season, and in such a state the reliance on set-piece superiority and physical strength to survive matches explains our dearth of goals and ugly league standing.

So Chelsea leave the London Stadium with a sole point, repelled by a West Ham side less an unmovable object more a cumbersome one.

Grumble over, I am now going for a lie down.

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4 comments on “Passive Hammers again show why life is difficult

  1. We play awful football. Happy with a point but my god it’s bad.

  2. Glad to read thus Simon because I thought I was being overly critical after getting up early to go to the LS. I thought we were rubbish. Getting fed up with all this “respect the point” guff. I can it see where against who we will get a win. And when we come up against a side who can score twice we will be beaten. Every game we have to come from behind. Chelsea took us apart in that early period, thank god for Var. They pinged the ball around and, in fact, probably over-elaborated. We hoofed balls up and watched our Keystone Cops front three falling over the ball. Bowen looking like the Championship player he once was. Antonio’s control is comical, its so bad.. As for Benrahma, please sell him in the summer. He isn’t and never will be a Premiership standard player. Totally ineffectual. No midfield creativity in midfield. Would have liked to see Ings come on earlier. Because I couldn”t see where a goal was coming from. And I also get fed up constantly hearing about our bad luck with injuries. Really? Can any team be that unlucky. Our players are like Waterford crystal – one touch and they are broken. What are we doing in training? What are our medical team doing? It just can’t be down to bad luck.

  3. I have to say the players put in a good effort today and for once I am not so damming of the performance. However we have lost and will lose all our technical players very soon under the stewardship of Moyes. His decision to bring on players like Soucek and Downes ahead of a gifted player like Fornals is unfortunately the sad situation we have ended up in under Moyes. Fair play to the players today but the sad fact is the sooner we get rid of Moyes the better. I really hope we dont have to put up with him for much longer but I think the owners have made the decision to retain him for now.

  4. Harsh but fair I say Simon, I think your analysis is on the money. We all agree that Moyes is setting us up to play awful football, effective at best. Spot on to say if s team can score two we will lose. Five at the back plus two defensive mids is too much. Moyes then put on three defensive mids!!!! Sorry mate, but a back five plus Rice, Soucek and Downes gives us terrible attacking football, ending in lump it up top. West Ham are not magic everywhere we go now, we are static and stagnant and a poor watch.

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