Sorry Slav but four at the back doesn’t work

LeonCandH’s Leon Hyde – currently studying for his Uefa A licence – takes a look at today’s tactics and makes some suggestions on how he reckons the Hammers can function a lot better than they did at Old Trafford today.
The headline says it all – four at the back simply doesn’t work!
Seeing the line up for Manchester United, it was clear 4-2-3-1 was going to be a problem because in that formation Noble and Obiang must hold their positions or Noble is a shoe horn away from being excluded.
The other big issue is that Chicharito is isolated.
The first half goal came as a result of Obiang attempting a crazy pass over 40 yards and meant Zaba was out of position and even Noble pushing on leaving us exposed.
The second goal had errors all over it. Arthur was man marking Lukaku but Reid switched off and Arthur started his run early which meant a free run for the striker.
Then Slaven did what he did against Man City in pre-season, going to a  4-4-2 and looking to attack, finally getting Little Pea into the game
Declan Rice is quite simply going to be a top class player and I’d play him in  back three or on the right so he can bring the ball out. That also means Zaba can push on without worrying about being hit on the break
Noble is a squad player now and I think Slav sees that too bringing him off  after an hour,
The other two goals was down to mistakes; no pressing and plenty of ball watching.
For the next game please Slaven let’s have three at the back and my team would be:
Rice Reid Ogbonna 
Zaba Obiang Lanzini Cress/Arthur 
Antonio Chicharito Marko 

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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


  • JRS says:

    Very true I thought against Man U and Lukaku we should have been back 3 with Reid Rice Ogbonna. Something like that… To cover. Matic cnat believe Chelsea sold him to Mam U ran that game and we need a player like him Carvahlo but younger.

    Have to ask with Rafa not happy and Bilic I like as a person but don’t see him taking us to top 8. And have been keen on Rafa I know its early but same issues last year. And at clubs and Croatia one season Wonder.

    Would you take Rafa as our Manager over Bilic if we could arrange it?

  • No Nonsense says:

    Nor does the midfield or strikers, absolutely outclassed, outplayed and a totally gutless performance. Unless Slav sorts out this team and formation soon and the board stop signing out of contract pensioners instead of gifted 25yo expect more results like this.

    I thought Slav might have learnt a lesson from last years ageing right back fiasco . If he was still any good still City would have kept him. Experience is great providing you have the legs and fitness levels to go with it, otherwise you just look a geriatric chasing shadows.

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:


  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    4 at the back does work with the right players, but perhaps 3 CBs and wing-backs would have been more effective in this game, and yes Rice should be playing. I have more confidence in him than some of our experienced players.
    for me though it is more about players, and with our best players missing today, we were bound to find it difficult.
    My team for next week would be:

    Zabaleta Reid Rice Cresswell
    Obiang Noble
    Antonio Lanzini Arnautavic

    • sleepswithdafishes says:

      About Hernandes as a loan striker, I think it would work with Arnie and Antonio supporting him. They are both dominent in the air, and when one is upplying the cross, the other can come in on it to add ariel power to the attack. Hernandes can feed of both of them.

  • TRB says:

    One game is a tad too early to comment that four at the back doesn’t work.

  • westham64 says:

    When it comes to us……….10 at the back wouldn’t work with Lukaku. He just has us on toast. Write it down to first game blues. Would be worse if we’d lost at home to Huddersfield.

  • JRS says:

    Hudsersfiled look strong. I think Mounie was a miss with pace and tall 2 great finished on Debut. 22 Athletic Strong fast and can finish. Him.for £11.7m something about Montpellier strikers do well in premier add his youth and size with Chicarito would have been great.
    But our midfield is horrific I think this will out them on Caravhlo even note need proper DCM that can pass 89% rate and dribble.

  • Gaz says:

    Why after one match start asking if we want Rafa.Can we at least get in to the season before you want to out Bilic.Just because some of you want to have a meltdown after one match doesnt mean every fan does.
    We lost to a team far superior to us on the day and wil be through the season so deal with it.

  • GW says:

    Ah well at least had a day out in Manchester away from the wife 😆😆

  • norfolkhammer says:

    last season Bilic was on tv giving it large about how this player played & so on then Pougatch told him we signed Feghouli he looked gob smacked didn’t know wot to say in my honest opinion he’s out of he’s depth the back 4 don’t look like they know each other the midfield the same as for front line they wouldn’t of lasted at the somme I think it’s only my say our club are in for a torrid season there’s no passion no swagger no f**k all as for the new signings ain’t improved f**k all were miles behind & before peeps say money ain’t we all made of the same stuff it’s coaching & training that make players & I’m sorry I can see Huddersfield turning us over unless Mr Gold & Sullivan dig deep & I ?mean deep as we were found out last season as for Carroll have him made into glue he’s shyte & in today’s world nothing more than a pimp im a disgusted season tkt holder this team no guts no balls no fight are Kouyate & Lanzini really injured? I think there both off before end of window hope I proved wrong as for ex whu employee keep your trap shut as your worse than young Jack other than that COYI

  • Radai Lama says:

    Bloody hell i thought my girlfriend got the hump fast but you are on a different level Norfolk 😂😂
    Bring on Southampton were going to hump them 😃

  • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

    Matte,s back rads 😉 you been quiet , been on the lash xxxx 😂😂

    • Radai Lama says:

      I went away for the weekend mate,got back late lastnight.Good glad Mattes still about.
      Time to lay some bricks,the suns out,my willy never fell off during the night so whats to be a drama queen about.We lost to Manure,move on 😁

      • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

        Haha strutting to work like a cock this morning was you 😂
        You’re a very naughty boy 😂😂
        Spuds are going to give it mate , trowel at the ready 😂😂😂

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