The early season curse!


The curse of the international break is upon us once again and after only a few days driving most of us absolutely crazy.

Just as we were working up a head of steam in the Premier League, all momentum we have had comes to a shuddering halt.

It does not get any better when we discover that four of our players will be taking part in the AFCON tournament which starts shortly and does not finish until five weeks later on February 11th.

This means West Ham will likely be without three first team starters in  Kudus, Said Benrahma and Nayef Aguerd as well as the injury prone Maxwel Cornet for games against Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Manchester United, Arsenal and possibly Nottingham Forest depending on how far they go and how their fitness levels are at the end.

Normally when the players return to their various clubs, it is customary to give them a few days off.

Now back to who is going:

Ivory Coast have already qualified from their group which means Cornet will be packing his bags

Algeria have booked their place , so Benrahma will be off for a while

Morocco managed to scrape through, which means that Aguerd will be looking for his passport.

And Ghana who play against the Central African Republic tonight, and with a win they will go through as well. So our new man Kudus will be off too.

Which brings us neatly back to the Lingard question.  Perhaps we need to sigh him on a short term basis just as back up during AFCON time?

Nevertheless , let us just hope that they all come back injury free

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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