Tired West Ham lacked nous

Ben Johnson played against Brighton instead of Vladimir Coufal

Tired West Ham lacked nous

A game that will not live on in our memories. Tired West Ham grappling from absentees, expended effort, but lacked the nous to secure a goal.

Tired West Ham lacked nous

Ultimately, the main takeaway from the game was the formidable challenge both teams face in maintaining a position above wealthier competitors as the season progresses.

Despite the mighty Irons concluding 2023 with good victories against Arsenal and Manchester United, the limitations of their squad were laid bare in the absence of Lucas Paquetá and Mohammed Kudus.

Despite holding onto the sixth spot, maintaining a three-point lead over Brighton through a resilient defensive performance, it was unsurprising to hear David Moyes express a desire for reinforcements, provided funds are available this month.

Opportunities were rare. West Ham sat back and were insipid in the final third. Their best chance came when Benrahma’s deflected cross fell for James Ward-Prowse to volley at Jason Steele. Brighton, who kept Jarrod Bowen quiet, responded with chances for Jack Hinshelwood and Pascal Gross. The magnificent Areola denied them.

West Ham also went close from a set piece, Álvarez and Mavropanos almost converting Emerson Palmieri’s cross, but Brighton were slicker. They pushed at the start of the second half, Billy Gilmour running midfield, and Danny Welbeck tested Areola. Then João Pedro dribbled in from the left, a stunning solo goal on the cards until he shot straight at West Ham’s goalkeeper.

A pretty dire game, but as the wags are saying …only six points from safety !

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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