West Ham’s Dawson-Shaped Hole

West Ham fans might be scratching their heads wondering what happened to their once-solid defense. The answer, in my opinion, lies in the understated yet significant departure of Craig Dawson last year.

Dawson, initially dismissed by some, quickly became a cult hero with his leadership, consistency, and defensive grit. His absence has left a gaping hole that the current crop of defenders simply hasn’t filled.

Kurt Zouma seems a shadow of his former self, while Nayef Aguerd hasn’t lived up to the hype. Injuries to Ogbonna and the departure of Kehrer further expose the team’s lack of depth and quality at the back.

The stats speak for themselves. With Dawson, West Ham conceded a mere 1 goal per game on average. Now, they’re leaking goals like a sieve, ranking 18th in the league for goals conceded. Eight defeats conceding four or more goals is a damning indictment of the current backline.

Technical director Tim Steidten has his work cut out for him this summer. The priority is crystal clear: a major defensive overhaul. While Konstantinos Mavropanos shows promise, he needs a reliable partner – something West Ham haven’t had since Dawson’s departure.

The potential exits of Ogbonna, Aguerd, and Zouma only reinforce the need for at least three new centre backs. This rebuild won’t be cheap, but it’s a necessary investment if West Ham wants to challenge for Europe again. Ignoring this glaring weakness would be a recipe for continued defensive woes.

West Ham need to learn a valuable lesson from Dawson’s departure. Don’t underestimate the impact a solid, no-nonsense defender can have on your backline. It’s time to rebuild the West Ham defense, and Dawson’s absence serves as a stark reminder of the importance of a strong centre back core.


3 comments on “West Ham’s Dawson-Shaped Hole

  1. Dawson was average at west Brom and Watford, he played his best football at West ham.
    Unfortunately the players we have signed to replace him have not come close, Replacing Dawson with another English centre back is not easy.

  2. Steidten has a massive job indeed
    Not only at least 2x centre halves, two full backs to challenge Vlad and Emerson, a centre forward, a left sided forward and presumably a replacement for Paqueta.
    This is presuming no youngsters coming through to fill these positions.
    Of course, this may need to include a new coach/manager and it is a huge task to ask them to be a major part of the recruitment process.
    Yet another big summer in front of us……….and that is before taking into account the complexities of FFP

  3. I have supported WHU for 66 years & I have never seen this “once-solid” defence that you talk about. Other than that, I agree with you completely. We need a totally new, competent, defence – the rest can come a bit later.

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