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What we are seeing is not the West Ham Way.

Blind Hammer argues that defence is just as much as part of our tradition as attack.

Manuael Pellegrini cut an unconvincing figure at his post match press conference after the Burnely debacle.

He conceded that we are seeing repeated defensive problems, identified not only in this game but in previous non-performances against Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

However, whilst outwardly calm, he offered only the suggestion that the team needs to work hard and “play in what he describes as “the right way”.

If by “playing the right way” he means abandoning any defensive solidity in an effort to reinforce our present powder puff front line I think he is badly mistaken. I will never accept this is, or ever has been, acceptable at West Ham.

Above all I am intensely frustrated by references to “The West Ham Way” as a synonym for a “gung ho” reckless attacking mindset.

This bizarre misrepresentation of our club and traditions shows a shocking ignorance of our true heritage.

Three of the stands at the London Stadium are named for the greatest West Ham Legends. It seems to past everybody’s notice when talking about the West Ham way that 2 of these 3 stands are named after not attacking flair players but our 2 greatest defenders.

Our greatest ever player, Bobby Moore, was arguably the best defender not just West Ham, but England ever produced. Billy Bonds, a club if not an England legend, produce swashbuckling swagger in a defensive role that was just as thrilling as the magical swerves of Trevor Brooking.

Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Palo Di Canio are rightly treasured in our memory. Yet for every Di Canio I can quote you a Julian Dicks, for every Frank MacAvennie I can quote an Alvin Martin, for every Tony Cottee we have a Tony Gale.

Great goalkeepers of our past, Phil Parkes and Ludek Mikloško must be shrinking in horror at our present travails.

There is an increasing conviction that Pellegrini’s West Ham have been “found out” in his second season and that he is not tactically responding to this challenge.

How we start to recover from this defensive mess is a subject for another blog but I will never ever accept that what we are seeing at the moment is anything to do with our heritage and traditions .

David Griffith

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About David Griffith

My Father, born in 1891 was brought up in the shadows of the Thames Ironworks Memorial Ground. I remember as a child jumping over the settee when Alan Sealy scored in our 1965 European Cup Winners triumph. My first game was against Leicester in 1968, when Martin Peters scored what was adjudged by ITV’s Big Match as the Goal of the Season. I became a season ticket holder in 1970. I was registered blind in 1986 and thought my West Ham supporting days were over. However in 2010 I learnt about the fantastic support West Ham offer to Blind and other Disabled Supporters. I now use the Insightful Irons in-stadium commentary service and West Ham provide space for my Guide Dog Nyle. I sit on the West Ham Disabled Supporters Board and the LLDC Built Environment Access Panel. David Griffith aka Blind Hammer

4 comments on “What we are seeing is not the West Ham Way.

  1. Ian Abrahams had it right from the beginning. We should have flown up to scotland and made Brendan an offer he couldn’t refuse to be our manager.

    We have some obvious talent in our squad but they need a manager who’s going to be tough on them to get the best out of them. I swear players come to West Ham because they know it will be an easy ride.

  2. We are only 4 points off joint 5th in the table. Position and in the last two games performances wise we are light years away. It is a series of individual errors that have been happening for years at our club that are the difference. Consistently we have the lions share of possession in matches but unlike the best team our possession lacks pace and penetration. I don’t care how many goals we concede so long as we score more than our opponents, it’s that clever incisive play that MP has to develop. We would have been this bad defensively last season without Fabianski so imho there is no difference at the back we are just conceding more because our reserve keeper is not as good, which is not his fault the responsibility is for the whole team to help him be less exposed less often. I do agree defence is important BH but personally I don’t want to see us go ultra defensive to solve the problem which is what is starting to happen on opposing team set plays we now bring everyone back which with our lack of pace removes the threat of the counter attack. We have a top manager his credentials have been proved in Spain and England, we have a squad that can compete for Europe, they are not playing well enough and probably not in the way they are being coached, every time they go behind they quit and that is not the West Ham way I want us as MP always says to play the right way whether winning or losing but that determination has to come from the players onwards and upwards COYI !!!

  3. No argument that our defending must have been weak but it was also the first league since mid August that we didn’t score!

  4. It can’t be MP the tactics were fine last year and beginning of this . MP’s record speaks for itself , & he ain’t become a bad manager overnight . What I have seen on this very bad run is players , not closing down , not pressing the ball , not running anywhere near enough & no movement for each other & little effort , totally wrong attitude and not acceptable . If there is something going on in the background lads then please sit down and sort it as a team with MP . I promise you you are stronger together fight for each other & stick together and play for each other make the runs ,show movement & passions &you can turn it around . We have some talented players so let’s have you all showing that , fight , passion and togetherness with team spirit. Sort it lads , COYI

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