Where it’s going wrong for the Irons


Former WHUFC DJ Leon Hyde has more strings to his bow than many realise and one of them is his life as a football coach.

Currently he is taking his taking his UEFA A licence and asked ClaretandHugh if he could give his thoughts on the Irons pre-season and in particular the game against City. 

We are happy to give him the opportunity

By Leon Hyde

Hernandez is different level

Hernandez is different level

From the Man City game is was clear 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 doesn’t suit us as we are a counter attacking team and in the first half we struggled to press and keep the ball.

And when we looked for the killer ball it was long or down the channel for Toni Martinez to chase. Essentially, we didn’t pass though the lines at all.

Without Manu Lanzini it’s clear we don’t have a playmaker who can get get on the ball or create chances. Mark Noble is too slow on the ball, turns too slowly and can’t find the pass from deep.

Marko Arnautovich and Andre Ayew were told to stay wide and didn’t contribute which feels as though we haven’t learned from last season. We stand off rather than press or play with real tempo which is worrying as it appears there is no Plan B.

The second half saw Bilic make three changes with Declan Rice coming into midfield but within 20 minutes we went to a 3-4-3 which meant Rice played in his natural position as a centre back and we started to look better going forward and passing through the lines which suits us far better.

Chicharito is of course different level  but my worry is that without Lanzini we will struggle unless Arnie takes the No 10 shirt to link up with Little Pea.

He’s a waste in a 4-2-3-1 where the full backs become big for us. For me Marko or Lanzini are totally key in the 10 shirt.

The alternative is to find a player who loves to look after the ball as in Mata, Barkley or Wilshere and move Marko and Lanzini to inside wingers in a 3-4-3 and have two holding midfielders.

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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


  • johnham1 says:

    3-5-2, Reid and Ogbanna are two. Probably need to buy another CH as Fonte was awful today. Antonio and Masauka wide. Kouyate and Lanzini with Arne infront behind Sakho and Hernandez. That’s it for me A new CH and a new left winger for me and get rid of Fonte and Snodgrass..

  • Doughball says:

    3-5-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-2-4 blah blah blah! Number one, football is a team game so you play as a team by making the most of every players ability by moving the ball accurately and quickly. Number two, to play at the top level, where we aspire to be, you need top players who then play a better team game no matter the formation. For instance, if you have two forwards who are selfish they won’t see the better option in the penalty area no matter what the formation the rest are playing.

  • Michael Miller says:

    Taking his UEFA A Licence ay? He’s got to the part of the course where they teach you to say ‘passing through the lines’ a lot!

  • eastendexile says:

    Regardless of formations as Doughball rightly said, why do we persist in playing the ball back to our keeper (today Hart, but whoever really) which results in the ball being punted forwards to the delight of the opposition who win it back and push forwards again relentlessly. Why not play out from the back in a controlled way and keep possession?
    Ayew today was hapless to say the least, and seemed to moan at everyone about their play when in reality he was at fault.
    We did brighten when Hernadez came on, which augers well, but clearly he need s the correct support which for all his talk does not appear to be Ayew.
    Noble did appear to slow things down and play sideways if not backwards, which is not good and I think his time is coming to an end.
    I appreciate this was not our best eleven, but our tactics were alarming and almost amount to hoof ball to the solitary forward which is not going to get us anywhere in the PL.
    I realise this was ‘only’ a practice match but with only a week to go we do need to up our gameplan.

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      What I saw today exile was a side that was closed down at the back and exposed their lack of passing skill and let down miserably by the midfield with exception of obiang which resulted in the hoof ball , it was there last year and again today, lanzini and the frenchslag were a breath of fresh air in their first year together and its obvious a partner is needed for lanzini to change the style or no style which we have been witnessing , the question is why havent the club replaced payet and kept the tempo that teams did not enjoy playing us .
      Can’t be assed pointing out anything else that I said today , going to bed I’m getting to serious 😉

      • JRS says:

        Ryad is his replacement but according to Insider or Ex we are still looking but not interested in him. Lemina I don’t get not very experienced not great creator or goal scorer.if want Young Max Arnold.
        But Ryad is AM and RW him and Lanzini would work well together cover each side and can both play thru middle. I hope they are playing Coy and we are putting in £11m bid which would secure him and even if does half of what he did last season it is worth the money.

  • JRS says:

    Good Input and even with Lanzini we need Help out Midfield is rubbish and ran over and not creating. I personally would love Ryad Boudebouz and 1 year left we can get for £11m and wants to leave. We wanted Gylfi he is Gylfi but more goals and assists from open play where Gylfi is dead ball mostly. Great dribbler splits up defenders. And he created most chances in all of Europe more than Payet Eriksen KDB Ozil in that order. With 117 and over 70 hit target we need that for Chicharito bc he is a fox in box. 11 goals 9 assists in 31 apps and AM and can cover Antonio so sell on Snodgrass bc his value will just decline if keep. And 19 goals in all Comps, that player in EPL would cost £50m we looking at Barkely and others and he is here and will go to Real Betis for £6.5m if no other buyers bc he wants to go and they want money. But both 15th so side step for him.
    More of a risk to not buy him then to buy. Montpellier players seem to do well in PL.

    Our Midfield Is Our Soft Underbelly –

    And we do and have looked better with a back 3 with 7 games at end only 1 loss and Spurs win. But need another CB for cover and pls not Kone who we are linked with rather Smalling then him.
    And Zab doesn’t suit a wing back that’s why at first that transfer confused me bc Bilic as said he likes back 3 and thought to stick w it. But he can play as CB not sure how good he is but we will see. Hope Rice gets a real chance.

  • sleepswithdafishes says:

    Playing 3-4-3, or 3-5-2 could be our short term solution because of our injuries. In that case and with players available for next week, it could be:
    Fonte Rice Reid
    Byram Obiang Fernandes Noble Masuaku

    Reputations don’t matter next week. I’d trust Rice to perform and show his unusual maturity in the heart of the team, pushing us forward, when necessary.

  • crewehammer says:

    Former WHU DJ – can’t we have a comment from the current DJ?

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      Yes put the B side out 😂
      So fonte , byrum. And noble to steady the ship fishes , mancs will be shyting themselves mate ☺
      I’d play a 1-10 like yesterday 😂😂

  • kevin says:

    Bilic is / was experimenting . The LS is a wide pitch and last season revealed ( almost disastrously ) our weakness . Upon Park was tight and it suited us perfectly . We must learn to play a wider game . So , for me anyway a 3 5 2 formation would suit . Do we have the players for that ?, yes of course we do if they Knuckle down to the job . We can talk formations all day but ,
    It’s Bilics job to get it sorted .

    • Lazurus. rises like a salmon says:

      Kevin , Frankenstein did experiments and look at what happened to bit part frank 😂😂😂
      Maybe he could graft a couple of legs on noble and remove popodoms wallet and bring them back to life 😂😂
      The irony of the pitch is they can’t reduce the size to suit because it would look pathetic for the stadium,s size , maybe pace and ability has something to do with the struggles we had defensively 👅 not forgetting management and experiments with Antonio and stuff 😎 what you reckon 😉

      • kevin says:

        We must learn to adapt to our new surroundings and the Larger pitch included . Half our 38 league games will be played there . Do we have the squad , pace and ability ?
        Hopefully we do .

  • JMan43 says:

    Can’t have Noble starting he is not up tonthat anymore, we have better options.

  • JMan43 says:

    And Zabaleta will start

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