Why it’s gone so wrong – some answers!

By Rich Sprent
One win in twelve. The same form as QPR. But this is the same team and manager that achieved fourth with only two defeats in the first fourteen. So what’s happened?
Injuries have taken their toll. Fatigue on a small first team squad. Some tough fixtures. Bad luck. Poor refereeing. Yes, all of the above have played their part on this bad run of form. The team were fantastic against Man Utd and for 70mins at Sp*rs. We were excellent v Chelsea and adequate for 65mins at Arsenal. But we gave awful performances at The Hawthorns and home to Palace.
So what could we have done differently?
The manager takes a lot of heat for this run. And for those who complain that his pressers are full of excuses, the bottom line is that whatever he says to the masses he will carry the can regardless. He protects the team in his pressers. Why does he need to be ‘honest’ and point out every deficiency? Those who complain at his manner, do you really think that he doesn’t convey his real opinion to the team?
There are three glaring areas that I lay blame for this poor run:
The team selection and tactics for the Xmas Chelsea and Arsenal games. Football is a confidence game and we simply did not have the squad to change the team and style to tailor suit those two huge games. All the eggs went in one basket, the Arsenal game. And yet if the best XI had given it a go at the Bridge then whatever the result the momentum the team were on would still have been there. It was changed. We lost both, and the momentum went with the points.
January: I am at a loss. The club go for eight signings and achieve none. We needed to secure three. A centreback, a midfielder and a forward. The consequence has been players looking tired, getting injured, and playing in secondary positions. In fact, the deal for Fletcher may have been a gamble but he would undoubtedly have made a huge difference. Not having a valid backup to Fletcher is mind blowing. I lay this at the board. The season was clearly put into the FA Cup basket with fingers left crossed on the league. After all, these last nine games of the season look an easier run in than our rivals.
The last one is a combination of both of the above. Zarate, youth, squad management. It’s clear we have a strong first choice XI. The bench is poor. At full strength we have maybe three decent options getting splinters.
The manager has failed to utilise the squad to its fullest. And yet if Zarate wasn’t good enough, and the kids aren’t quite there yet then why didn’t the board get stopgap replacements in the window? The manager can only play the cards he is dealt with. We are not a top six team. The squad is simply not strong enough.
We will aim to finish eighth. It tops the mini league of non European chasing clubs. DS says he wants TWO world class players amongst at least five incoming players. Does this include Song and Jenksinson, Dave?
Whatever the balance, it’s easy to see that the match day squad require five challenging players in addition to what we already have. And that’s just to be serious in challenging for 7th maybe 6th. Without them It will matter little who sits in the dugout next season. The team will be looking to come down again with the decorations.
The views expressed here are solely those of the blogger and are not necessarily shared by ClaretandHugh



About Hugh5outhon1895

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

11 comments on “Why it’s gone so wrong – some answers!

  1. HUGH it’s not that hard,we played well when BFS had no choice but to pick the players available,first he tried the ” new players aren’t fit ” stance,then he chose those players and surprise we go on a winning spree ( no credit to BFS ) he had no choice,
    Then Nolan and Carroll are fit end of winning run.
    Then team confusion has entered the arena ( are we playing the diamond or not )
    Then BFS try’s the defend and keep the points system that works for him( only this time it backfired)
    Now he is desperate the team is lost his captain is absent and his lampost is injured.
    There’s no confusion to anyone watching on its simple he must go.

    • Need to check your facts “bubs”….first off Sakho injured his back (and Zarate got injured as well before throwing his toys) then when AC/KN came in we took 13 points out of 15 right before Xmas.

      Clearly there is plenty of confusion, mainly with your memory.

  2. The Chelsea game at xmas was the biggest balls up of all.We were in top four,had nothing to lose & for once could have gone there & had a real go.But no,we go there set up to not get savaged,played abject football till the 70ish min when Song & Amalifitano come on & let a chance to show people we could play some good football pass by.Yes Chelsea played some real good football but our system & players allowed them to.We laid down & died that day thanks to Sam.For me this showed his whole philosphy & thinking.The players who were playing well must have wondered why they were playing so negatively.That one game summed up BFS perfectly,he would rather not get humped than give it a go.None of us would have grumbled if we had lost 3-1 or 3-2.We would have appreciated we went there to try to play.Koeman had it right the other day,went there to play & got his rewards.That is why Southampton are still in the top 7 & we are roaming around in mid-table.They have no stronger a squad than us,but their manager plays with courage,youth & experience.No big names,just a team who he lets express themselves & he reaps the reward.Another two seasons of BFS & i will be a broken man rocking in a chair in some dark room 😉

  3. If BFS will be again our manager I’ll stop wasting my time writing against him and his lovers. I’ll always be a west ham fan, but I’ll not feel represented by the owners. It will mean they have not a real project and they are blind faced with such evidence. Now that fatman’s contract is expiring there are no more excuses.

  4. If Sam gets a new contract then I will stop going to matches, I was so hopeful and joyous up to christmas then he starts with his favourite two and expects the others to play to them and abandons all the good work done prior to the Chelsea game.I am so miserable now , all my hopes gone thanks to Sam. It is not his team it is ours, the fans, and he has ruined it this season , we have nothing left to look forward to except the dismissal of Sam and a new energetic winning mentality Manager. COYI

  5. By the way I will always support the Hammers as I have done for the last 55 years.

  6. His lack of using any Development squad players or youth team at the end of the last 2 seasons has come to it’s for.When we have been safe, this is the perfect time to give them some minutes and the odd game. Not use the the same tired players who are not going to get any better.
    Southampton have kept in touch and have a great chance to get into Europe because they give youth a chance. It gives your squad depth if one or two or even three can come through and help out. But if you are not given a chance like Kane at Tottenham then you will never find out.
    I despair at the lack of alternatives we have. Watch against a woefull Sunderland how we put square pegs in round holes with the likes of O’Brien given further games.

  7. But according to the pro sam brigade nothing has gone wrong.He is delivering on what was expected this season.If you question this then you are called fickle,senseless or clueless.I can only assume every sam fan is a person with Stephen Hawking like intellect & the those of us who dont like his management are a bunch of Baldricks.Lucky pro sam fans to have inherited the brains amongst we Hammers fans.I hope Sam has another of his cunning plans tomorrow,maybe Sakho on the bench & Cole on his own upfront 😉

    • Ahaha… Yeah, Cole lone striker served by long balls from Kevin Nolan’s magic feet, O’brien on the right side and Demel on the left side with Creswell and Jenkinson on the bench. It would be a dream…

  8. I must be getting old and confused when Sakho hurt his back he had scored 8 goals and only not scored in2 matches and had no assists from Nolan Or Carroll,
    Downing was being picked for England because his form was so good without Nolan or Carroll,Zarate had had only 3 chances and scored 1 more goal than Nolan all season !
    WHU plus some numbers maybe my facts aren’t as good as yours but I don’t do calculators
    I do watching entertaining football which does no excist under BFS,
    just be happy in your counting house with your facts and watch the rubbish we are being force fed every week,

  9. whats wrong with the team simple the manager hes got to go/

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