After a terrific start to the season including wins against some of the best teams the league has to offer, West Ham have come to a slight stop.
During the game at home to Everton both Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia got injured and are now due to miss the next 3 months as a result. Valencia who had only been on the pitch for the first time in months is again a big loss, and a real shame as I think he would be an excellent to Bilic’s team. As for Payet, he has been fantastic since he arrived in the summer with him scoring 5 and getting 4 assists in the 12 games he played for us. And in that there’s no doubt we will miss him massively.
Even with these bad injuries I still believe the team is good enough to challenge for a top 8 place, If we can keep in touch of the teams above hopefully by the time Payet is back and maybe a few extra legs in the transfer window we can give it a real push in the remaining few months of the season.
As for the now though, Alex Song got some game time in the 4-1 defeat to Spurs, now he will look to keep a first team place which bring healthy competition between the squad members. One of the errors that I think Bilic is making is by not giving Antonio even a small chance to prove himself, he has a good reputation from his Nottingham Forrest days but has yet to make an appearance for the hammers, which is disappointing as he is an exciting prospect.
A few other problems I have with the team is the misuse of Diafra Sakho, when Carroll plays he gets pushed out to the wing. To me this is a huge waste especially as he was our top scorer last season. I’ve said this before but I really don’t feel Carroll should be our starting striker. He encourages the style of play that the fans disliked when under the management of Sam Allardyce. And now that we have the players with more ability on the ball it is a waste to keep the ball in the air away from our main threats.
The defence is something that desperately needs fixing because this is what is helping the opposition in beating us. These silly careless mistakes are still costing us goals that in time end up with us losing the game or not being able to get back into it as we saw against Spurs with their 3rd goal coming from a pass that should never have been made by James Tomkins. These all stack up and can have an impact on the morale and confidence of the players.
The Christmas period is always busy and full of games that can really turn your season one way or another, West Ham need to wake up a bit and step it up because the players didn’t seem up for the Watford or Spurs game which is something that simply can’t happen in this league or you will lose as we have in both games. Even when we go a goal down we have to have the belief to get back into, maybe take something out of high flyers Leicester City’s book which has seen them to the top of the BPL table.
However, with all that being said we still have plenty of time and the players to turn this mini blip around and get back to what we were doing regularly. We are still in a good position in the league and we can definitely take some encouragement from that and use it in the coming month. West Brom at home is the next game and a perfect game for the players to start to put it right, in a game that we should be winning no matter what.