Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Manchester City 3-1 West Ham United: Cause For Concern As Hammers Falters

It was a bad week for West Ham. In the wake of the Battle at Boleyn, the English Football Association had decided to charge West Ham with four offences and the club has 14 days to respond to these charges. Hopefully the punishment will be justified rather than just an publicity attempt by the FA chairman to set an example.

With that in mind, beating Manchester City would have been the perfect tonic for the FA charge blues. Sadly, that was hardly going to happen, especially when the team lineup had a significant absentee in Matthew Upson. West Ham's defence missed his leadership and organizational abilities across the back four. James Collins' departure has hurt us more than we thought as ten goals have been conceded since transfer deadline and that cannot just be a coincidence.

West Ham just had no answer against Bellamy, Tevez and the amazing Martin Petrov. Where was Guille Franco? This could have been the most ideal match for a big game player. West Ham at this time are definitely struggling for form. Both defence and attack are areas of real concern.

Defensively, Zola and Clarke should be able to put things right on the training ground. The attack however, is a little bit trickier. That prolific goal scorer who can guarantee 15+ goals a season is still missing. We hope that Franco could somehow be that player. One positive point Diamanti has all the skills and temperament to be a terrace cult hero and he definitely can bring fans to their feet, reflecting the pleasing West Ham approach play.

Cult hero in the making - Image from Associated Press

West Ham's next four matches will be crucial to address this worrying decline....starting with Fulham's visit this Saturday to Upton Park. A good performance and subsequent three points will help move the Hammers up the league. Anything less than a win may not be good enough for West Ham who need to close the points gap against Fulham. Hence, Zola has declared that the players should treat the Fulham match like a "Cup Final".

Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium will be next and Tony Pulis' side is a tough side to beat. Zola will need to be aware of the aerial assault threat that the Potters possess. Even in this early stage of the season, a potential six-pointer which could propel West Ham to mid-table security is on the cards.

With six points in the bag, Zola can send his team out full of confidence against a very beatable Arsenal side. Finally to round up the October fixture, the Hammers will have to face the current most potent strike duo, Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent. The duo have scored eleven goals so far. A crucially important month, West Ham must really start banging in the goals that their play deserves. It has been a stop and start season thus far, we need to start putting a winning run together. What better way to start that run than in a London derby against Fulham.

So will West Ham's season begin against Fulham? It must.

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