Bela Lugosi and the dinner guests Published 29/03/18 on Irons United
I must admit I do love a good horror story and nothing beats the drum more than a good old fashioned vampire tale. Dracula and his fangs, dripping with blood always seemed the most menacing of all…until the horror show of this West Ham season played out in the theatre of someone else’s dreams.
Many might believe that they have been reluctant extras in this blood bath or have been the unwitting victims in this debacle…however the writing was on the wall some years ago and we all appear to have missed it whilst being held in a trance with whispers of reaching dizzying heights and European glory.
“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” – Dracula
However, like any good vampire yarn, there is always the hero who carries with him a mighty hammer and a pointy wooden stake to draw the curtains on evil doings and will let the sun shine bright upon the cowering villagers. West Ham need that heroic Van Helsing now more that ever, to come up with the goods, the save the day before we are all drained and left helpless for the hounds of hell to have their dinner.
Whilst the fans would rightly look to Noble to rally the warriors from the middle of the park…or for Lanzini and Arnautovic to lead the piercing attacks, perhaps the greatest part to be played is from everyone’s villain of the season…Kouyate!
Yes, before you choke on your coffee and biscuits…let us consider this for a moment. Kouyate has probably been the player that has failed more than most for the last two seasons, however both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes continued to employ his services…even with a thin squad, many would imagine he should have been thrown to the wolves a long time ago! So for many…Kouyate owes the club and the fans a large debt and it needs to be paid in full.
However, There were a couple of games in which Kouyate played really well and even made an impact, so the question remains…is he being asked to do things that he’s just not suited to? We all remember the last seasonal Upton Park where he was the quintessential box to box player, who had a good engine and skill combination that made him a force and possibly even contender for Hammer of the year.
Those days are gone now and do not look likely to return, however Moyes could still use his skillset in more advanced roles as opposed to defensive ones in which he clearly has no interest in or is not capable of performing. In the game against Huddersfield, Moyes played him higher up the field and he was instrumental in at least one of the goals and proved to be a nuisance in the opponent’s half. In a similar fashion he fared well in the Watford game when playing higher up the field and pseudo dominated the right hand flanks.
Of course this is merely stating that his performances in these two games were much better than his other appearances, before or since…so it would seem apparent that this is where he would be most effective in the upcoming games.
Kouyate, who plays with a seemingly permanent bandage on his injured wrist, might favour an advanced role and to be kept out of harm’s ways or where he can do the least damage. That being said in two occasions where he has received a bang on the head…his performances have improved also…notably against Spurs and Crystal Palace at the London Stadium soon after everyone had digested their Christmas dinners…not that anyone would wish him harm of course.
Kouyate has only but a few games left to claw back any good will from the fans and whilst all would assume he would be leaving in the summer, it might just be the Hollywood ending that nobody expects and he may yet be the Van Helsing carrying a sharp twig to prick the cold beating heart of the vampire dealers.
The club and the fans have been dinner guests to a Bela Lugosi supper for too long…it’s time to join forces, stand tall, break out the garlic and the holy water and make Kouyate be the hero he should have been for the last two seasons. He needs to be the vampire hunter and to stop this blood bath before we all wither and fade.