Don’t You…Forget About Me! Published 22/03/18 on Hammers Chat
There has been much this season to wish for an amnesiac’s pause however we are all afflicted with the unwanted memories of lost opportunities, woeful displays and pitiful individual performances. Of course there have been some highlights along the way…but for the most part it has been below average…under Moyes as it was under Bilic too.
“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
As I look forward to the remaining games, I wonder if they will be as equally forgettable or will they indeed be memorable for all the right reasons. I have been known…well certainly in recent weeks, to be of dour appearance, solemn disposition and morosely pessimistic…which in any other regard would be alien to my nature. I have tried to find glimpses of hope in our recent performances, even wishful thinking when predicting results against our betters and against those teams who are our current equals.
However, I am forced to raise a palm and give my cheek a damn good slap for I seem to have lost all reasoning in my gloom and doom. I had forgotten that only a few weeks ago, all seemed rosy in our claret and blue world. Moyes was defensive but was getting results, whilst Arnautovic was stealing the limelight as Noble, Collins and Ogbonna did a lot of the donkey work.
However, when Lanzini and Arnautovic got injured and Masuaku was suspended…then the good ship Hammers did set sail without a compass and all hands seemed lost at sea. Both the former have returned now and one would expect them to improve and capitalise on opportunities they have had in the last three games, however at the end of the month Masuaku will be available and all West Ham fans will be hopeful he can return as he once did…and be the dribbling maestro who, “Never gives the ball away”
I have always proclaimed that our squad of players should be able to field a team of eleven who should be able to compete with most teams in the league, win a fair share and lose few. ‘Should’ being the operative word here as most of the players have underperformed this season but within them all there is still potential to raise the roof and earn valuable points for the club.
This tricky situation we now find ourselves in can be blamed on the universal masters for not breaking their vow of financial chastity, however the burden of shame also lies with the whole playing and coaching staff who simply have not brought home the bacon in far too many encounters.
When Masuaku decided it was good form to spit at another player, he was rightly given a six match ban, but in doing so severely impacted on the formations and tactics that Moyes had begun to employ. Whilst many would condemn Masuaku’s actions, they would also condemn him for this affect on the team…and for that it was also inexcusable.
Masuaku, the once king of the London Stadium, who fell from grace must now prove himself again to Moyes, the fans and must surely deliver on expectations. The left hand side of the park has not been the same since his absence and whilst there have been understudies in place with lamentable performances, there have also been a few decent stand ins too.
The fans really need a player to generate excitement and can inspire fans to lift their behinds off claret and white pews to stand in appreciation of superior footballing talents. We need him to have focus and produce the end result that would benefit the team. Yes, Masuaku needs to do his dribbles and dances, he must get to the byline and steam past ailing defenders…but most of all he must deliver decent crosses into the box for the waiting West Ham strikers to net a few goals…if only their desire was that urgent?
It has been evident that for most of the season, West Ham have not been able to successfully attack both flanks of any opponent with any consistency…and certainly not deliver quality crosses for the forwards to latch onto. The striking pretenders have largely failed to hit the mark and the midfield calamities have become commonplace. Hernandez and previously Sakho and Ayew did not show enough willing to lunge forward, but were and have been given poor service whenever they were infrequently utilised.
Presumably Masuaku will return to the starting line up against Southampton and West Ham will need him to act spritely to frustrate the Southampton right and side and to put them under increasing pressure during the game. Tactics and pressure is what needs to change here and Moyes must find it within himself now to loosen the reins and let the horse run free.
Moyes has an opportunity to finally play with an attacking formation and utilise his best and most exciting players. Masuaku certainly fits the bill and it would be a fools errand to hold him on the bench if he is fit, as he can unlock our left hand potential, pressurise the Southampton midfield and help to build momentum during the game to lift the confidence of all of the players.
All West Ham fans will be praying with all their worth and have all appendages crossed in hope of good fortune for the next few games, but where the team have stumbled over the season against the teams in similar predicaments, they would aim for the team to be masters over serfs and return victorious investments with sizeable returns.
Masuaku may indeed be the unlikely hero to save our blushes but he must bring his A game to the park and play with freedom and confidence. He has the potential, talents and skills…now we need for him to keep in temperament in check, raise his head and look for opportunity with ever sniff of the ball. He must return to claim ownership of the game and cry out to the whole stadium…”Don’t You…Forget About Me!