Top geezers and the prehistoric warlords! Published 04/04/18 on Irons United
Well, if life was full of certainties then it would be a rather drab affair wouldn’t it? The result and performance on Saturday…especially in the first half, gave proof that even amidst the darkest of days, a light may still shine…and it sure shone bright for the West Ham massive!
The squad has become as thin as a Dutch jezebel’s lace curtain and transfers out of the club left many questioning the rationale of such decisions, however David Moyes has continued to probe away at the contenders and to put out a team that might create opportunities to score and defend resolutely thus avoid conceding. However a recent string of poor results would have many consider that his time was up and his grand plan had more holes in it than a vagabond’s pair of underpants.
Most West Ham fans would readily agree that for the most part, the starting eleven players and a fully stocked substitutes’ bench should be more than a match for most of the teams outside of the top six or seven positions…indeed the paper valuations and quality of each player would naturally propose that West Ham should be a top eight team at least…but of course they are not.
The quality of these players has rarely been in doubt, however their reflections would make stark reading of under value and under performance for the entire season. Each time the team have taken to the field in games that they really should have bettered their opponents, they have come up short, whereas when up against better opponents, they have fared reasonably well…isn’t that the real ‘West Ham Way’ these days.
For the better part of two years, the squad has suffered from a weakened core of players, either through injury, poor form or poor attitude…not to mention some justifiable malaise some have suffered with as a direct result of issues behind the scenes at the club or with the owners themselves. Some players have been able to shrug off such deficiencies, have become wolves amongst sheep, whilst others have succumbed or have shipped out never to be heard from again.
The last season at Upton Park was glorious of course, however it wasn’t all champagne and jellied eels either. There were some disappointing results too and indeed the second half of the season saw a number of matches in which the team conceded goals…too many in fact, however these were largely nullified by the ability of scoring the same amount.
Under Bilic, the team finished a very satisfying 7th in the league but perhaps that is where the troubles really began as the club went all out to reinforce the squad with players that simply did not cut the mustard…and when Payet decided he wanted to return to France, the squad and performances largely crumbled.
Many might think that the result against Southampton on Saturday is a turnaround moment in the fortunes of the club, however whilst the team performance was terrific and as individuals…boys became men again, the reality is that the team is not fully formed and functioning, the squad depth is perilously thin in quality and if it had not been for the efforts of Arnautovic this season, then the Hammers would probably be firmly entrenched in the bottom three and surely heading for the Championship.
When Lanzini and Arnautovic were injured after the Bournemouth game and Masuaku was temporarily relieved of his duties for six games, the team performances began to unravel once again, whilst off the field problems at the club made everyone’s good times and willpower take a nose dive and let the slumber set in.
West Ham are not exactly a one man team, however because most players have under performed, then when that ‘one’ player goes absent, there is nobody else to take up the reins…however could we be witnessing a change in the new Hammers world order and will it last the test of time for the remaining fixtures this season?
Lanzini will no doubt return shortly but Moyes will have to find a system that facilitates both him and Mario in the same starting line up. Collins may return for the Chelsea or Stoke matches, however should he necessarily replace the wondrous talent that Declan Rice is? Can Kouyate continue in the same manner, can he show his attacking confidence, can he fight for the full twelve rounds or will his apathy return to shatter any illusions that some may harbour?
West Ham have been consistent in their unpredictability all season and when the greatest demands are calling, can they deliver performances and results that would see the club clear and ready to go again next season? The fans would now look to the summer to see what club systems are put in place and which personnel are brought in to carry the torch into successive seasons.
The squad needs reinforcing in multiple positions, and whilst undoubtedly some players will leave, the war chest required to replace them all would be a step too far for the club and the owners. Many would suggest that the club may dig deep and offer up £40-50million, however a more realistic figure would be over £100million to fully realise a squad worthy of their aspirations.
The club sit astride the high beam and could fall on either side whilst having no influence upon fandom opinion. They could do no right now for most, even if they invested heavily, it simply wouldn’t be enough for people to forgive and forget…however at some point there has to be a point where all stop looking backwards and attentions turn to the future and whether success is ever a realistic potential.
Of course results and performances will postpone any significant negativity until the team is saved from relegation, however the club and owners should still expect dissension within the supporting ranks and calls for them to be held accountable for the past and future activities. The summer will be a crescendo moment in the club’s history…if the owners do not employ the services of a successful director of football and an ambitious new manager as well as reinforce the squad with players of notable quality, then they must expect further retaliation and inquisition from all quarters.
However, if poor performances and results continue into next season…then masses of fans will be vying for a lynching and the permanent ousting of the ‘tyrannical trio’. Everyone is waiting for the top geezers within the Yellowstone National Park to come forward and offer their services…everyone is afraid that all they’ll get is Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, whilst the dinosaurs at the top and in the squad will continue to fill their coffers and the out of touch prehistoric warlords will continue to take huge chunks out of the claret and blue world.