Flowers in the Attic and arsenic on the menu! Published 12/04/18 on Hammers Chat
West Ham fans are well versed with disappointment, it’s almost part of the genetic code to be part of the claret and blue army, however there is always that hope that the very next season there will be bigger and better times. Many might consider the current plight as some of the worst in our history…but there have been equally testing times, if not worse, and some…many would sooner forget.
The older fans will have long memories of bygone hurts and struggles with the then owners however most fans seem to think everything is worse now. Perhaps it is and perhaps it simply isn’t, however the overwhelming difference is that this current school of sharks have uprooted the club and plonked it into no man’s land…and the football has been pretty poor but still not the worst that’s ever been seen. Yes, my fine feathered friends…there were times when West Ham were so rubbish that mourners would take flowers from their loved ones graves and lay them at the feet of the John Lyall gates…for the football was dying and everyone thought it would never recover.
Well, that’s almost true, but the truth has never been shy with the facts, which are…that for all the vitriolic assertions about the current board…the club is not dead yet and they’re not relegated either and possibly it’s starting to look like the season might just be saved after all. So what are the real issues that are surrounding the club now? Well, of course fans can’t all look back with rose tinted spectacles but they can’t bury their heads in the sand either!
The owners simply have to act to make restitutions this summer and they have to invest in the squad with that elusive ambition that the fans have yearned for and were promised too. But what kind of investment is needed and which players will need to be brought in to make the team a fully functioning and critically a more consistent team than they have ever been?
It is the modern way of football, in that money has corrupted the realism within the game and has inflated the expectations of fans…however the club has not got anywhere near a cup final in over a decade, and a proper trophy victory in nearly 38yrs, thankfully I can remember the last triumph, but there are hordes of fans that simply do not.
There are those within the fandom that would seek massive investment that would appear to be absent from the club coffers and to buy players at £30million + to somehow balance the squad and make it a lean, mean fighting machine. However the biggest challenge will not be to target the players, but to entice them to play for a club that is in turmoil and then to keep them fit in the process.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the West Ham season has been the number of injuries to key players at key stages of the season. The sick and infirmity list has been a calamity this season but one has to question why that is just so. For those of you who would believe in fate or fortune, then the angels simply did not smile down upon the Hammers this year, however for those with a more sceptical persuasion may want to analyse the training methods and the rehabilitation regimes once injuries are incurred.
The club as a whole need to look at their root directory and find out where the undercurrent of malcontent stems from but also, if indeed there is a virus in the system then that needs to be identified and blasted with an aggressive firewall. The owners could throw £200million at the problem…yes I know wishful thinking, but it would not really solve anything in the long run unless the practices in the background and on the training grounds are addressed and improved too.
Many would expect Moyes to be replaced in the summer, and whilst they would fundamentally disapprove of his tenure, they would also have to acknowledge the challenges he has had to deal with since he started. Of course this does not excuse the man from some of his substitution blunders or tactical conservativeness, however there have been noticeable differences in some of the performances this season which might allow the notion of a longer stay at the helm to be considered more freely.
Any manager coming into this mess would almost certainly be as the rabbit caught in the headlights at first, and it would take a long time to get to grips with the club, the squad and individual performances, however Moyes is already in situ and one has to wonder whether another full season in charge might be the best thing for the Hammers in the long run, albeit it might not be the best thing for Moyes.
All supporters are fully aware there will possibly be wholesale changes in the summer, but who should go and which must stay? Will the owners invest heavily or does the squad merely require a tweak and a prod here and there…and all should be whole again?
The opinionated would have fans believe that mid table obscurity is where West Ham should be, however on paper the players within the squad should have put up a better fight all season and be challenging for more than they have been. So if injuries can be prevented, if individual performances can be improved and the team can play in a more cohesive manner with greater consistency, then surely the squad will only require minimal reinforcements?
Herein lies the problem with the Hammers situation! There are those that would rest upon that notion and believe that everything will be better in the morning…but without quality in depth, then West Ham will always struggle and next season will be no different regardless of which manager comes in to offer guidance. The owners must invest in depth and not necessarily in marquee players for positions the club simply does not need, for a fully fit first eleven is already almost at hand.
The squad needs more darling buds and less thorns in the side…and not defenceless flowers in the attic…for the toxic atmosphere at the club will surely intensify and arsenic will logically be on the menu.