The big bad wolf who scared the West Ham piglets Published 08/09/18 on Irons United
So a week has passed and the fall out continues after the opening four match farce which has left much of the West Ham fanbase bewildered, unenthused and thoroughly not amused. Some of the players have skipped off for international duty whilst the others have continued to train in the absence of Manual Pellegrini who had to dart back to Chile for a break.
Normality resumes next weekend as West Ham travel up to the Northwest to face off against Everton who have had a reasonable start under new manager Silva. They have appeared to be everything that West Ham are not so far…as were those Duracell lot from the Black Country last Saturday; organised, determined, always driving forward and capable in defence.
The fanbase is on the verge of launching itself off the cliff edge in a final act of defiance, absurdity and lemming-esque follow the leader negativity. One can hardly blame the faithful for feeling this way. The last two years have been tortuous both on and off the field, however the rot should have stopped by now and the good times should have returned.
As Wolves huffed and puffed at the West Ham door, many would shudder as the nightmare of last season reared its head again. In a game when all hopes would spur the team on to glory and a dominant display, it started with muted application and continued until 70minutes were on the clock. Both teams struggled with the final quality that was required, however Wolves had much the better chances to exploit the still frail Hammers defence.
So where is it going wrong and what needs to be done to solve this bewildering ineptitude? What can the players do that would hush the naysayers or those willing to vent their frustrations on social media or Fan TV? The recent seasons have birthed many a blogger, vlogger and youtube pundit who would release their spite with unopposed counter argument. We are the fanbase that talks, writes and criticises incessantly…and we have much reason to do so!
Setting aside the shambolic episodes of the London Stadium since the move, and lets focus on matters occurring on the green green grass of our new home…West Ham have become the whipping boys of the league. Every opposition knows implicitly how to attack us, penetrate our lines and inflict the killer blow that sends our players into the depths of depression.
We have players that have come and gone but have all suffered from the same malignancy or whom have been affected by it at the core of the squad. Of course there are pressures at any top flight team, but for players to seemingly lose the will to fight for the cause is an abhorrent trait that simply cannot be left unaddressed…and this is where Pellegrini must attack…and attack with venom!
For too long we have had barely 20% of a team that would put in a good performance on a regular basis, where the other 80% were motionless, lethargic, not fit or simply didn’t seem to care. Any player that gives up the chase when they have lost possession is exactly the kind of player that really doesn’t care so much about the outcome of the game, so long as they receive their pay check, they’re Rosie!
Those that do try are soon frustrated by the pathetic support from their teammates and invariably will suffer a degrade in performance also. Much of the fan’s hopes rested on Arnautovic last season…and it was fortunate that he alone was able to carry the team in most of the games after Christmas. Even when we lost, he was the outstanding player of the lot…but it would be naive to think that he would always deliver to such a high grade.
And so with the wave that brought in the new talent that would rest upon the West Ham shores, there would be a reasonable expectation that many more players would be rising to the occasion and delivering improved performances…that would even afford Arnautovic to have a bad day too. Oh how gullible we all were to think this would be so!
The pre season games would give the fans heart that something special was about to take place but as soon as the first whistle blew on the new season, the fans would come to realise that all was not well and all was much the same as the last season too.
Disconnected, no understanding with each other, poor in defence…midfield and could not gain favour in a bordello either. Regardless of the new cogs still to find their groove, there is a distinct lack of cohesion from all players that have crossed the white line, leaving many fans perplexed and increasingly bitter.
Whilst it is unfathomable that some fans have lost faith in the manger already, it does beg the question; how long does he have to address the issues at the club and within the team itself before he falls within the sights of the hit squad? Surely the club have invested too much in the squad and indeed the manger for them to cut him loose so early after an unacceptable start to the season?
Of course patience is the order of the day for both the team, management and the fanbase too. However they misunderstand the perilous trail upon which they travel if they expect the good samaritans to simply turn the other cheek for a third season in a row. It must be Pellegrini’s number one aim now to inject some fire into their bellies and to harmonise the talents into a gelled fighting force. Fantasy football, flavoursome passing and Mexican waves may be a requested pleasantry but right now all that is required are hard fought battles, blood and guts displays and the willingness to lead with the heart instead of the brain for the next few games.
The fanbase are rightly expectant for the team to deliver a performance if not a result. They demand progress and the season to kick into gear. They lay stare at the new manager, waiting for signs that he has the skeleton key that would unlock the doors and let fresh air blow in. Can he deliver? Can the players finally turn this season around and be the heroes that our children would worship again? Can the fans finally have something to cheer about and witness the grey clouds part and rarely be seen again? We live in hope but still fear the big bag wolf who too easily has been able to scare the West Ham piglets!