THREE improvements West Ham need to make

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Upton ParkThe last weekend of no West Ham football has come and gone and, one week after Saturday’s home game against Pacos de Ferreira, we’re going to be kicking off another season of Premier League football at Upton Park. I’ve certainly been drinking a bit of optimistic claret and blue Kool-aid this summer, so I’m looking forward to a season packed full of wins and glory. The only thing that checks my optimism is remembering some of the things we didn’t quite get right last season – and I’m not just talking about the length of time you have to queue to get a beer in the Alpari Upper.

Here’s three improvements I’d like to see West Ham make this season.

First and foremost is that I’d like to see a strong improvement defensively – but I don’t aim this just at our back four. I think when we lose games it’s mainly down to the astounding amount of space we tend to give the opposing team. The majority of our players (with the exception of Kevin Nolan – purely because the man seems to love nothing more than fouling people) tend to mark their opposition with enough space and distance for them to comfortably move forward and pass and/or for British Airways to land a 737. I’d like to see the entire squad mark players more tightly, and shut down their ability to pass. Just another foot closer to the opposition might make all the difference, and would certainly lead to less pressure on the defenders.

I’d also love to see us improve on our away form. Actually I say I’d love to see this, but the truth is there’s no option for us not to improve- West Ham absolutely must pick up more away points this year. We won three away games last year. THREE. It’s not for lack of support; the Hammers fans are great at traveling, so the support and atmosphere shouldn’t be lacking. I will mention that I was at 2 of the 3 away games we won so perhaps as I am obviously West Ham’s lucky away charm, I should just take one for the team and get an away season ticket (financial donations gratefully accepted from anyone similarly superstitious.)

And the last – and maybe the most important – thing I’d like to see is an improvement in our form going into winter. Every year around December the players start dropping like flies from their injuries, and the points just stop coming in. We haven’t won more than one game in December since 2008 (when we won all of two games.)

It is a trying time of year with lots of games, but we just seem to struggle so much from injuries come the winter. I seem to remember one winter where Matthew Upson was the only player who didn’t get injured- owing to stuffing his boots with newspapers- and rather than us getting all the extra Metros that we can down to Chadwell Heath this year, I’d love to see the players stay as fit as possible. I am not interested in another injury-prone December slump.

Provided West Ham can improve on the above, I think we’re going to have a great season- and I cannot wait for it to start.

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  • razor says:

    nice post Emily hope your right on those points I do think we are in for a tough season even if we get two more quality players before other clubs, which going by the activity up to now is doubtful. although Sam I’m sure will keep us up until we are into the os and hopefully sold to someone willing to actually spend the sky enormous cash and get a coach in to address the football lacking style we play under him, I’m afraid the bubbles tune will ring in our ears again. obviously his loss last year against the fantastic passing movement of Swansea didn’t sink in to anyone and adding another so called wanted player by us after michu to their squad is once again watching bony perform the other night embarrassing to say the least.

  • Jimmy4.5bellies says:

    Can’t agree re the defence plus last December’s injuries to AC and Diame coincided with a tough run of games.

  • Ian says:

    Good read. Agree with regards injury we need some luck on that front otherwise could be in spot of bother!
    Excited with regards Morrison following his display last night.

  • Ollie says:

    I actually thought the majority of our defensive displays at home were very decent. Big Sam got Swansea at home spot on by allowing them possession in their own half and then closing them down once the ball had crossed into our half. Otherwise we would have been chasing shadows and quickly tired. I would, however, like to see us being a bit more adventurous away from home, although look up how many away games Norwich, Fulham and Stoke won last season. Even Swansea only won five.

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