FIVE things we learnt about West Ham against West Brom

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Andy Carroll West Brom1) Perhaps we’re not quite as safe as we may have thought:

Another weekend, another defeat… why do we always insist on making things such hard work for ourselves?!

Defeat at the Hawthorns means that the Hammers have now lost seven of their last nine league matches and we have ultimately dragged ourselves right back into the relegation ‘dog fight’. A couple of weeks ago things may have looked a lot more rosy, with fans largely expecting at least a couple of points to be picked up against Crystal Palace at home and away at the Baggies, but this dire run of form as we approach the end of the season means that the pressure really is back on.

I am sure that like myself, not many supporters will realistically be expecting anything from our two remaining games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, and we will therefore have to pray that Cardiff City and Sunderland do not defy all the odds and take a remarkable amount of points from their final three and four games, respectively. Had it not been for Shane Long’s late equaliser at Fulham, yesterday I feel we would have been in serious, serious danger, but I refuse to sit comfortably until our Premier League status is mathematically secured.

2) Andy Carroll needs to step it up:

I must make it clear that personally, I have not once claimed that the £15million spent on Andy Carroll was a “waste of money”, however, it must be said that the striker’s performances of late have been underwhelming at best.

Although Allardyce claims the Englishman is still not “100 per cent fit” following his lengthy absence, it cannot be denied that the big man should have had one, if not two certain goals at the Hawthorns this afternoon, and his return of just two goals in thirteen appearances following his permanent transfer has sadly began sprouting doubt in my mind as to whether the price we paid is justifiable. Despite this, Carroll must not be made accountable for our largely dismal season of which he missed a large chunk, and I truly believe that the Geordie will come good for the Hammers and begin to repay the hefty price tag on his shoulders.

3) Oh how important February was:

When we look at this season’s results, it really makes you realise how important our extraordinary run during February was, and had it not been for that emphatic string of results, I could have been writing this article as a fan of an already relegated club. Home wins against Swansea City, Norwich City and Southampton, and the away win against Aston Villa in hindsight, were undoubtedly the biggest points we have picked up this season.

If we are being brutally honest, possibly some of our most undeserved points this campaign. The Norwich and Southampton games in particular – had it not been more some dire finishing from the Canaries and the Saints, we would without doubt be six points worse off than we currently are, and sitting 10th throughout the month of February was very flattering and was effectively in simply covering over the cracks of on-field performances.

4) We are losing the ability to ‘grind out’ results: 

The common perception of Sam Allardyce sides is that to their credit, they are usually able to grind out results when games are evenly contested and often scrappy. Yesterday confirmed that perhaps this is not the case anymore, as the Hammers managed just the three shots on target in comparison to the Baggies who managed double.

Despite ‘’ showing we played 80 long balls in comparison to West Brom’s 56 today, the Hammers’ short passes total was 69 passes higher than the Baggies’, suggesting that despite seeing more of the ball and dominating possession, sides are still able to see off our albeit limited attacking threats, and nick a goal themselves. It cannot be denied that we have become increasingly predictable in terms of attacking threat, and today’s stats certainly indicate that a bit of creative panache wouldn’t go amiss in our side, but we’ve been saying that all season haven’t we?

5) Big Sam does know how to take responsibility!

I do not for one moment blame this season’s unrest and displeasure solely on the man in charge; the squad have undoubtedly lacked the passion and heart that supporters crave, and for that they must also accept responsibility.

Allardyce’s post-match press conference was surprisingly refreshing, as the manager admitted that he must do more for the fans: “I understand that the supporters want to see us play well and they want to see us win… I understand that they have travelled all this way and they don’t want to go home disappointed again. We have to do more for them and more for ourselves in the last two games.” The manager’s comments will certainly please many including myself, however sections of the Hammers support have seemingly seen enough with the first “Fat Sam Out… Destroying WHU” banners being spotted at the Hawthorns.

All in all, a miserable afternoon for West Ham supporters, particularly those travelling home from the West Midlands. Morale within the club is evidently low and the end of the season could not come any sooner to be quite honest, and I am sure we all hope safety can finally be secured as soon as possible to save us from a rather uneasy final couple of weeks within which we may well be depending on other results. Nonetheless, COYI.

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  • Spyinthesky says:

    Sadly the stability that BS created in his early days seems to be evaporating fast both inside and especially outside the club which was only supportive reluctantly at best. I have to say that as a relative supporter of that stability I am now on my last pink tinted lenses and really don’t know where we go from here.

    Safe hands and boring football I can support but difficult to see this as safe hands any longer. Fact is last Summer was the shot to the brain that narrowly missed and the season thereafter has been about dodging ricochets from it. Totally predictable but BS was given the chance to prove us all wrong and has failed abysmally, so difficult to give him any further rope, seen too many near misses followed by inevitable relegation and sooner or later we won’t quickly return.

    But equally if our first team squad is really as bad as it has seemed this season (and a fit first eleven can no longer disguise that fact) unless serious money along with a turn around in our ability to sell ourselves to potential recruits takes place then a manager like BS or Pulis is our best real hope of further survival. A sad state of affairs either way and as I say whatever we do its likely to be a lottery. Can only come down on one side or the other by knowing who is available and willing to come in and how much support and cash will be available but as we know we are the one club that has to stick to the spending rules apparently.

    • Mick says:

      For a manager to admit that Andy Carroll still isn’t fully fit, but to insist on playing him in the team when a fully fit Carlton Cole has been available. I’m sorry, but that is bad management!

  • JB says:

    And you notice, that with point 3 Callum, that we gained all of those wins with Andy not in the team. I tell you, if Sam is still the manager next season, then I don’t even want to watch West Ham on TV let alone go to the game. With losing game 36 at West Brom, West Ham have now lost 19 games this season, SO FAR! This now equals what Avram Grant achieved in the 2010/11 season when West Ham lost 19 games & were relegated after just 7 wins, 12 Draws & sustaining 19 losses. The only thing that is keeping West Ham from relegation in this 2013/14 season is the winning run that West Ham went on when they won all 4 games in February . Sam is now taking us backwards! The other thing that is redeeming & disguising a shockingly bad season under Sam Allardyce is the fact that the performances of the 6 other teams that are below West Ham, are so bad this season, that West Ham are 5 points above the relegation margin of 32 pts, with a goal difference better of between 21 – 31 than the bottom 3, so even if West Ham lose both of their remaining 2 games, then the 18th placed team, being Norwich would have to win both of their last 2 games being at Chelsea on Saturday & at home to Arsenal on the last day of the season, but 17th placed Sunderland would only need to win 2 out of its last 3 games to go above West Ham. I am sorry Sam Allardyce but that is not a very good reference to continue on as West Ham’s manager, & for Andy Carroll to continue on as West Ham’s main striker.

    • JB says:

      West Ham’s performances under SA’s guidance are shocking, frustrating & depressing to watch, as well watching a West Ham team feebly falling over the line, & hopefully, which is more than you deserve, to finish just above the relegation margin. This is what you have reduced our club to Sam!

      When the manager responded to the post match interviewer in regards West Ham fans booing him (not the team). His response was like, well he’s quite used to it from everywhere he’s managed a club, whether it was Bolton, Blackburn or Newcastle, they all booed him, let alone West Ham. I wonder why??? There is a familiar pattern here wherever you take your sh*te football eh SA? West Ham may even lose all of their last 6 games. BFS has the hide of a Rhinoceros!

    • JB says:

      When the manager responded to the post match interviewer after the game v Hull in regards West Ham fans booing him (not the team). His response was like, well he’s quite used to it from everywhere he’s managed a club, whether it was Bolton, Blackburn or Newcastle, they all booed him, let alone West Ham. I wonder why??? There is a familiar pattern here wherever you take your sh*te football eh SA? West Ham may even lose all of their last 6 games. BFS has the hide of a Rhinoceros!

    • JB says:

      Sorry, there’s been another TV box office fixture change. Chelsea will now be looking to top the table on Sunday night with a win over Norwich (we only need a point against Spurs on Saturday to be safe), so with Chelsea having the chance to top the table on Sunday evening, & if we don’t even pick up 1 point v Spurs? then the reprieve for Sam & West Ham couldn’t be any kinder eh? How pathetic!

  • peter iron says:

    One thing we may learn is how difficult it will be to attract a decent manager when you lot have driven Sam out ! Who would want to come with such awful supporters . 12th man ! not a chance .How must the players feel too , to come on as a substitute to cries of “you don’t what your doing ”
    must make the player feel great ! People be they players or managers look at all aspects of a club before making a decision to join a club , including it’s supporters .I think it’s you lot that don’t know what your doing ! Shameful .

    • Glen says:

      10 games without a clean sheet, apparantly that is more games than any other club in the Premier League. What’s happened to the clean sheet warriors???

      • Glen says:

        Anyway, it could have be worse. Aston Villa have only gained 1 point from the last 6 games. At least we’ve gained 6 points from the last 6 games. COYI!

    • Mick says:

      What the fans would have been booing about when Carlton Cole came on, would not have been about booing Carlton, no, but booing Sam for leaving it so late in bringing on a 2nd striker. What a shame Sam didn’t start with 2 strikers, because with those same 2 strikers combined goals tally’s per season equalling around 13 goals between then, then West Ham definitely needed the presence of those 2 for the entire 90 minutes to have given themselves a chance to score against a West Brom side who were absolutely desperate for those 3 points. If it’s any consolation, West Brom’s goal keeper has to be included in the Premier League’s dream team of the week for playing an absolute blinder against West Ham in keeping a clean sheet, so I suppose West Ham have to console themselves with the fact that West Brom needed the points more!

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