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FIVE positives from West Ham’s Premier League season

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Mark Noble Andy CarrollA pretty dismal season – we’ all aware. I’ve been given the task to find five positives.

1. Most definitely the biggest positive we can take out of this season, is that the primary objective of remaining in the League as successfully completed. Everybody connected to would have been looking higher than survival at the beginning of the season, but after a rough ride during the early part of the season, it soon became the minimum expectation. It was fulfilled – job done.

2. Perhaps an unexciting positive of the season is the good defensive record, of course no means the best in the league, but with 51 goals conceded (same as Tottenham Hotspur and one more than Liverpool) it has been a decent spell at the back considering the amount of different defenders who have played, and the lack of a consistent back four. The Hammers were behind only in the clean-sheets-in-a-row table and joint sixth in the total amount.

3. Who can forget February? The fabulous month of February. The Hammers went on their best run of the season after holding Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in final game of January. defeated Swansea City, Aston Villa, City and Southampton, making February a wonderful month for fans and picking up a vital nine points from fellow relegation battlers.

4. The fourth positive that I have chosen will not seem like a positive to many. However, I believe that our co-Chairmen’s decision to stand by Sam Allardyce through a time when every other surrounding club had ditched one (or in one case two) managers. A brave decision which ultimately paid off, as Norwich, Fulham and Cardiff City all went down under managers with no previous managing experience in the League.

5. As for a fifth positive, I am hard pushed. I will look to Mark Noble – Hammer of the Year for the second time. In an unsuccessful season with very little ‘bright stars’, Mark’s passion and ever-present effort really shone through and he was reward with the supporters’ and players’ accolades.

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7 comments

  • The Cat says:

    Now we’re at the seasons end with the chairmen’s conditions of premiership (notoriously difficult second season) survival ensured, the club can now move forward to the next phase of the clubs rebirth. I’m too long in the tooth to mix my words and as such I say it, as I see it. I know that we’re ALL aware of the financial meltdown and battle of the last three years to reduce the clubs debt as well as trying to move forward whilst ensuring that the MOST important criteria was to ensure that we gained promotion and NOT get relegated with the move to the new stadium in sight………… Sorry?…..What was that?………. We weren’t ALL aware of these minor details?

    This is what baffles me about football these days, there are too many people who feel that they are entitled to……… but wouldn’t be able to tell you about specifics!

    A positive note about this season has been the defensive shape of the team, anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together will tell you that you BUILD on what you’ve got, you DON’T throw the baby out with the bath water. All of a sudden all the bertie big @&%$!s have knowledge of finances and have more football knowledge that the manager (no we’re not talking about Avram either). I’m NOT saying that we played brilliantly this season, but there were reasons for it ultimately and injuries played a big part. There hasn’t been a manager at West Ham in recent memory who hasn’t been hampered by underfunding whilst being beaten to the signings of freebies by other teams in a better financial position. Before people quote Carroll…. he’s just ONE player, that the club hung their hat on, he was our equivalent of Iraq’s scud missile, deadly, but we were outgunned with a variety of weapons by other teams.
    Big Sam just like ANY manager makes mistakes but life is like that, how many of the anonymous people criticising him Haven’t made any mistakes?
    Professionals within the game feel he is being hard done by & I would be inclined to agree. Given a decent transfer budget this season, he won’t make the same mistakes as I can see him injecting some talent and flair and the team being much stronger this coming season, which is the season that I would judge him on.

    It’s easy for chairmen to deflect from the fact that the funds (compared to other premiership teams) hasn’t been there………. So the weakest link always becomes the manager! Sometimes you have to stand by your manager as a chairman and its looking like “Their” manager is being hung out to dry right now.

    A question I would like to ask is WHO should be the next West Ham manager if he were to be sacked? Could this move ultimately backfire and the club end up in the championship ground sharing with the O’s? Is the half full glass about to get knocked over?
    Who is available? I don’t think Pep Guardiola, SAF, José Mourinho or Arsene are available and I’m not quite sure the club has the funds to employ any of the above or fund their transfer requests. I think a touch of realism is required here, but from what I’ve seen so far, there is more chance of reality in the land of Alice in Wonderland than you’ll find anytime soon with many of our finest.

    • JB says:

      I agree with much of what you say Cat. West Ham’s lack of star quality in the squad is quite apparant, and it’s this ability to bring in star quality which will be the acid test for the club in this off season. We have to start the new season with new, star talent already signed up (not 1 month into it) Just keep an eye on the Championship play off final, as if QPR don’t make it, we should grab Harry with both hands. Harry is one of THE best managers in the game. My heart would breath a sigh of relief if he were installed before the season starts. If we can’t get him, then I agree, we’ll have to continue with Sam’s grind!

      • The Cat says:

        JB, I believe Harry has TOO much history to come back and that avenue is a dead end, although in recent history Harry was the last manager to build a team of real quality. He is also a chequebook manager & needs plenty of funds to operate.

        One thing is CERTAIN! West Ham United NEED a head start with transfers & Everything associated with moving this club forward. The chairmen need to put this nonsense to bed Immediately and BACK the Manager, so the club can get its transfer targets!

        IF this drags on, a new manager comes in, by the time he has assessed and assembled a team……IF he gets his targets, a team with 7 – 8 players being blooded in the Premiership is a recipe for disaster and a possible – probable FAIL!

        If they were going to get rid of Big Sam, it would’ve been done in January with a game plan & candidate who “might’ve” re-energised the team and would have IDENTIFIED his targets by now!

        Stick with Big Sam who is fully aware of what the team NEEDS, what the fans WANT and HOW to do it. The Defensive set up & qualities of the team has been the plus point this season & will give a base to build upon.
        COYI

  • Graham says:

    Surely beating Tottenham 3 times in one season should be on the list!!!

  • Eurola says:

    I completely agree with everything said by The Cat – I have supported the team for many, many years. I find it hard to understand how quickly memories fade of difficult times before.
    I seem to remember the critics of Ron Greenwood, John Lyall, Billy Bonds and old Harry himself. How the chicken run used to react in the past when we were knocked out of cups by sides in the lower divisions at a time when I guess we played football the ‘West Ham way’….
    Do I like the Allardyce style – no, not particularly but I do like being in the Premiership playing the best sides and not – with all respect to them – having to play the likes of Huddersfield or Doncaster.
    Yes it is easy to criticise Gold and Sullivan but again memories are very short – I for one don’t remember an endless list of bidders for the club 3 years ago – no Sheikhs or Russian billionaires were rushing to Upton Park with bags of money – so let’s be grateful for G&S as without them we could well be another Portsmouth or worse.
    After recent years we need some stability, to become a settled Premiership side.
    We will never be a Chelsea or Manchester City – but we can be a proud West Ham United

  • JB says:

    Of all the countries taking part in Brazil 2014, the following EPL clubs have the following amount of club squad members selected in the interim 30 man squads.
    Manchester United = 16 players, Chelsea = 15 players, Manchester City = 14 players, Liverpool = 12 players, Arsenal = 9 players, Everton = 7 players, Newcastle = 7 players, Southampton = 7 players, Tottenham = 6 players, Stoke = 4 players, Fulham = 4 players, Swansea = 3 players, Norwich = 3 players, Aston Villa = 2 players, Cardiff = 2 players, Crystal Palace = 2 players, Hull City = 2 players, Sunderland = 2 players, West Bromwich Albion = 2 players, West Ham United = 2 players.
    This is another one of the reasons why West Ham is so lucky to remain in the Premier League. The lack of international star quality is absolutely astounding. To think about the amount of top quality stars that have knocked Sam back & refused to come to, & coninue to refuse to come to, a great club like West Ham, really does makes one think? It’s quite obvious that not many players outside of West Ham want to come & play under Sam’s way of things, so Noble won player of the year. With a club like West Ham I don’t think that would have been a very hard task for any other average EPL player outside of West Ham to have achieved. Even QPR have 3 players selected, as well as Wigan3, Bolton, Watford, Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Middlesborough, Charlton, Reading, even League 1 Preston Nth End & Swindon Town have players selected for Brazil 2014.

    • JB says:

      in other words, what a blo*dy shambles. A complete clear out is needed. Words can’t describe how badly this is needed.

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