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West Ham learning to respect the point

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‘Respect the point’ was a phrase first coined by Sam Allardyce during West Ham’s promotion winning campaign of 2011/12; three seasons on and the words still ring true.

Yes we expected to beat Aston Villa and yes on the balance of play they were very fortunate to get out of the Boleyn with anything to show for their efforts, however to be going into the international break sitting (as I write this) fourth in the league on 18 points is not too shabby at all, in fact it shows how far we’ve come that we’re sitting in a Champions League place after 11 games and yet we’re frustrated.

The cutting edge which has guided us to such heady heights was sadly lacking against the Villains, but you can’t win every week (unless you’re Chelsea) and when you can’t win, it’s just as important not to lose; we’re now unbeaten in five and have only lost three games so far this season and of those three only Southampton really deserved to beat us and they’re not doing too badly are they?

Whilst we for once lacked quality and a cutting edge in the final third, the effort and desire to win the game especially in the latter stages of the 2nd half were unbelievable. To say Villa were hanging on would be a gross understatement, they were clinging on with their fingertips as West Ham’s relentless tidal waves of pressure threatened to condemn them to their 7th straight defeat; especially in the brief minutes Andy Carroll was on the pitch; the Villa defence didn’t have a clue how to deal with the Geordie whirlwind and his return was the biggest positive to take from the match.

We already had arguably the best strike partnership in the league and now Andy Carroll is back to put both Enner Valencia and DIafra Sakho under pressure to hold onto their starting births…one even wonders if you could possible play all three?

This Premier League season has been unpredictable to put it mildly; Southampton’s position as Chelsea’s main challengers for the title is testament to how the notion of an established top four has all but withered and died; I don’t want to get carried away, I’m not suggesting we will finish in the top four but I will say Liverpool and Man United have yet to convince, Spurs are average at best these days and our run of fixtures until we play Chelsea on Boxing day with the exception of Everton away look winnable, even more so with Andy Carroll back.

This squad of players can achieve something this season, the traditional boys at the top with the exception of Chelsea look nowhere near as strong and European football is very much on the agenda for this West Ham side.

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2 comments
  • Johnny Mac says:

    Well the International teams mostly play 3 strikers during world cup tournaments so why not West Ham? I know I’ve been fairly critical in regards AC returning to the team, but he’s Sam’s favourite so I have to get over that, and I have to say that the prospect of facing Valencia, Sakho and Carroll would be a daunting nightmare for any opposing defense to have to handle, and with the option of substituting any of these 3 with a 6′ 3″ Carlton Cole would make most defenses want to pack up & go home! Attackers can also fall back and defend if they have to so what’s the problem with playing 3 up front? Sometimes it is virtually written that a team will not lose, like the time I think it was when Grant was in charge, we played Arsenal who absolutely pounded us, Rob Green played a blinder and we held on for a 0-0 draw. Lambert, poor bustard after 6 straight losses, he did all he absolutely could (for the sake of his own job) to avoid a 7th, and I am not surprised that he achieved that. Remember, we held on for 3 points v City, so on the balance of play from those 2 games, then 4 points ain’t bad.
    No, for me, the challenge really starts now, being the challenge to FIGHT LIKE HELL TO HANG ONTO THAT 4TH PLACE. We are long overdue for a win at Goodison. WE should have won there under Grant when we went 2-1 up with 5 minutes to play, but the ref sent the goalscorer off for celebrating and Fellani denied us a famous victory by equalising against our 10 men in injury time. Remember our injustices against Everton lads (including Baines scoring from 2 free kicks last season when for one of them, for a foul awarded against Noble, should not have even been awarded let alone a 2nd yellow reducing us to men. YET AGAIN resulting in us losing a 2-1 lead to lose 2-3. Remember all of these injustices that especially seem to happen againts Everton lads, and remember that Nolan is Liverpool mad so he would dearly love to whip Everton. Let’s do it lads, lets play 3 upfront and whip the arses off of those toffee noses, and remember, straight onto a top 4 finish because yes, now we finally have the team AND DON’T LET ANYONE DARE TRY AND STOP US COYI!!!

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