Will the real West Ham please stand up? All this Jekyll and Hyde stuff is ever so confusing…the performances of late have either been sublime or ridiculous; the results have invariably been disappointing.
Against Man United and Spurs we were comfortably the better side and should’ve hung on for the wins those displays merited, however, against West Brom and Crystal Palace we were swept aside with ease and barely mustered any kind of fight; which is all the more confusing when against stronger sides we’ve come up with the performances but unfortunately not clung onto the points.
Could it be complacency? Do our lads think all we have to do is turn up against so called ‘lesser opposition’ and we’ll brush them aside like we did ever so well in the first half of the season? Whereas against the so called ‘big boys’ they know they have to put in a shift to get anything out the game? It certainly seems that way.
A win against Palace was crucial as we not only now play Chelsea and Arsenal back to back (however given our propensity to actually perform against the better sides maybe that’s not such a bad thing) but the sides below us are catching us right up, and in the case of Swansea City overtaking us. It’s hard to stomach that on Christmas day we sat fourth in the league and on the 1st of March we now sit ninth; from the upper echelons of the self proclaimed ’best league in the world’ to relative mid-table obscurity in the space of three months.
Perhaps with hindsight it was unrealistic to expect to still be in the scrap for Champions League footy at this stage of the season, however its only by very fine margins that we’re not; for example those last gasp and undeserved equalisers conceded against Spurs and Man United, those extra four points would’ve left us handily placed on the outskirts of a seat at European football’s top table just a year after we survived an almighty relegation scare. The gap between us and them is definitely closing and that will have to be enough for this season.
As for Allardyce…the results just simply haven’t been there in the 2nd half of the season and that doesn’t bode well for a fella out of contract at the season’s end. With eleven games to go Sam needs results and quick if he is to secure that new deal he must covet. Although it does seem change is in the air and results and performances like yesterday’s shambles are only making up the minds of the powers that be.