Football

Vital that we get it right next time out against Wigan

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Sometimes I wonder what we Hammers fans expect from our team, especially after Saturday's defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. 

Do we expect too much from the team lacking in confidence and travelling to a ground where West Ham have recorded only three victories in their history? It's been 47 years since our last victory there, a run of now 39 games and it's been 26 games in the league since the brave travelling claret and blue army have seen a victory away from Upton Park. 

Yet the fans still travelled in their thousands to watch, and hope to see, what would have been a famous West Ham victory as after all this is probably the worst performing Liverpool team of the past 40 years. But yet again the fans were let down by the team's performance, especially in the first half. 

So what else could the fans do but sing their songs and I’m not just talking about bubbles, opposition fans love to taunt us in that we only have one song but in fact as the fans proved on Saturday they have enough songs to last the 90 minutes. 

They never gave up for the whole game, songs about old players such as Ludek Miklosko – who 'comes from near Moscow' - and Paolo Di Canio.

Then there are the songs, described by one newspaper as gallows humour, about the team’s performance that day, and while in some quarters it may be seen as derogatory to sing about your team in that way, sometimes it’s better to laugh at yourself before the opposition fans stick the knife in. 

And, let's be honest, it can be a struggle travelling the country watching a team that for, some reason, suffers from the worst form of travel sickness that I have ever known, so we can hardly be expected to sing victorious songs.

Listening to them while sitting at home made we wish that I had managed to go to the game, it also made me proud of them that in the face of adversity we still managed to fill our allocation and despite being outnumbered, all the TV viewers could hear was the Hammers’ fans singing as if we were 3-0 up instead of 3-0 down. 

The one thing about sitting at home and watching on TV is you get to hear the commentator’s and pundit’s view of our performance and one thing that struck me how observant Chris Waddle was of the Hammers’ formation, within the first minute he thought that the way West Ham had lined up was asking for trouble. 

With Carlton Cole in the middle and either side of him, Freddie Piquionne and Victor Obinna it gave too much space to Liverpool’s full backs to go down the line un-hindered as neither of the wider players were likely to track back as quick as a dedicated right or left sided midfielder may, and unfortunately how right he was. 

All it took Chris Waddle was under two minutes to notice the imbalance of the West Ham team but the coaching staff failed to realise this until we were already three down. I have always thought that managing the Hammers is one of the hardest jobs in football, mainly down to the high percentage of Fleet Street journalists who profess to support the Hammers and like to comment frequently on their plight. 

But sometimes the managers of the Hammers have made the job harder for themselves in the decisions they make, all I know is that if we can't beat Wigan on Saturday it could be a slow death until relegation in May. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association. 

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
West Ham United

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