The road to survival starts here for the Hammers

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Sometimes after watching a game of football I am relieved that I am a West Ham fan and not a follower of the opposition, and Saturday was one of those games.

Hammers fans do like their football to be played with the ball on the floor with good neat passing, I’ve got nothing against Stoke and the way they play but that style of football, get the ball up front as quick as possible, has never pleased my eye.

To be fair to Stoke, their wide players Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington are good football players and their goal resulted from good football so why they revert back to route one I can't quite understand.

West Ham's players still look a bit short on the confidence a win would give them but, as every game passes, they look together as a team and understand each other's movements. We looked particularly strong in midfield, which is one area of the pitch the Hammers need some continuity, with Scott Parker, Mark Noble and Valon Behrami playing very well as a unit.

Parker has become West Ham's talisman, the heartbeat of everything good that we do with his non-stop movement, range of passing and now he is starting to add goals to his game, already he looks favourite to win the Hammer of the Year, which would be his third on the trot and only Sir Trevor Brooking has managed that achievement.

Avram Grant's decision to play three up front was a bold move which looks like paying off. Once the trio get more game time together on the pitch I can see them bringing the goals that our performances are lacking. Victor Obinna and Freddie Piquionne have plenty of pace between them and both linked well with Carlton Cole who holds the ball well.

The only problem so far with those three is the lack of goals they have scored, none to be exact. I know it's only five games into the season but playing all the pretty passing football in the world still counts for nothing if we don’t score.

All our goals this season have come from midfielders, two for Parker and a Noble penalty, and if your strikers are not scoring you can bet a relegation battle is ahead.

In defence, Matt Upson had his fourth different partner next to him in five games, which is perhaps the reason why we have conceded so many goals, and amazingly West Ham have used TEN different players in their back four this season. I doubt if any other team has used this many and it shows as we have the worst goal difference in the league.

So, as we celebrate getting our first point of the season, we march onwards to our next league game, well it’s only Tottenham at home, and our first three points of the season, fingers crossed.

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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Scott Parker
Premier League
West Ham United

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