World Cup Russia 2018


Time for Hammers to start making their mark

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If someone had told me that after seven games that West ham would only be one point behind Liverpool and Everton, I must admit I would have been pleased with that start. 

As it is, the Hammers are back to bottom of the table but not only are they only a point behind the Merseyside teams but they are only one win away from 11th placed Sunderland and - while I may be disappointed at dropping to the foot of the table after Saturday's draw with Fulham - the performances in the past few games have shown that a move up the table should happen in the next five matches. 

The draw with Fulham can surely be no surprise looking at the Cottagers’ recent form of six draws out of seven.

It shows that they are a tough team to beat and - although they are suffering from injuries to nearly all of their front line strikers - with a tough back line well marshalled by Brede Hangeland they are not easy to break down. 

Perhaps Hammers’ fans buoyed after the defeat of Spurs in our last home game turned up expecting more of the same but we have to remember that we are still a bottom half of the table team. 

Yes, we are capable of playing some excellent passing football, but still remain a bit naïve at the back as only one clean sheet this season goes to show. Considering Fulham scored first after that goal from Dempsey a draw was the best we could hope for. 

This season is already showing signs of being as tight as the last - or perhaps even closer - as the teams around West Ham are all picking up points from the so-called top six sides. 

Who would have imagined new boys Blackpool and West Brom being in the top half of the table and, while we have seen newly-promoted teams make the kind of starts that these two teams have, there is something about the way the Baggies and Tangerines are playing to suggest that a drop down the league may not be forthcoming. 

That in turn means that two or even possibly three established Premier League teams will not beat the dreaded drop out of the league. West Ham need to make sure that they are not one of them as the financial state of the club depends on Premier League football and the next eight games will set the tone for the rest of the season. 

In that period we only play two of the so called top four teams - Arsenal and Liverpool - though some may question the current Liverpool in that group, while the rest of the games are against the type of teams that most Hammers fans would expect victories not draws. A return of 12 points for me is the least we need. 

The Liverpool game on November 20th does supply me with a personal dilemma. This is the best chance that West ham have had in beating Liverpool at Anfield in my lifetime - not since 1964 and a Geoff Hurst winner have the Hammers ever beaten Liverpool at their ground. 

I have been to Anfield on many occasions, all have ended in defeat and it wasn’t until my fourth visit there that I saw a West Ham goal.

The personal dilemma comes in the fact that that day is my Birthday and an away day trip to Anfield would take up all of that day, something which my family may not appreciate, I know the game is on TV but if the Hammers pull it off a part of me may be disappointed in that I wasn’t there to celebrate with the other fans. I can see the t-shirts being printed now. 

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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