Sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve but West Ham can surely have no complaints about their defeat to Arsenal.
Avram Grant may have been proud of the way his players performed but he set his team up too negatively with Freddie Piquionne as a lone striker - leaving him totally isolated. This meant that Arsenal more often than not regained possession after a West Ham clearance, enabling them to launch another attack on the Hammers' goal.
West Ham defended way too deep and had no players with pace on the pitch that would get behind Arsenal's defence. How many teams turn up and try and stifle Arsenal and come away with points?
Not many And yet that’s what the Hammers tried to do and, while they nearly pulled off a draw with desperate defending and Rob Green again performing heroics against Arsenal, we came away with nothing. Lessons should be learned from the way West Brom played at the Emirates.
I am sure that if we tried to play football the same as the Gunners do then we probably would have been given a lesson, but we only broke out of our half very rarely and only managed three shots on target compared to 13 from the hosts.
In fact if you take West Ham's last three league games they have only managed 10 shots on target which is perhaps the reason why we are now rooted to the bottom of league with a measly six points from 10 games. This is the worst start ever to a Premier League season by West Ham - which beats last season's start by one point.
This is a team that is lacking in confidence in a big way and whose season will be defined by their next three games, Birmingham away, West Brom and Blackpool at home. Anything less than five points from those three games will, for me, mean that we will be relegated.
Seven points from those games should be the target for Grant's men if they have any thoughts of staying in this league which looking at the evidence from the last few games will be a tough ask.
I know you should not expect a victory from playing Arsenal away but if you go there looking for just one point the chances are you will get nothing, surely it’s better to go there and attack their back line than just pack your midfield with defensive players and end up with nothing, which is what West Ham got for all their efforts.
Look at Wolves, they went to Chelsea and were very unlucky to come away with a 2-0 loss as they attacked Chelsea, had chances to score and everyone said they played very well. The players took their confident display from that game and carried it into the game with Manchester City this week and beat them, coming from behind to win 2-1.
Confidence is the key here and Avram better try and get some into his team before it’s too late and we end up down and out.
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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