Avram Grant urged to pick his strongest side – and stick to it

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I was happy in the haze of the Manchester win, but heaven knows I’m miserable now. West Ham just couldn’t manage to make it a perfect week with three wins out of three after the 1-0 defeat to Sunderland, a result that leaves them still at the bottom of the table and still looking for their first away win of the season in the league.

To be fair to the team though they did put up more of a fight away from Upton Park than they did in the mauling at Liverpool, which is a positive to take into the run up to Christmas.

We have to hope that somehow we manage to not be bottom on Christmas Day as every football fan knows that the team rooted to the bottom traditionally ends up being relegated.

But this is no normal season and, with the top teams dropping points left right and centre and anyone able to beat anyone, all is not lost for the lower clubs as the league is still so tight.

West Ham and Wolves are only ten points off eighth place so a winning run over the festive period could push the Hammers up the league.

Of course, that is easier said than done as the league does not lie and we are bottom of the table due to the fact that our performances over the previous 16 games have just not been good enough, but surely after our Tuesday night mauling of Man United the players should have played with a bit of confidence the Stadium of Light.

For me in the first half they were back to their bad old ways of lacking penetration in the final third of the pitch. Personally, I would prefer to do away with the chopping and changing of the team, pick your best 11 every game and only swap for injuries or bad performances.

Between our last league win against Wigan and the Manchester United cup win, Avram Grant made six changes, he then shuffled the pack again for the trip to Sunderland bringing in Kieron Dyer who had played in neither game.

Some people say that modern day footballers play too many games but in one season in the eighties Liverpool won the league and European cup and in total used only 14 players, many of whom played in every one of the 60 games Liverpool played in that season.

Modern day players are supposed to be the fittest they have ever been, so I say let them prove it and let them play, in every game if necessary. By all means use the squad of players we have, but allow them to grow together as a team and we may be surprised at the outcome.

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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