The Curse of the Upton Park Strikers

When we played Southampton a couple of weeks ago, I was unfortunately in Ikea and not sitting with my laptop reading Twitter updates about scores, near misses and injuries.

When we played Southampton a couple of weeks ago, I was unfortunately in Ikea and not sitting with my laptop reading Twitter updates about scores, near misses and injuries. Luckily, I was being fed score updates as we walked round the extensive showroom of things that I’ll probably never buy

My boyfriend told me that we were 1-0 up, then a while later announced that we were 2-0 up. Then I thought to say: “Oh good, who scored?”. His response was that Noble and Nolan The Curse of the Upton Park Strikers Words: Lucy Woolford Feature had netted, to which I spontaneously replied: “Ah yes, our illustrious strike force”. Noble scored again to make it 3-1 and then finally, a striker by the way of Maiga scored (which turned out to be a beauty when I saw it later on).

It would appear as though the most unfortunate position to play for West Ham United at the moment, is up front as a striker, because statistically you’d be amongst the worst in the Premier League. A few weeks ago, we were was at the bottom of the Match Of The Day 2 “alternative league table” for being the only club in the Premier League not to have any goals scored by strikers. Ouch. Painful for us, but probably not much of a surprise. defensive head of Winston Reid has seen more goalmouth action than the clumsy feet of Carlton Cole.

Ricardo Vaz Te popped one in at Loftus Road, so he could have been promising in the coming weeks, but as luck would have it he is sidelined for a few months with a dislocated shoulder. Most will of course put this situation down to our changing style, but in fact if the supposed long ball game was working properly then our strikers would probably be putting them away every week. As it is, everyone is getting a fair share of the ball, it just seems as though hitting the target is taking a little longer for forwards.

We cannot deny that the arrival of Andy Carroll lifted the club from his very first time he pulled on the claret and blue shirt. I’m not going to claim that he will end up being our top scorer this season and that he’ll blow all opposition away, but I do think he will make a decent dent in the West Ham goal tally. If his partnership with Kevin Nolan continues to blossom then the chemistry between them will provide goals from themselves and other feeding off of them.

There is so much pressure on strikers to score goals, mostly because that is what they are bought for, but really as long as the goals are going in for us I’m not too bother whose foot/head/ shoulder it comes off. I am not writing this to undermine our strike force or Allardyce, I just think it is quite an interesting fact to note. It is likely that if this pattern continues in the coming weeks, football pundits and the print media will pick up more on this and probably try to claim that we’re a struggling side playing football that we’re not comfortable with.

At the time of writing this, we have scored 12 goals in eight games which makes us the joint lowest scoring team in the top half of the table, but if our strike force could start firing they might pick up the extra confidence they need for the long season ahead. Sam Allardyce highlighted the lack of firing power up-front in the Wigan pre-match press conference, so it is clearly something he sees as an issue, and will undoubtedly be focussing on. As long as the “goals for” column continues to rise at a faster rate than the “goals against”, I have no real reason for complaint. Who knows, maybe Jääskeläinen will join the scoresheet soon.

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