Well, it’s been a pretty rotten few weeks to be a West Ham supporter, hasn’t it?
From Andy Carroll’s seemingly never-ending injury battle to our miserable run of form, coupled with our apparently complete lack of ability to score goals, things certainly aren’t looking rosy in the West Ham garden right now, even for perhaps the most optimistic supporter. Confidence is low, and the bedrock of the team, the defence, seems to have had some alarming lapses lately.
It’s fair to say that the next few fixtures are really going to define our season. We certainly don’t want to end the month towards the bottom of the pile, because we all know how difficult it is to get out of it come Christmas time – if we are there, it could be a long 2014. It all starts with Fulham at home then. Ordinarily, I’d put “home banker” on this one because Fulham are pretty terrible right now. However, the stats show that we have the secondworst home record in the league, scoring less than a goal a game on average. It’s pretty grim reading and it’s hard to make a case for us going on a sudden run of form at home.
The only thing that you can say is that, at some point, we are due a win – we haven’t won since the beginning of October – and we can’t go on being useless in front of goal forever. Fulham at home is the perfect opportunity to do that; and if we do win, of course, the league table could look very different come Sunday morning. A look ahead at our further fixtures show that results against Fulham, and then Crystal Palace away midweek, are vital.
Why? Because through the month of December, we face challenges away to Man Utd, a home match against Arsenal and a League Cup quarter final away to Tottenham in there too. Positive results in these matches may be tricky to come by. Only the match against Sunderland might offer some respite, and we’ve seen that they’ve had a bit of a resurgence lately. Personally, I don’t think that some of our performances have been that bad – we’ve just been unable to stick the ball in the back of the net.
However, other performances have been plain awful. What we desperately need is for a performance and a result – you do feel that if we could just click, confidence might be boosted, and it might just set us on a better path for the rest of the season. One thing’s for sure: defeat and the natives will get very restless. It’s not a brilliant plan to start December potentially in the bottom three. We need a win.