West Ham’s defeat to Newcastle meant it was one step forward and two steps back once again after their fine 2-0 win at Cardiff
Our inability to win back to back games reared its ugly head again as Newcastle ran out comfortable winners at Upton Park. That 3-1 defeat put us back into the relegation mire level on points will bottom club Cardiff as our bleak season got a little bleaker. The arrivals of Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello brought a smile to my face and the optimism back, with a busy last week of the window expected we will look to enter a vital February on a high.
The month of February is the shortest month of the year and the most important for the Hammers this season, a month with four winnable fixtures three of which at home, could be the push we need to head for survival. Allardyce came out after the Newcastle defeat to say we require another 22 points to survive this season and this month we must collect a fair amount of those 22.
Starting with Swansea, a win would breathe new confidence into the home faithful who have just seen two home wins all season, a stark contrast to that of last year where it was all roses at home. One thing that will concern Sam Allardyce and his men is that nagging fact that since their return from the Championship two years ago, we have failed to win back to back league games, and it is something that they will want to get off their backs sooner rather than later.
It is all well and good winning games but if you are going to lose the next two you are back to where you started, and Allardyce, Nolan and McDonald know that all too well. A win over Swansea, simply has to be backed up by a win over Aston Villa. I joked, after buying tickets for Villa away: (glutton for punishment, I still haven’t seen us score away from home this season) “I hope we draw with Swansea so I can see us win away from home for a change”.
Such is the confidence in my head right now. Of course I hope we win and I can be the man at Villa Park who says, “I was there when we got our first back to back wins in the Premier League under Sam Allardyce”. It has to happen soon, surely? Such is the confidence in my head right now. Of course I hope we win and I can be the man at Villa Park who says: “I was there when we got our first back to back wins in the Premier League under Sam Allardyce”. It has to happen soon, surely?
New players often bring a change of fortunes, as competition for places means players tend to up their game a little, and it is “Captain Fantastic” Kevin Nolan who will be the most concerned with Borriello and Nocerino in at the club. He is surely the man whose place at the club is under threat. With Carroll slowly but surely finding his feet again, this month could well be the start of when our fortunes begin to stop hiding.
Having not won back to back games since that promotion-winning season, the importance of getting that monkey off their back could well see a run in form. It really is a confidence thing. Should they be able to win at Villa Park after having beaten Swansea, it will give the whole club a lift and belief again. With a winnable fixture the following Tuesday at home to Norwich, we will look to pick up as many points as possible.
We have a relatively solid record at home over Norwich and the final visitors of the month, Southampton, so there is no reason at all to suggest why the Hammers can’t make the most of this vital month. As a club we must enter this month positively – there must be no playing for draws. We must fight for every ball, win every tackle and take our chances. The footballing Gods have given us this month to rescue ourselves and we must grab it with both hands. If we can pick up nine points in February things will start to look a lot more positive and with new players, the buzz around Upton Park will be at an all-time high again.
This month will define our season one way or another, a solid month will see a rise in belief and a rise in confidence which should see us to safety. But if we have a dodgy month, our bleak season will be very murky indeed.The players need us so please don’t boo. Let’s get Upton Park rocking because we need to make Upton Park a fortress again.