Chelsea win is a start but there’s plenty of work for us still to do

Pellegrini’s Irons simply cannot afford more days like we endured at Burnley

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: David Martin of West Ham United celebrates with team mate Andriy Yarmolenko at the final whistle during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on November 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Before our fabulous win at Chelsea, it had been a long time since West Ham grabbed all three points at a football match.

Prior to that sweet victory, we’d waited since September 22nd since we’d last won a game.

In that time we went from flying high at the top of the table to failing to even muster a scrape at the bottom of the barrel of the Premier League – and it’s been one terrible loss after another.

We’ve lost 1-2 to Crystal Palace, 2-0 to Everton, 2-3 to Newcastle, 3-0 to Burnley and, deep breath, 2-3 to Spurs.

After a while, all the losses start to feel like one giant disappointment, but incredibly each is frustrating in it’s own way and comes with a knife to the heart – but which one of these was the rock bottom moment for our season so far?

Picking a least favourite loss is akin to picking a least favourite child, except that children aren’t all awful and everyone of these games was awful.

The first two (Palace and Everton) weren’t the worst; sure, no one likes to lose – but it wasn’t apparent at this point that we were in such a steep decline. Also, Palace got off to a smart start to the season – and we lose to Everton every year anyway.

It was Newcastle and Spurs where the worry escalated to fear, and the poor performances became de rigueur.

There was no fight in the squad; no ambition, no drive, no creativity and the loss of Fabianski was woefully exposed, time and time again.

The slight saving grace was the subs bringing a little more life to the game and the Hammers somehow rescuing two goals – but not enough to save face. It was the same story against Spurs; we went 3-0 down before team changes saw us claw back two goals.

It’s been so poor – and it’s made it worse given that it was such a high height to fall from given our start to the season.

When we started, Manchester City game aside, we were full of heart, passion and drive – and we were also full of Fabianski.

The sad truth is, our season took a turn for the worse when he went off injured. But the blame doesn’t lie with his hip muscle.

It lies with the failure to plan for injury and prepare a suitable replacement for him – and for the failure to get the squad to believe they are capable of winning without him on the pitch.

It was this failure to plan and resulting lack of belief that made the Burnley game the least bearable of the bunch – and a game that, for West Ham, was more farce than football.

It’s not to say that Burnley didn’t deserve to win – good god they did – but the “performance” delivered by West Ham was an all-time low – and it was so bad it was laughable.

This was a Burnley team who easily kept a clean sheet against West Ham, having previously conceded nine goals in their previous three consecutive defeats.

Burnley didn’t even have to score all their own goals on this occasion, as Roberto managed to punch the ball into his own net for their third – the first own goal from a Premier League goalkeeper since April 2018.

He also more or less set up another of Burnley’s goals with a terrible throw which caught Balbuena off guard. Injuries to two key West Ham players put the cherry on top of this absolutely abysmal ice-cream sundae of losses.

It’s bad enough facing another season in and around the relegation zone, but games like Burnley make us a laughing stock. It’s the loss of being taken seriously that’s the worst loss for West Ham this season – and it’s going to take more days like at Chelsea for our boys to turn it around.

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