It’s been a season shockingly low on accolades, but West Ham have finally made it to the top.
Sure, it’s not on the Premier League table, but during the Everton game last month, we finally moved into pole position on top of a list as Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised against West Ham.
With the dropping of those two points, West Ham have officially dropped more points from winning positions than any other Premier League side this season. Take that, Klopp and Guardiola!
At this point in time, West Ham had dropped an incredible 17 points from winning positions – but that wasn’t to be the last lead they failed to hold onto.
In their next Premier League home game, they threw away a comfortable 2-0 and then 3-1 lead against fellow relegation candidates Brighton to draw 3-3 in a six pointer that could have put West Ham on the path to safety.
Instead, it was a tremendous nail in the coffin for West Ham’s efforts to remain a Premier League club – but with a whopping 19 points dropped from games we were winning, was that the game that made all the difference?
After all, having an extra 19 points to our name wouldn’t make that much of a difference, would it?
Without even considering that these points lost became other teams’ gain, if the team currently on just 24 points (us) had those extra 19 points (the dream) we’d be 4th in the league (Jesus wept.)
Holding on would have completely changed our season. We could have been looking at playing in Europe next year rather than the Championship.
We’ve thrown away almost as many points as we’ve kept this season – and it’s inexcusable.
No other team in the league is doing this. Some other teams are never going ahead in the first place, but there is nothing more frustrating than pulling into the lead, knowing your team are capable of scoring and moving into a winning position, getting your hopes up and then, just like your dreams, they fade and die – and all because Balbuena’s conceded again.
The blame for this doesn’t even lie with one player, nor does it lie at just one manager’s door.
Moyes has the points dropped against Everton and Brighton draped around his neck like a giant, fetid albatros – but Pellegrini has the monopoly on stinky albatrosses, with (deep breath) Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace again, Bournemouth, and Brighton all down as games where we, like the world’s worst dog walkers, couldn’t hold on to a lead to save our lives.
The only consistent element in these results is the players – and questions must be asked of them as to what lapses in concentration, skill, or belief are leading to the capitulation of the team performance time after time this season.
It’s even different players on most occasions, as the club have failed to establish a consistent, and consistently fit, starting XI.
Change in that instance can lead to inconsistency, but in some games, the element of change within the game is glaringly obvious in why West Ham give it all away. It’s often our substitutions which lead to the opposition’s turnaround.
Sloppy, ridiculous own goal for Brighton’s opener aside, West Ham looked as if they were running away with it at 3-1 up.
This was a game which was certain to assert our dominance over the South coast strugglers – until Moyes took off Antonio for Masuaku and, within a minute, it was all downhill from there.
The entire structure of the team changed; Brighton took immediate advantage of it – and they never looked back.
Two further substitutions of Man of the Match contenders Robert Snodgrass and debutant Soucek for Lanzini and Fornals were even more ineffectual, and had the game continued for another five minutes, Brighton would have won it.
It’s enough to keep throwing games away, but when it adds up to this many points, it’s an entire season we’ve thrown away – and a season we may not recover from.
West Ham are extremely likely to be relegated, and when we go down, it’s not going to be an easy fix to come back up.
West Ham need to find a way to hold on – and they need to do it quickly as, much like their early advantages, this season has now almost entirely slipped away.