George Parris: ‘We’re scoring goals for now but we need to end our striker curse before it’s too late’

It has also been a worry that we don't seem to get into games until much later on, and we always seem to start the second half slow too

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the West Ham United v Manchester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th September, 2023.

Signing a centre forward that suits Moyes’ system must be a priority for us in the January transfer window. I know the club are saying that money is tight and we need to sell to buy, but with Antonio out injured and out of form, it really does highlight our need to bring someone in.

Danny Ings also appears to be out of form but then we don’t play to his strengths. He hasn’t got the pace to run in behind that Antonio and Bowen have so centre backs can get as tight as they like knowing he won’t be making runs into the space behind.

As for Mubama, whilst it was great for him to get his chance out in Serbia, I think he may have been better off not starting the game and coming off the bench in the second half. Anyone could’ve played up top in that game and struggled because of how we played and how little service and support we gave him.

Hopefully he will get more chances but he isn’t the answer right now to our striking needs. If we also get one or two injuries then maybe the club will find the money needed for reinforcements, although if we can keep getting results, that’ll take the pressure off for a bit.

At the start of December, if we’re being honest, we’re probably roughly where we would’ve hoped we’d be by this time of the season. Maybe we could have a few more points in the bag and maybe be a place or two higher in the league but we’re not too far away in the league if we can put together a run. 

If you look at our fixtures this month, there are some winnable games and opportunities to pick up points. As for the cup game against Liverpool, it’s a one off game so I really hope we have a go at it. 

It will also be nice if we top our Europa League group. I think Moyes will put out a strong side against Freiburg to ensure we finish top instead of second. This game isn’t one to put the youngsters in for that’s for sure, and I imagine only injuries will prevent Moyes from playing the majority of his senior players.

At the moment, it feels like Moyes is trying to fit all his star players on the pitch and that is making us a bit unbalanced. But whilst we’re winning, he won’t feel the need to tweak it again or drop someone.

The issue he’ll have is when Antonio is back and Bowen goes back out wide, what does Moyes do then Earlier in the season, it was Soucek who was left out but he can’t stop scoring so it might be that Alvarez is dropped to the bench so we can accommodate everyone but that will leave us a bit vulnerable at the back.

Speaking of our defence, we do look like conceding in every game we play. We know the opposition is going to have a good spell in every game and they’re going to have more of the ball and be creating more chances but some of the goals we’ve given away recently have been self-inflicted, like the Palace equaliser.

We need to cut these mistakes out and once we do that, we’ll be more solid. I know it’s easier said than done though. It has been positive that we’ve been getting wins recently but it has been a worry to me that we don’t seem to get into games until much later on, and we always seem to start the second half slow too. We need to stop this.

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