It’s been awhile since I last saw the Hammers play – three months to be precise. Since the Upton Park wobbles in the early part of the season they have proved to be more resilient than most other teams in a poor division and came into the last game of 2011 in second place, just three points behind Southampton. A halfway through the season haul of 44 points has put them on course for an immediate return to the Premier League but it is a situation tinged with some frustration.
I think that any West Ham fan would recognise that the club should have never ever EVER appointed Avram Grant last season. I do not believe that even an averagely competent manager would have got the Hammers in the same poor position. Quite why they chose not to fire him last Christmas is another matter, again failing to take the right course of action ultimately led to the club being relegated. So instead of swimming comfortably in the poorest Premier League we have ever seen, West Ham are huffing and puffing their way in a Championship made up of eighteen former Premier League sides, all of whom seem to be living on the seat of their pants. West Ham’s main issue this season has been the relative lack of goals. Summer “big name” signings Kevin Nolan and Jon Carew had not set the Boleyn Ground alight yet with their promised goals, leaving it to Carlton Cole to become top scorer with few contributions from elsewhere on the pitch. A return of seven goals from ten starts is impressive – a rate that would see him score 32 if he started every game, but we know that is never going to happen. Continue reading