Complacency Is Hammers Biggest Danger Ahead Of Cardiff

How many times in the past have West Ham achieved a great result and then followed it with capitulation to a team that they should beat? The answer is plenty, it is so long since Hammers won consecutive Premier League fixtures that Brexit voting was something on the horizon! A couple of points worth bearing in mind ahead of the clash with Cardiff at The London Stadium on Tuesday evening, the victory over Newcastle at St James' Park whilst incredibly valuable was by no means the stroll in the park that the 3 -0 score line suggests, on another day and with a little more luck the home side could have drawn level on several occasions, and as Rafa Benitez pointed out would have done far better if he had similar firepower available up front to call upon as opposing manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Unfortunately the victory over Newcastle came at a cost, namely the injury to Aaron Cresswell who was just beginning to rekindle the form that made him an England candidate not that long ago. The extent of his hamstring injury will be known later, but the prognosis is not a good one, four to six weeks bare minimum which leaves Hammers in a precarious position defensively. Manuel Pellegrin is already without the services of Ryan Fredericks and Sam Byram at right back leaving only Pablo Zabaleta as a recognised senior player in that position, but to lose Cresswell is a double blow because it leaves only Authur Masuaku to fill the left back berth. Mauaku by his own admission is far better going forward than defending, but with Felipe Anderson making the left wing position his own by a country mile Masuaku would have to defend for his life in order to let Anderson continue in his 'Libero' role.

Cardiff City FC are not now the 'cannon fodder' that they were at the begining of the season, a couple of decent results in addition to some narrow losses has seen an upturn in team morale, and with the 'wiley' Neil Warnock at the helm they will not be push overs. He will have sat his team down and told them that West Ham will be vulnerable because of over confidence, after all the team is only one misattempted 'lift pass' away from disaster when players like Mark Noble get a rush of blood to the head and try to emulate a player of Felipe Anderson's ability!

Visiting teams love playing at the London Stadium for numerous reasons, the pitch is always immaculate the lighting dazzling added to that the visiting fans are accomodated in such a way as to give them the chance to make plenty of noise they are not stuck up in the Gods as is more often than not the case in other stadia, Newcastle's St James' Park in particular being one such Stadium. The once intimidating atmosphere of the Boleyn Ground is long gone, that is not to say tthat the LS cannot rock, indeed there have been several occasions this season when it has been outstanding and every bit as good as the Boleyn was, the problem is if things aren't going too well there is a tendency for people to go quiet and be outsung by the opposition, which doesn't engender a good feeling for the home team.

Manuel Pellegrini has already said that veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta canot be expected to play all of the matches in December, although he may well ask 'Zaba' to figure in the Cardiff game in order to try and ensure three points and a bit of breathing space, both actually and metaphorically. The injury to Cresswell will have only added to 'Pele's' woes, he will have to use fringe players ahead of the January window, the only problem is that the squad is down to it's bare Redknapps as they approach the crucial December games that could catapult Hammers up to the table in to Europa league places contention, mind you seeing what has happened to Burnley is a salutory warning of being careful what you wish for. -Ed



mcbikeman's picture

You may as well put a big red arrow on his head with the words attack here! January cannot come quick enough and if a decent left back comes up at a reasonable price we need to pounce and if we keep Masuaku at least we can sleep more peacefully knowing he will no longer be near our defence.......and soon as silva is fit draft him into the squad and get rid of Perez for a small fee.

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Which means bums firmly on seats & no passion required

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Burkie 1's picture

Elaboration required 65

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Burkie 1

You may feel different if you ever get to go there!!for me going to westham under the lights was always the best times...

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