You can’t help but wonder where it’s all gone wrong for West Ham, if you have been following the latest FA Cup scores at SBAT then you know that their tumultuous troubles this season seem a world apart from their highs of last season.
Dimitri Payet's sudden announcement that he won't play for West Ham again is to many the final straw! Last season, the Hammers waved goodbye to Sam Allardyce after a rocky tenure and welcomed Slaven Bilic who guided the club to 7th place in the Premier League, two points ahead of Liverpool and one point short of qualification for the Europa League group stages, nonetheless, Bilic and his men qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round.
After a tearful goodbye to Upton Park, it was time for a new era at West Ham, but there has been a whole host of controversy surrounding the move to the Olympic Stadium now known officially as the London Stadium, but regardless of that, this is the club's new home.
However, the debut season has been anything but a welcome party and a disastrous Europa League campaign was just the start, it was the second season running that West Ham had failed in Europe and it’s easy to understand the dismay from the stands. The Hammers failed to reach the Europa League group stage as Astra Giurgiu knocked them out in the qualifying round, the Romanian champions held Bilic’s men to a 1-1 draw and then ran out 1-0 winners in London.
That marked the start of West Ham’s nightmare situation, admittedly, the London Stadium is not entirely to blame for the poor situation but it has played a huge part. The Hammer’s are currently lying in 13th place having lost ten of their 20 games they have played. Last season, the Hammers lost three games at home whilst they have already lost four on home soil this season, it goes without saying that their home form is still better than their away form but after making Upton Park into something of a fortress, they don’t have that to rely on anymore and their struggles on the road are more of a problem.
Not only have the West Ham players struggled to settle into their unfamiliar surroundings but what many see as their tax funded stadium has brought a host of crowd trouble to the club and added heaps of pressure on the board.
Since David Gold and David Sullivan took over in January 2010, the pair have signed 32 strikers, of course with strikers you expect goals but that hasn’t really been the case here, in 709 games, those 32 strikers have scored just 143 goals. This equates to a goal every five games or an average of 4.5 goals for each player.
Such poor decisions have hurt the club, Jonathan Calleri is another example of a misinformed signing by the West Ham board, despite a shortage of strikers at the club, the 23 year old has been limited to just six substitute appearances and is set to join Las Palmas on loan. The striker uploaded a ‘selfie’ to Instagram perplexedly captioned “We are the ones who said Real Until The Death”. If his omission is something to do with an attitude problem then he won’t be the first after the club were forced to wave goodbye to talented bad boy Ravel Morrison while Big Sam was in charge. Now the club are having to deal with the fall out generated by Dimitri Payet's decision to leave the club in the lurch!
If the club are to get their season back on track, they must address their home form and striker situation but the board must ensure that they oversee the right signings, perhaps Payet's departure could turn out to be a blessing in disguise?