Losing a game after having experienced a 'halcyon' days winning run is never a happy event, for Hammers fans such sequences are rare due to the club's traditional erratic form. So having go used to the good times fans are now having to deal with the fall out following a defeat.
Prior to the Wolves game the team had always managed to dig themselves out of a hole if they went a goal down, but on Saturday it was not to be. The paucity of attacking options for David Moyes to summon from the bench to turn the game around was obvious, Yarmolenko and Vlasic are NOT the cavalry.
Yarmolenko is so clearly off the pace of the Premier League it is embarrassing, meanwhile Vlasic needs game time, but 'lower pressure' game time than the Premier League in order to get up to the pace of the rest of the team, he definitely has the skills and the strength, but lacks the necessary guile required.
David Moyes was honest in his appraisal of what was a drab performance, it is often the way when players have been away on International duty, but the game highlighted how much the team relies on certain players, and if they have an off day, the team gets punished.
The margins are fine at the top and there is little room or time for Moyes to manoeuvre, Thursday's game against Rapid Vienna is swiftly followed by the daunting prospect of an away trip to the Etihad to face Pep's Man City. Should fans panic? Of course not, games were always going to be lost, it is how the team reacts that is important.
A win on Thursday guarantees progress to the next round of the Europa League and avoids the play offs that include the teams who have dropped down from the Champions League. The game against City is essentially a 'dead rubber' so the players will be able to play with a bit more freedom, so long as they don't concede too many goals it won't be a major issue.
Moyes DOES definitely need to bring in a couple of new faces during the January window, unfortunately that will come too late for the 'frenzied fixtures' the club is about to face in December. Apart from promoting from within, there is nothing else David Moyes can do in the short term, the problem is how, where and when can he risk using the youth players who are waiting in the wings, albeit champing at the bit.
It was bad to lose, but all great teams bounce back, even if it takes a couple of games. Ed