Do we know what we are doing?

Tonight’s guest post is once again from Kevin Mousley, thanks Kev.

I am not saying it is easy to wheel and deal in the fluid and
Byzantine world of Professional Football but West Ham enter the final
week of the transfer window in disarray.

Key weaknesses in the team at the front, middle and back haven’t been
addressed despite being obvious to even casual fans.

Dead wood hasn’t been moved on. Slaven Bilic may have a cunning plan
but his erratic selection and failure to put together an obvious first
team to limber up at least after the Lustians rubber, puzzled me,
after all Southampton managed it.

And now we have after half a dozen games an obvious lack of control
and despite the Asenal win, a fragile confidence.Carroll’s injury soap
opera continues.Early days but Lanzini looks a flashy light weight to
me; so that makes another one to add to Zarate. Sahko is embroiled
with the police, Sullivan has talked out the possibility of signing a
forward of proven PL goal getting ability.

And we are picking up a red card a game, almost, while last year’s
dependable -Kouyate aside- are having difficulty passing and trapping
a ball.

These are the kind of ingredients you see in relegation candidates.

It is only three games and we have won one of them so perhaps we are
merely suffering the crises that most clubs do for a spell in any
given season. May be not. Injuries and bad days happen but it is the
series of poor decisions by manager and chairmen that worry me.

Fullbacks suffer exposure or just ‘a bad day at the office’ (again…)?

There is no doubt that Bilic’s preferred system, employing the midfield diamond, is asking a lot of our talented fullbacks, both of whom have pace to burn and have enjoyed success in the past when encouraged to rampage down the flanks. So, I’m not sure I buy into the argument that it is this system that has exposed them too much and caused their, hopefully, temporary implosion. If you look at 3 out of the 4 goals on Saturday, and certainly the first 2, they were not really the result of huge cavities at the back caused by reckless adventure. Moreover it was almost as though our backs were too confident and thought they had more time on the ball than they did. The first 2 goals in particular exemplified this.

That said, Bilic has clearly not found the right approach at Upton Park. Yes, we are at home but equally, against a side that presses and harries, a little more guile appears to be required. I’m sure Slaven already has this in mind and can address our current shortcomings.

It will be fascinating to see if we can go anywhere near to replicating the astonishing opening day performance up at Anfield. Just imagine for a moment, the opening two away fixtures at those stadia and 6 points! Stranger things have happened and I expect us to be well drilled and competitive on Saturday, if nothing else.

In other news, rumours of Januzaj excite but I shall not allow myself to believe a word of it at this stage!

West Ham 3 – 4 AFC Bournemouth; what a mess!

As I sat down to watch today’s game I did so with trepidation and a somewhat curious feeling. Mainly curious as to whether we would play any better than we did in our last game against Leicester and to be honest, I think we were better last week.

Bournemouth had never beaten West Ham in a professional game until today and they had never won a game in the Premiership so we all knew what was coming. The visitors took the incentive from the kickoff and pressed us just like we all knew they would. However what I think the biggest surprise was how we dealt with it, or rather didn’t deal with it. Of the four goals they scored I don’t think there can be much argument about the fact that we gave them 3.

When your team’s man-of-the match is a goalkeeper who conceded 4 goals, you have to, in all honesty question the quality or commitment of the rest of the team. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by Randolph and thought he had a very good game, but was let down by the players in front of him.

Once again, Noble, Nolan and Jarvis went missing but I think what surprised me the most is just how bad Cresswell and Jenkinson played today. Jenks’s penalty and red card were bang on the money and he deserved no less.