West Ham throw in the towel but then nearly pull it back

We’re back to normal. Whatever that is.

West Ham chuck in the towel in the first 20 baffling minutes, create a mountain of their own making, and then nearly climb it.

Composure in front of goal and a lesser goalkeeper than Kasper Schmeichel and we could have won it.

Frustrating when we look back at chances that Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll should have buried, but what an amazing second half.

Leicester were tiring, sure, but West Ham gave it everything.

That’s what makes it so frustrating.

Injuries to Winston Reid and Pedro Obiang didn’t contribute to the defeat, and West Ham didn’t appear to miss Mark Noble.

Arthur Masuaku looked good when he came on, and Sam Byram had a decent game.

Manuel Lanzini is a magician and an inspiration.

The crowd? Some of the newbies need to learn that this is what our team’s like, so don’t give up and go home after 20 minutes.

I had a feeling Leicester were going to beat us going into this one, and I even predicted a 3-1 scoreline. I didn’t expect that to be the situation at half-time.

Ever the optimist (hah!), let’s take the positives from this one. There were a few, and it could have gone either way.

If only we could bury the memory of the opening 20 minutes by celebrating a win.

If you fancy ripping into the team and manager, off you go. Not me, guv.

I’ll savour the Lanzini goal and his overall performance, and shake my head in frustration at the missed chances and the baffling early surrender. But I’ll stand to applaud the second-half effort.

  • razorwine

    Nice post Graham and I’m glad slav took off cress hopefully Arthur will get a start next time! Missing noble not so you say and if we get the defence sorted we may pick up some points but strong inside rumours slav is on his way out and of season saddens me personally! Mancini may be more experienced in the premier and I like him but not sure if that’s the answer after a bad second season in a first season at the wider bigger pitch of the London stadium. Means we need pace and some of our players clearly lack that. Carrol must be sold imo as he slows our game down and if you stop crosses coming in his buggered as a player. So many problems to sort out in the summer I can only hope the right answers are waiting. Coyi

    • Kennycandb

      Raz. Totally agree. What worries me most is at goalkeeper. Randy does not command his area at corners and has been responsible for 3 or 4 goals of late. I wonder if his lack of authority is adversely affecting the back 4. Also, at corners why do we bring 11 players into the box making it bloody difficult for ourselves. Put say Lancini and one other on the halfway line and they will pull 3 of their players back to cover. This will give us a far better chance to win the ball. This is a Bilic thing that I have never agreed with. Final point. Fernandez had a very positive impact when he came on. He adds a bit of midfield pace.

  • JohnBSheff

    Been waiting for the attacks down to Mark Noble playing badly, but then again even the armchair critics may have realised he did not play. IF only we had another 9 Antonio’s, he gives everything.

    Defence is just so poor, but is the attack much better? a striker who delivers so many blanks, disappointed in so many again, even Snodgrass put so much pressure on Byram instead of taking it on himself, did he just not have the confidence?

    Another journey home feeling disappointed!

  • Goatygav

    Absolutely with you on everything you say there Gray (despite only seeing the 2nd half). Even on your Masuaku point (although he did give the ball away dangerously near the end). However I do think that adding him to a starting line-up would be another liability in an already porous defence.

    From what I saw we pummeled them in the 2nd half and with more composure in front of goal it would have been a different story.

    Byram did very well, not for the first time, and I genuinely think he should start at RB.

    Genuinely concerned about Pedro Obiang. Not that he had a great game today but he’s been one of the few shining starts this season and we’d miss him badly if he was out for any length of time.

    Antonio and Lanzini stood out for me.

    On to Hull which we need, at least, a point from.

    COYI!

  • Bilic Out

    Still lost. Bilic out, he’s not even a championship manager.

  • JMan43

    The bottom line is no matter the second half, we lost….again and are heading in the wrong direction. I would be behind Bilic if I saw anything different than we have seen to date but I don’t and that is what worries me.

  • ClaretNBlues

    Not much there to argue with, Gra mate. But the fact is we lost again. And Bilic HAS to accept his part of the blame for that loss! Just as we used to demand Allardyce did.
    I know I had a joke earlier when I text you and said ‘Bilic out’ but the truth is, he’s starting to worry me. A lot.
    I don’t think replacing him now is the answer but if we are still playing like this at the end of the season the owners simply HAVE to sit down and assess his position. And prefereably assess their own while they’re at it.

  • kevin mousley

    We football fans have short memories and at this point in a season we almost always see what we want to- me included. But it is a long long time since I started to worry where our next point never mind a win is coming from. Last week a team without a win; this week a team without an away win for yonks ..who d’ya call. WHUFC of course. There seems to be an alarming loss of grip in the boardroom and in the football management team. Hands down along with Sunderland we are the poorest team in the PL..if the season was 44 games .we’d be gonners.Still might. Listening to Bilic ranting in the post match presser just made me more depressed He’s got to go.

    • Goatygav

      Personally I think he played the best starting line up and shape he could today. The players are the ones to blame for the game this afternoon IMO Kev.

      We called for Nobes to be rested and Byram to get a game at RB and that’s what we got. Honestly can’t see how he’s to blame mate.

      Clearly he’s had a word as soon as he could at half time and look what happened.

      • ClaretNBlues

        But Gav, for me that a little more reason to worry. He started the best possible lineup (who are a decent enough bunch) and he still can’t get them playing as a team. I’m sorry mate but as a manager the buck stops at him. As if would and should any manager of any organisation.

        • Goatygav

          That’s the problem, for me, nowadays. Players getting the manager the sack seems to be quite ‘en vogue’.

          • ClaretNBlues

            I’m afraid that for me, that’s the why a manager gets paid millions a year. To manage a team effectively so that doesn’t happen.

          • Goatygav

            Always good to exchange views Matt 🙂 .

            Whatever happens I hope that the club have a much better season, the atmosphere is much better at the OS/LS and we’re all much Happier Hammers next year.

            COYI!

          • ClaretNBlues

            Absolutely (on all counts) mate.
            The only issue with that is that it’s largely down to G&S to ensure that happens and I’m not sure I trust them to do that.

      • kevin mousley

        It ain’t about today’s line up. Its the culmination of a year of bad decisions and an evident lack of control or plan that the players believe in.Everyone hammered Payet and I wasn’t best pleased but I suspect he realised Bilic’s failure to manage wasn’t a blip but a trait he could have handled it better for sure. But consider Leicester..couldn’t buy a point when players lost it with Ranieri ..we are in the same rut.

        • Goatygav

          Time will tell Kev. I think there’s something going on between the owners and Slaven, along with Slaven’s team, at the moment which may lead to you getting your wish chap.

          • kevin mousley

            I really wish he was the Messiah..he is by far the nicest and most interesting manager we have had. I’ll be sad to see him go, if he does.Equally he is running out of time to show that he has learned or improved. You may be right that the relationship with DS is poisonous and for sure that doesn’t help. What I fear is that last season we had acquired what I considered to be our best squad in decades..I think if the season continues the way it has then we’ll see an exodus and be back to square one.

          • Goatygav

            Genuinely believe we’re witnessing the same as all teams who’ve moved to new stadia have experienced. Honestly think next season will improve hugely.

          • razorwine

            I think your find the players also love the geezer and the away support certainly stick by slav thats for sure. Doesnt help he needs a hip opp that cant be done until end of season for him to be out of pain unless sully takes over the training and team tactics is has to wait. Just wonder sometimes why the fans and boards get into panic mode ie raneri sacked second season after telling all next season no chance of a repeat? wenger hounded out jose players not playing for him now after being the messiah for chelsea benitez real madrid dream in tatters and only championship coaching after many seasons at the top! All this with maclaren who is not that clever and always getting sacked but manages to get some mug to hire him again. Whats the answer i really dont know but who takes over from slav do people think is going to put us in the top tier quickly as nobody now seems to get time to sort out teams and transfers unless its sorted within a couple of seasons. I like mancini but would i sack slav for him nah . Bad loans and frees in summer was our downfakk this season along with a new home syndrome so im quite happy to finish in top ten until we sort out the bad loans and sully sees we need a large pot and no interference with who to buy in the summer although entitled as a owner to his opinion it hasnt worked so far with his input on players we need to improve our squad imo coyi

          • kevin mousley

            You may be right Razor..if there were better men lining up now i’d be clamouring for him to go right now. Perhaps we need to recalibrate our hopes and hope Slaven learns and sorts us out next term.

          • Philtheiron

            I sincerely hope not mate as personally I would be very disappointed to see Slav leave.

            Although if things aren’t right at the top it would help explain what’s going on pitchside as these things have a habit of trickling down.

            However, although I appreciate that matters off the field inevitably have an effect on what’s going on the pitch I’m not prepared to let the players off the hook that easy! 😂

            For they must surely shoulder some of the responsibility?!

            Finally, if the unthinkable was to happen it would make no sense whatsoever imo sacking bilic unless there was somebody of a higher calibre waiting to take his place?

      • razorwine

        Spot on gav does that mean the anti noble mob want him back or left out still? Got by at right back and for me should replace cress with arthur and randy with adrian next game. If reid is out and obi too only ginge and fernandes can come in with noble on the bench ayew to start and bring back reece being wasted on loan imo

      • Philtheiron

        I think you are spot on mate.

        If you asked the majority of West Ham fans the team they would like to see play at this present moment of of time then I would imagine the one that took the field Saturday was pretty much it.

        For me it was better balanced, strong, paced and in theory it had goals all over it.

        It was certainly the side I believe should have played and easily beaten Bournemouth last week.

        So to still lose and still be giving out xmas presents is I believe quite revealing.

        Imho it has to be down to the players. You can’t coach or devise a gameplan that gifts goals through witless defending.

        The players need to have a long hard look at themselves. Slav sets them up, trusts them to go out and play and they go out and humiliate him and the fans/club.

        Week after week this is happening. Bilic is a very loyal manager but I think there maybe a few shocks coming in the summer.

  • Guesty

    That headline brings back painful memories of when my brother used to towel whip me as a kid.

    So, I’m fed up of this season, the last time I was fed up of a season and wanted it to end was about the same time of Big Sam Season 3. I just want to get to 40 points now start thinking about next season.

    • Guesty

      A bit of cold light of day reflection does no one any harm (along with watching the highlights on MofD) and you’d have to say we were unlucky not to get something from that match. Poor start aside, we weren’t bad and at times in the 2nd half were very good indeed. Carroll did nothing wrong with his 3 late chances, their keeper was superb. Ayew and Lanzini were very good and Kouyate his usual very dependable self. Antonio was very lively. I fear bids for these players in the summer. Reid too. Our summer might be defined by who we keep rather than who we buy. Bryam did more than enough to keep the shirt for the next match but wow didn’t our defence look a shambles for all 3 goals? It frustrates me that Slaven, a defender, can’t set up his back 4.

      We are not safe on 33 points but of course we should manage another 6 points but then in my humble opinion 40 odd points for this team is under achieving and Slaven will know that.

  • Academy of Football

    Good right up. The positives were we put in a good display second half and we are still 11th.

    I do worry Bilic is a Zola and Roeder. I love him but my main worry is exactly who is making the purchases for players. I thought Fonte would be a good addition but his age may be affecting him. Snodgrass for 10m! You know my views on him. We were competing with Burnley and Boro for his signature, top 6 ambitions we have?? Don’t think so.
    If all the buys are Slavs then can we really trust him with another transfer chest (sorry it’s Sullivan, I meant Tin). I thought Snod was to balance the left hand side and he’s playing on the right, I don’t understand it really.
    I have to hold judgement until the end of the season but if we lose to Sunderland or a Swansea below us we really have to start wondering.

  • Beasticus Maximus

    Oh dear oh dear, What an abject and miserable start, poor passing yet again, weak defending yet again. The number of times we had the ball to have it nicked away by a player sneaking in from behind was astounding, and revealing. Do our players not talk to each other?
    The one pin prick of light in a shambles of a first half was a tidy free kick from Lanzini
    The second half was a different kettle of fish all together, we were all over Leicester like a rash.
    Dominant, forceful, strong and not without a little bit of skill. Snodders seemed to be a little shy, but Byram stepped up and was super. Leicester had no answer and we should have scored more than the one goal we got.
    What I dont understand is this. The team are obviously capable, they can do what’s required but for large parts of games they dont.
    This isnt the first time this has happened. Its been happening all season.
    Perhaps Slav should bring some extra tea cups to throw before the games starts as well as at half time.

  • ClaretNBlues

    Whether you’re Bilic in or Bilic out, think the owners are doing a good job or can’t stand them it’s nice to see discussions on here without it resorting to insults and a slagging match. Unlike a certain social media platform I could mention.

    👍👍👍

    • razorwine

      Go on then matt what social media platform is that then son?

      • ClaretNBlues

        Well I only use 2 and one of those (FB) I don’t really use much at all. So it’ll have to be the other one with a little birdie.

        • Guesty

          I will go further and say it’s refreshing that the site and its posters do not partake in insults, bullying and slagging off of other posters as is rife on other blogs that we all know. Long may that continue.

          • ClaretNBlues

            I was trying to be diplomatic lol

          • Guesty

            Was never my strong point Matt 🙂

        • FloridaHammer

          Well, I’m going to tell it like it is – respectfully of course. The other sites encourage idiots because the level of moderation over the discussion is nonexistent. Whereas the administrators of this site keep a close eye on the discussion and tend to encourage solid, critical thought rather than personal discussion. At the end of the day we are here to discuss West Ham United and not Coronation Street or Eastenders. Cheers and kudos to Matt, HM, Goaty & Graybo for an amazing atmosphere on this site.

  • Roshi

    To be honest the whole West Ham thing is beginning to really concern me. It not about the results, the manager or the players, it’s about the whole scenario of what actually hangs over the club as a whole and it is effecting every aspect of it.
    That scenario is the way the club is run, it smacks of uncertainty, mismanagement and ultimately demoralises staff. Hardly surprising then that the manager and players are underperforming in a stadium that the fans don’t like, and to cap it all the mayor is now demanding yet another investigation into the whole stadium deal. All to dodgy

  • kevin mousley

    Agree 100% with Rob the club has been dysfunctional this season. We ought to have the players to beat relegation but the loss of Reid, Obiang and Antonio is a serious blow although having said that Obiang wasn’t in the team last year and Antonio had only been a starter for three months. Hopefully we’ll get the kind of ‘bounce in the face of adversity’ we experienced after Payet’s departure which should be enough to avoid the drop and then we can start again!

  • razorwine

    Well ginge in for reid ok by me im more worried about fonte to be honest than ginge, fernandes and koy can get up and down and lanzini in front pulling the strings with ayew and carrol we still have noble to consider by at right arthur left cress on bench adrian in over randy for me too hopefully can recall reece as well so not exactly down to harrys bare bones. Sofi and the scottish answer to payet still waiting for that one also in the mix cheer up lads were not been tucked up yet coyi.

    • Goatygav

      Honestly think Masuaku is a liability Raze. Perhaps deserves a chance but the moment he starts with the howlers of mistakes again he should be off the pitch pronto.

      • razorwine

        Maybe not the answer gav but cress is the liabilty at the moment never could defend watch his games even in his best season mate and now cant even push forward or put those crosses in. Personally as much a downward form as noble has been. Arthur has better feet his defending i know also not that good but rather him at the mo. Time for adrian to return for me too. Maybe the egotistical deluded german in scouse land can take cress off our hands and we take milner his best player for me. Imo

  • Tom

    Graybo, I’m with you on this one … Slaven decided to stick with what he has until the end of the season … for me he is playing a game with our owners fastly rowing in oposite directions with apologies and tapping up Roberto Mancini … the newbies seem blind to the fact that most of last summers signing were not first team material … we wasted an absolute fortune on chaff … Slaven will bring them to account this summer and if they fail to deliver serves them right … we need a commanding keeper … £12m for Begovic … Sagna on a freebie from Citeh at RB, Defoe on a freebie from Blunderland and plenty left for a decent striker with pace that doesn’t have to be a World Cup star … but a player who wants to play for the shirt … however, I am guessing we will go after silly buggars and end up with ore freebies and loans …

    • Roshi

      Straight to the point Tom and absolutely spot on. Only difference, I would pull out all the stops to sign Joe Hart.

      • Tom

        Long time no chat mate so I hope the health is good and the family having fun … I actually believe that is they pushed the boat out signing Joe Hart can be achieved … he would be just what the doctor ordered and a significant staement of intent … however, I just do not see them doing it … 33 strikers in seven years just shows how bad our recruitment is … no one seems to pick up on that … how many loans fees, wages, agaents fees have we wated here …

        • Roshi

          It is a shambles mate, because you can now see first hand what happened at Birmingham, only with us its on a bigger scale.
          Last season they rolled the dice and came up double six with Payet, Lanzini and Antonio, they sat back took the plaudits and rested on their laurels. They did the stadium deal and thought they were on a roll, but to live up to the expectation that they marketed you have to deliver and they haven’t. Past their sell by date players, average players and loanees will not push you onwards, they are cheap because that’s what their talent, at that particular time, dictates they are worth. In this league you have to invest in the best available and we don’t and that is the problem. We make do, and always have done.

          • Goatygav

            I don’t think that you always have to invest megabucks if you’re smart about it. Look at Southampton – great model that they have which I learned much about from Guesty’s post a couple of threads ago. At ANY given time their ‘Black Box’ has identified at least 3 suitable (and there’s the key phrase) players for any position should they need to sign one. Thereafter they go, quietly, about their business bringing the ‘right’ players to the club. Makes me laugh the people saying, wisely after the event, why didn’t we sign Gabbiadini. Southampton would have had him identified as a player who would fit in to their system waaaaay before any other clubs were alerted to him.

          • Roshi

            Southampton is a great model, but they invest wisely for the present not for the resale, and there is a difference. Sure they sell on a lot of their young starlets from their excellent academy for good money but they invest in good solid replacements.
            You cannot worry about the manager and the owners, if there is a rift, there is only one winner and it won’t be Slaven.

          • kevin mousley

            we looked at Gabbiadini and chose Zaza instead

          • kevin mousley

            if the Daves were pieces of jewellrey they’d be diamante set in pewter