Hammer fan blog: Birmingham City defeat leaves little room for optimism

“It’s almost impossible to find anything new to say in the wake of Sunday’s calamitous defeat to Birmingham City.”

It’s almost impossible to find anything new to say in the wake of Sunday’s calamitous defeat to Birmingham City.

The same failings manifested time and again mean that the Hammers are still to win back-to-back League fixtures this season - having managed it only once last - and this inability to put together anything like a run of form seems likely at this stage to condemn the club to relegation.

There are of course still 12 games left to play and plenty of time in which West Ham could climb out of the relegation zone but performances like Sunday’s leave little room for optimism.

Even as Saturday’s matches unfolded, the feeling grew that this might not be a particularly comfortable weekend for Hammers supporters, a feeling exacerbated before Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off when it emerged that James Tomkins had been injured in the warm up and would play no part in the crucial relegation battle.

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That his replacement, Matthew Upson, lasted only 45 minutes - 45 minutes in which he completely nullified Birmingham’s only attacking threat - merely added to the sense of impending doom, and Birmingham duly delivered the knockout blow midway through the second half.

It was a poor game between two poor sides, settled by one moment of quality from a dead ball situation - and there’s little else to say about the game itself.

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Sifting through the wreckage in attempt to find some positives is no easy task, but a lively cameo from new signing Demba Ba offered some encouragement for the future and a swift opportunity for redemption at West Brom means that Sunday’s game must be forgotten immediately.

Hammers should really have been approaching the game at the Hawthorns- against a managerless relegation rival on a dreadful run of form - in good spirits, but once again Avram Grant is faced with the task of rallying his troops. A task that has, evidently, proved beyond him more often than not this season.

Now is, perhaps, not the time to dwell on issues such as the manager’s position or the shortcomings of the squad - it seems certain that Grant will remain until the end of the season, and the transfer window has slammed shut - and over the next three months the battle for survival promises to be extremely tight, so the long suffering Hammers support will have a critical role to play.

First though, Grant and his players need to give them something to get behind, starting on Saturday.


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