Hammers fan blog: Everyone at West Ham must stand up and be counted

Poor performances and attitudes have got West Ham in the mess they are currently in.

It’s only a matter of time before we turn the corner if we keep playing like that’, ‘we played well’, ‘we were unlucky’, or best of all, ‘we are a good team’.

For two years or more, platitudes have been the staple diet of all West Ham supporters; fed to them in spades by successive managers, players and chairmen who have variously insisted all of the above after another disappointing performance; or after another ‘must-win’ game has passed by without victory.

Defeat at Anfield was perhaps not unexpected, but the nature of the first half display should at least serve to expunge all of those myths and prevent any of the aforementioned from further insulting the intelligence of the most knowledgeable supporters in the game by repeating them.

West Ham are NOT playing well, they are NOT unfortunate to be bottom of the league, and they are most definitely NOT a good team.

If the last sentence reads as something of a doomsday scenario, it perhaps shouldn’t - it is only November, and it is from such a position of clarity that positive decisions can be made, and change be brought about.

Whether the apparent sacking of Zeljko Petrovic is the extent of that change, whether beleaguered manager Avram Grant will follow, or whether it simply entails a complete change in approach in the coming weeks only time will tell, but it is readily apparent that there must be changes immediately if West Ham are to salvage anything from this season’s Premier League campaign.

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For an extended period, everyone at the club (with notable exceptions such as Scott Parker and Mark Noble) has seemed content to tread water, to do the bare minimum to justify their continued good favour until something better comes along.

It is a strategy that is perennially doomed to failure, and Hammers’ long-suffering fans have been there before.

This runs right from top to bottom, with even the new owners seemingly content to muddle through until the Olympic Stadium move is secured - although it is to their credit that Karren Brady has already acknowledged this week that they need to do more.

It is time (it has been for a while, actually) for each and every person connected with the club to stand up and be counted, to question themselves and their own performances, and to challenge themselves to improve.

Whilst such self-deprecation is not commonplace in the cosseted world of modern day football, if West Ham’s management and players need any assurances that a little bit of honesty goes a long way, then they need look no further than Sunderland.

Humiliated 5-1 by their local rivals, those involved took full responsibility and promised to make amends to the supporters. Having ‘asked themselves some serious questions’ they returned to action, and have since gone 3 games unbeaten, including a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

No excuses, no sound bytes, no platitudes - just hard work, honesty, and a willingness to atone for previous errors. If West Ham can deliver on those 3 counts, they’ll quickly find they find they have a 12th man on their side, starting this Saturday when Wigan visit the Boleyn.

This time, it really is a must-win game.