Hammers Fan’s blog: West Ham need to start the winning habit at Liverpool
The problems at the club cannot be blamed solely on Avram Grant
For the past few weeks it’s been easy for West Ham fans (and this column in particular) to draw on the positive aspects of performances, casting one eye to the upcoming fixtures against West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool. No more.
Those fixtures have come and gone, and the two winnable games have yielded no wins, two points and a mountain of frustration for Hammers fans.
The East London club now sit bottom of the league, five points adrift of safety, heading to a ground at which they have not won since 1963.
Inevitably the spotlight is now very much on manager Avram Grant; and with the owners’ target of seven points from the first 4 games of November already out of reach with a game to spare, the vultures are circling.
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They may be forced to wait though, as indications are at this stage that the owners’ promise to ‘shuffle the pack’ looks likely to see a strengthening on the coaching side rather than parting with a manager only five months in to his tenure.
If Grant is to be held accountable by supporters for on-field failings this season, it should also be acknowledged that this situation has not suddenly developed overnight.
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In season 2009/2010, West Ham won eight league matches, the fewest in the club’s entire history. That unenviable record is seriously under threat this campaign, but it serves to highlight the gloom that has been gathering over E13 for a couple of years. Indeed, such has been their decline that West Ham have won only 12 of their last 61 Premier League matches, and the team and club that achieved successive Top 10 finishes in 2008 and 2009 now seems like a distant memory.
In Grant, Hammers’ have employed a man who has spent all but one week of the last year at the bottom of the League table, and has won just seven league games in that time. Given the predicament of his former club, the frequent references made to Grant’s recent record are perhaps a touch harsh; but it has been painfully evident in the three drawn games against Birmingham, West Brom and Blackpool, that there is no one at the club either on the pitch or in the dugout that has any idea what is required to win football matches on a regular basis.
Winning, as Hammers fans are always told in relation to other clubs, is a habit – and the same is true in reverse.
With 47 years since West Ham’s last victory at Anfield, it might not strike the magnificent travelling support as the best place to start trying to pick up the winning habit, but it’s a habit that needs to be picked up quickly if it is not to be a very painful season for all concerned with the club.
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