Tony Cottee Column: Grant must take blame, but players have let him down

West Ham boss must stop blaming referees for poor results

Avram Grant as manager should take full responsibility for our current form, but the players are letting him and the fans down.

There appears to be a lack of confidence when playing at home and a total lack of conviction when playing away. This shouldn’t be the case, as we have good players Perhaps mentally, as a team, we seem to have some issues.

Refusing to criticise performances when they have poor and blaming officials instead is the wrong way to do things.

I don’t like hearing Managers blame officials, whoever they are. It is a poor excuse and something that is creeping into our game. If a decision goes against you, create another chance and put it right.

A squad is never too good to go down. Our squad that went down in 2003 was at least as good as the current one, if not better, so the lessons of history are there.

Our form at the moment is pretty poor and the games we have lost of late, we have deserved nothing.

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I have always said if you are going to lose form don’t do it at the end of the season, but unfortunately we have managed to do it at the start in the middle and at the end.

I said we needed four points out of six from our last two games, but we have ended up getting nothing.

We failed to create many meaningful chances against Aston Villa last weekend and both Mark Noble and Thomas Hitzlsperger were disappointing in the middle of the park.

I believe they are both very good players, but when Scott Parker is missing, like he was last Saturday, there is not much variation in our midfield.

Of course he is our best player and it is essential he is fit and ready for the finaol three games of the season.

Maybe Jonathan Spector could come in Scott’s absence? He is someone who can get forward and support the front men could have been an option, but I don’t believe the balance of the team has been right all season.

For two years we have struggled to play with width and find a genuine winger who can deliver from wide. Grant tried to address the issue by brining in Pablo Barrera, but his first season in the Premier League has been disastrous.

It means we have played a 4-3-3 system too often, forcing strikers such as Demba Ba and Frederic Piquionne to play out wide, positions they are not used to playing and where they are less effective.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner