Tony Cottee Column; It’s a great feeling to see West Ham are top of the league
“If a team is not scoring then it is easy to blame the strikers, but that is not fair.”
This season I have ended up repeating myself over and over again about West Ham’s style of play and the way that we are grinding out results.
The Hammers are learning how to win ugly and Saturday’s victory against Nottingham Forest was no different.
It wasn’t a game that was high on entertainment, but it was yet another case of job done.
Fans need to keep perspective that we are not in the Premier League but we are trying to get there. If we have to sacrifice entertainment for three points and automatic promotion then that is fine by me.
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It is fantastic feeling as a West Ham fan to look at the Championship table and see that we are top for the first time this season.
In fact, it is the first time that we have been top of any league since 2006, and we were only top back then after the second game – which we played before everybody else!
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The icing on the cake came on Monday night though, when another one of my old clubs did the Hammers a favour.
I think that many of us were expecting Southampton to retake top spot, but Leicester City became only the second team to win at St Mary’s this season and that result gives the Hammers a nice three-point cushion at the Championship summit.
It is now crucial that West Ham kick-on and try to increase that gap as there are some sides such as Cardiff and Birmingham that are starting to hit some decent form and we need to stay ahead of them and not get dragged down.
For me, it doesn’t matter that we were awarded two dubious penalties on Saturday, all that matters to me is the final score of 2-1 and the three points.
Our home form hasn’t been brilliant this season but we are starting to get the results now.
One thing that does concern me though is the lack of creativity in the side at the moment and I hope that it is just a phase we are going through of not creating many opportunities but still managing to win games.
If a team is not scoring then it is easy to blame the strikers, but that is just not fair. I think that it is more of a team problem and I still expect us to sign another frontman before the end of the transfer window.
Along with another striker, I would like to see us sign a wide player too. We have desperately missed Matt Taylor and it will be good to see him back, hopefully in time for the Ipswich game.
I am sure that Sam Allardyce will be delighted to have a little break right now with the Hammers not playing in the FA Cup.
Of course, as a fan I would love to still be in the competition, but the weekend off will give Allardyce some time to take stock and hopefully add one if not two players to the squad.
West Ham’s next game is a midweek trip to Portman Road on Tuesday night to face an Ipswich side that have been very hit-and-miss throughout the season.
They have some good players and let’s not forget that they beat us at home, so we owe them one!
We’ve had some good games with Ipswich over the years and it is one of the more local away games so I hope that the atmosphere is fantastic and that we can continue our impressive away form.
Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John