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Hammer Fan Blog: It’s results not performances that matter to West Ham

PUBLISHED: 13:26 26 April 2011

CHELSEA v WEST HAM UNITED  - PREMIER LEAGUE - 23/04/2011 - PICTURE BY STEVE BACON

CHELSEA v WEST HAM UNITED - PREMIER LEAGUE - 23/04/2011 - PICTURE BY STEVE BACON

STEVE BACON

“With games running out fast, Hammers must arrest their slide at Manchester City this weekend or they will approach the ‘winable’ final three games of a torrid campaign short of form, confidence and faith from their supporters.”

At this stage of the season results are all that matters, so whilst elements of the performance at Stamford Bridge were encouraging, there was little pleasure to be taken from a fourth straight defeat that condemned West Ham to the foot of the Premier League table.

With games running out fast, Hammers must arrest their slide at Manchester City this weekend or they will approach the ‘winable’ final three games of a torrid campaign short of form, confidence and faith from their supporters.

Supporters who were, for the umpteenth time, magnificent on Saturday evening. Supporters who, for the umpteenth time, left with no reward.

Avram Grant once again spun his tombola, this time emerging with the names of Freddie Sears and Jonathon Spector to play in a five man midfield, with Demba Ba marooned on the left and an unfamiliar central defensive pairing of Manuel Da Costa and Danny Gabbidon. In fairness to Grant, his selections worked well for long periods of the game and were it not for Hammers’ profligacy in front of goal then they may well have come away from their west London neighbours with a hard-earned point.

Still, if the team’s best striker is out on the left wing, it can be no great surprise that chances are spurned.

The performances of Spector and Sears were high points, standing toe-to-toe with their more illustrious opponents and emerging with credit; and both did enough to earn a starting berth for Sunday’s fixture at fourth placed Manchester City.

Expect, then, to see both start on the bench at Eastlands. Gabbidon also performed well but with Wayne Bridge unavailable for the visit to his parent club at the weekend it seems likely he will fill in at left back, which will mean yet another change at centre half.

Results elsewhere were favourable this weekend and ensured that defeat by Chelsea was not terminal; yet it’s Hammers own form rather than that of their rivals that gives greater cause for concern.

Fortunate to escape with a meagre 35 points last year, principally by virtue of the fact that there were three teams even worse, lady luck is unlikely to be so kind again.

A quick word of congratulations to Scott Parker on winning the prestigious Football Writer’s Player of the Year Award.

It is a magnificent achievement for a player at a club in West Ham’s position and is a tangible reward for his efforts over his time at the club, not just in this campaign.

He is only the second Hammer to win the award, and is the first in 37 years since the late, great Bobby Moore was honoured in 1964.

Exalted company indeed. A quick look through the record books shows that players from clubs in the upper echelons of the League have monopolised this award, and certainly there are few, if any, who have been part of a side that has ultimately been relegated.

To win this award in a struggling side is testimony to Parker’s consistency and excellence. It is a tribute to application, hard work and desire and shows what can be achieved with the right attitude. The award is thoroughly well deserved. Congratulations, Scott.

So, as we move away from an horrendous April it can only be hoped that May brings an upturn in form and fortunes. Avram Grant and his entire first team squad should take a long, hard look at Scott Parker.

And feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves.


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