Search

Hammers fan blog: West Ham have finally found a formation which suits

PUBLISHED: 14:26 29 November 2010

Valon Behrami celebrates scoring the opener

Valon Behrami celebrates scoring the opener

Archant

The tactics and selection were spot on for Wigan, but performance was far from perfect

"With victories in short supply so far this term the fans should enjoy the three points"

Paul H

There’s been a strange reaction to Saturday’s crucial victory over relegation rivals Wigan, with many seemingly keen to dwell on the deficiencies of the opposition rather than savouring what could be a vital three points in the fight for survival.

That’s not to say that those observations are without merit – Wigan were under-strength and extremely poor, but with victories in short supply so far this term the fans should enjoy the three points, and everyone at West Ham deserves enormous credit for a job well done.

Avram Grant got his selection and tactics absolutely right, the effect of new defensive coach Wally Downes’ work was immediate and significant and the players performed under the most intense of pressures.

Frustratingly, a late winner for Wolves meant that West Ham remain at the foot of the table; but the pack is once again within touching distance and, perhaps crucially, Grant should no longer be in any doubt about the best way for his side to approach games.

Both of Hammers’ league victories this season have been achieved playing a conventional 4-4-2 system, with Freddie Picquionne and Victor Obinna operating as a partnership up front.

It will not, or should not, have escape the Israeli’s conscious that the same pairing also played together and scored when West Ham’s next opponents in the Premier League, Sunderland, were vanquished on their own patch in an earlier round of the Carling Cup.

In a busy week for the club, the weekend trip to the Stadium of Light is preceded by a Carling Cup quarter final against holders Manchester United under lights at Upton Park.

The last sentence really ought to be enough to get the juices of every Hammers fan flowing, but such is the emphasis on Premier League survival in the modern day game, it is a fixture that is dividing opinion amongst supporters on its importance.

At the forefront of the concerns is the possibility of fatigue or injury to key performers, whilst numerous others venture that this competition represents a genuine chance of silverware. Having gained some momentum at the weekend it is a little perplexing that some, including people from within the club, have suggested making non-essential changes, particularly considering how poor the team looked on Saturday once reduced to less than 100 per cent by the enforced substitutions of the incomparable Scott Parker and and Frederic Picquionne.

A win against Manchester United at any stage is a massive shot in the arm, with a place in the semi final at stake doubly so, and the long journey for the so-called ‘more important’ fixture at the weekend will be made brimming with confidence on the back of consecutive victories.

On that, everyone can agree.

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

18:26

Eoin Morgan can see the advantages in holding England matches behind closed doors, believing such a scenario would demonstrate the uplifting role sport can play in modern society.

16:34

Wimbledon has become the latest big sporting event to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic this week.

14:00

Nearly 10 years ago, Leyton Orient moved to sack Geraint Williams and appoint Russell Slade to help them avoid the drop and was it ever a great journey from then onwards.

West Ham hero Alan Taylor talks us through the battle to the final

08:20

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced an emergency funding package worth £61million to keep counties and clubs afloat during what could be “the biggest challenge in the history of the game”.

Yesterday, 15:30

Smaller clubs in Essex could struggle to survive

Yesterday, 15:00

Parents looking to entertain their children while schools are closed have been offered a helping hand thanks to the FA SuperKicks app.

Hammers striker Alan Taylor talks us through his six goals in the FA Cup 45 years ago

PROMOTED CONTENT

Festival organisers AEG Presents will once again be providing a variety of exciting opportunities for young people at this year’s event

Looking to rent in London? Securing the keys to a new home in any big city can be an ordeal but there is a way to avoid the common pitfalls of London rentals - dodgy landlords, dubious décor and downright dicey security.

Cauldron Foods’ comedy night will give vegans the last laugh as Vegan comics dispel vegan myths.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser