Is Our Season Already Over?

No new signings, out of both cups, safe from relegation, mid-table mediocrity. The way some people are talking, our season is over and it’s only the end of January. In my role as a glass half full merchant, let me tell you they’re wrong and how we still have a lot to play for.

We may be in tenth place, with a fair gap between us and nineth, but we can reduce that gap by three points tomorrow. I really believe that we can challenge for a European place. But more importantly I believe the players believe that too. We have several excellent players coming back from injury. The competition for places will soon be very hot indeed. We have the best defensive record outside the top four. If only we could score a bit more often and drive home the advantage we’d be several places higher than we actually are. The key to this are the two wide players. Too often thos season we have played with too little width. When Ethers is on form and believes oin his ability to beat opposing players he is an automatic pick. His understudy on the left, Boa Morte drifts infield too much to be described as a left winger. With Faubert emerging as a force and Solano coming back we have real competition with Ljungberg for the right wing slot. Too often this season we have had to play a player out of place in that position.

So I am really optimistic that we can finish a bit above where are now. We should be aiming for sixth place. After last season, who’d have thunk it?!

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26 Responses to Is Our Season Already Over?

  1. sean says:

    with bellars back ,pairing up with cole or ashton the goals will come!

    do we need a more cover for centre back now collins and davenport are both out with long term injuries?

  2. Vince Tanti says:

    Good article Iain, touching some important points, in particular the lack of goals being scored. Also good to point out is WHO is scoring our goals, or rather the ratio between midfielders and defenders against forwards. And that is the point I wish to make in relation to our inactivity in the transfer market. I do not think we need defenders or attacking midfielders, we have good players in the team capable of doing a good job in their respective roles. I am however concerned about our inability to convert opportunities into goals. Will we ever have a Cottee-Devonshire tandam again, capable of getting goals where and when it really matters?
    Truth be said, and this is my personal opinion which is contrary to my earlier belief, Cole is coming through magnificently, I do not feel I can say the same for Ashton however, and I would be more than glad if he can prove me wrong.Then perhaps I expect too much of him as well, but I still do not see the guile I expected out of him yet. And Bellers is another story. h I feel he’s been out too long to make the impact we expect of him now, notwithstanding my full faith in him. But I also believe that we should give more opportunities to upcoming elements at WHU, people who are lookig at the opening to come through as Mark Noble is doing. I hear this Collison is another brilliant young man ready to take his chance.
    So in conclusion, I expected us to at least get a decent centre forward, capable of converting and perhaps also capable of re-igniting the fire in this crucial area of attack.

  3. NunheadHammer says:

    I think a win against Liverpool tomorrow night is a must if we are really to progress beyond the mid-table region. We need to improve on our home form – and with players back – there is a good chance we can do this, but it is all about performances and the right balance. For me the defence has been our real strength this season more so than for a very long time. Lets see how the new signings add to our attacking strength,

  4. Biffo the bear says:

    Well, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. We can hope to see some of the squad that we bought in the summer playing together without the worry of a relegation battle. I’d like to see the team play attractive football and really go for teams at Upton Park. They’ve done well to get us where we are but never really inspired at home, the Man U game being the one notable exception.

    Push on for Europe? Why not? Buy this player buy that player…maybe. I want my moneys worth of a Saturday, West Ham United taking on anyone who comes to UP, getting the ball down, passing, running at teams, shots on goal, clever one-twos, hard tackling defenders, something to get the crowd jumping a bit….you know….football!
    That would make a good end to the season for me, to see the team really expressing themselves.

  5. KennyHammer says:

    I agree with Vince Tanti. We have looked solid at the back all season even with a depleted squad. Green has been superb. We have a talanted array of mid field players.
    I thought we looked a better side with Solano playing.
    We all expected great things from Ashton but for whatever reasons his apperances and contribution have been limited. Where we need cover is a player who can sit in the hole between striker(s) and midfield hold the ball and make a vital second or two for striker and midfield support. Teddy Sherringham and Carlos Tevez were perfection in the position and Ashton seemed the natural player to continue. Perhaps with a few more games his performance will improve, if not Curbs has a task on his hands to find a replacement.
    I think we should stay out of the transfer market until all our recent purchases have a chance to be fit and stake a claim to regular place.
    Besides which some of our youngsters look to be ready to break into the first team squad. We have made a great deal of progress since last season and have a talanted squad. I think steady progress is normally more benifical than a cheque book quick
    fix at the level of player within our financial scope.

  6. scott says:

    I feared, after reading the title, that this title would really seethe me!
    But good effort. We’ve managed mid table medeocracy with a massively depleted squad and with no opportunity to gain any momentum.
    But with players coming back from injury and the opportunity to play a first choice starting 11, plus strong competition for each position, we could be a very good team in the home-straight!

  7. Big Casino says:

    A top 6 finish is feasible, but unlikely I believe…….. not unless we have the privilege to field the same 16 for a string of games………

    I think we’re still 3 top quality players short of being a bona fide top 6 team; a red-hot box to box midfielder in the middle of the park who has a commanding and physical presence; a creative genius/luxury player who can turn games (in mould of Di Canio, Cole, Berkovic, Benayoun, Porfirio); and a 20 goal a season striker (like Cottee, McAvennie, Hartson).

    I think defensively we are almost there:

    Green should be England’s number 1 (just needs to improve his decision-making).
    Neill is recapturing the form he showed when he first joined.
    McCartney will always be seen by many as not being good enough, but is so much better than he’ll ever get credit for.
    Upson may not be able to play his way out of defence al la Rio – but when it comes to defending he’s our answer to Jamie Carragher. In any event, we have Anton playing next to him – who may not be as solid as Upson, but has the pace to recover from his lapes in concentration – whilst he is also a more than capable centre half who can play his way out of defence like Rio – so in Upson and Anton we have a partnership that has the potential to be top quality.

    The midfield pool of players is almost there – except in the summer I’d offload Bowyer (his legs have gone), Boa Morte (quality but frustrating and not the threat he was at Fulham), Quashie (not good enough) – and I’d bring in, as I mentioned earlier, a creative/luxury player, like Yossi/Berkovic, and a midfield dynamo – someone with real athletism (like Marc-Vivien Foe) – Appiah could be one option?

    Up top – I’d keep our pool of four (Bellars, Ashton, Cole and Zamora) – all four have proved their worth for me – but we need another one in there – a predator/goalscorer.

    So yeh – we’re not far from being a genuine top 6 contender – if Dyer and Parker were both fit I’d suggest we could possibly sneak a place in there – but as they’re not – I’m not sure our midfield will quite have enough to consistently come out on top in every game.

  8. Saffron Hammer says:

    If we can get the forwards (Bellamy, Zamora, Faubert) back from injury and keep them fit, then we have a chance of moving up the table.
    However as we are at the moment, then I just see us hanging around 8th,9th 10th. Curbs will be happy with that, and perhaps after the traumas of last year we should be too. But that is not West Ham, in all my years of supporting them (47! Blimey thats a long time), I can only remember one other (under Harry) when the season was over by March – it was strange & boring.

  9. Da Don says:

    I fear a foot-off-the-gas second half of the season but, with nothing to lose, we should be going at every team and having a bit of fun (which is why limping out of the cup like we did was such a disappointment).
    We may even have a part to play in the destination of the title, a role we should play with relish. We can bloody Liverpool’s noses tomorrow, Chelsea have still to come to Upton Park and if we go up to OT at the end of the season with the title in the balance, Manyoo will be very nervous about playing us.
    Crusb should let the youngsters have a game or two, play around with some formations, use the bench liberally to let everyone have a game and use this opportunity to prepare for next season and, ahem, a genuine assualt on a Top 5 finish.

    At the very least we have to make sure we finish above Tottenham though.

  10. Josh says:

    Top half is so competitive now (even more so when you consider Spurs aren’t in it yet) it’s probably a bit much to expect us to push on for 6th. If we manage to keep 10th we’ll probably end up with one of our highest PL points tallies, can’t ask for much more than that after last season.

  11. Nick says:

    Lets face it compared to some our season may be over but we have some big games and scalps to take Arsenal, Chelsea, Totenscum and (the double over) ManU.

    Not only those games we have a chance to play in Europe still, we have a crop of young players who we need to develop and bring on and we want to prove to the players at the club and those we want to buy that this club is going somewhere. It is about time the good half of the England team weren’t ex West Ham but West Ham. It has made me sick over the years that our best young players have had to leave to develop and win some thing now we have a real chance to show people you can do it here so why go anywhere else. That means our season isnt over.

  12. to be fair i dont think its over. i think a win this weekend against lpool this week could really push our chances for a spot in europe. that would put us 6 points out. get some some results for next 2 months only losing twice. i could see us making a run for europe.

  13. not to mention we have been playing with 1/2 squad

  14. gary a says:

    like sean im optimistic about bellars, pace is a big thing in the prem now and he’s got it in abundance, hes a natural goal scorer and i think at west ham his confidence will rocket. I do agree with vince on ashton though, dont get me wrong he has bags of potential an is good but he is no superstar yet. Well done carlton cole proved a lot of us wrong – where did that overhead kick come from? – but i think when ashton and bellamy are fully fit he wont get much of a shout.
    Getting into the top six will be a tough job – too tough methinks but i would love to be proved wrong – i was about relegation last year…

  15. west ham johnny says:

    no way i think its just getting started now with players coming back i think we should aim for at least 6th spot, we had a great run to the end of last season so y not this one. people seem to forget we just survived relegation last season and curbs has had to get rid of the players he didnt want and bring in his own which he has done well with apart from injurys so like he said at the begining of the season a steady year in the premiership will be a good one. i personaly think we can finish 6th if we get all our squad back. man city cant score and are starting to dip, villa aint the greatest of teams and we still have to play them pompey and blackburn at home so y cant we finish in the top 6.

    c’mon u irons

  16. brooking is still the best says:

    With Faubert, Dyer, Solano and Bellamey back soon and Ashton getting fitter by the week, I think goals will come! I still think we should be in the market for a striker of real quality though.

    If we can get to the end of the season keeping the likes of above fit, I see no reason why a sixth of seventh place finish isn’t a real possiblity.

    I wonder what would have been possible if they had of stayed fit all season?

  17. Dave King says:

    You had me going there Iain. Actually had me nodding like that Churchill dog. Like my dreams……………. The season was over the day we got Curbs. Be the same next season too.

  18. chris says:

    I still think we need to buy a top striker if we are to finish top 6,Top strikers always get a goal out of nothing,and when games a so tight like they are in the prem..its these type of players that make the difference.

  19. Carlos Tabrez says:

    It’s very tight from 4th to 10th in points and team abilities. Any team out of them that goes on a good run could well finish very high.

    I think our goals tally will improve by playing two up front regularly. Also, when we get our pace back….DYER, FAUBERT and BELLAMY in the same team….imagine the possibilities.

    We have lots to play for….how attractive will a top six finish look to potential signings next season?

    We have the players but this is a big test for CURBISHLEY.

  20. ironsmith says:

    Iain, as far as our players are concerned the season has only just bugun according to the noises coming from the squad itself. I tend to agree with them that a good strong run in with our best players fit would see us achieve a european spot. However I do not agree about ethers who for me is not good enough and unless he produces his reading away form more consistently should be replaced by the improving Ljungberg as left winger who we know does have the necessary class but I think this is a position where we need to strengthen along with a natural goalscoring striker and we are then going some way towards being a top 6 side. We have, therefore, absolutely everything to play for and well done Alan Curbishley!

  21. Plaistow54 says:

    You had me worried there for two or three seconds till i started reading then saw that it was “some people” & not you. I am of the same vein of thought as others in that our season is only really beginning. This game against Liverpool for us is an F.A. Cup Final in my opinion. It is a stepping stone, it is that important. The next three matches are against Wigan, Birmingham & Fulham in that order. Three games we would reasonably be expected to win. If we can take full points against Liverpool which given a certain amount of angst in their club is feasible, then that would put us only a few points off fourth place & certainly within striking distance of sixth. I agree we need to play with width. Etherington will run the ball, very much like Stan Lazaridis, “Skippy”. Doesn’t always get it right but it is what we need. Against Carragher & Hyypia who are a tad slow he may be effective. Collison is a player we could blood a bit in the next three or four games. He is the style of player we need in the style of West Ham. The squad beginning to strengthen, a run of wins, confidence builds, the drama of the season is not over yet Iain.

  22. Laurie in Spain says:

    I would have bitten your arm off to be in this position today had you made me te offer a year ago. More to the point we are tenth, six clear of Spurs mind, with teams that regularly drop points between us and Lucas’s fancied fourth place. Tens of millions of poundsworth of talent to come back into the side says we have a fighting chance of improving on our league position. Happy that we neither bought nor sold in January though I would still like to see us go back in for Giles Barnes.. as you rightly point out we lack width when Ethers is unavailable, but when we lack that width we look a considerably less impressive outfit.
    I do not share the doubts about our ability to score goals. Deano came back from a long lay off clearly carrying a stone of unecessary muscle, testament to his determination to work his way through the injury but it has hampered him. He and Bellamy still look like nailed on first choices up front… and how many games have they appeared in together this season? Those two will cause havoc to defences and midfields, allowing the likes of Parker and Lunjberg to do their thing. We have plenty of goals in us.
    More importantly, for the first time in a very very long time we have an impressive defence…
    With games coming up against the teams currently 16th 17th and 18th it could be that we are pressing for Europe by the end of February.
    So many reasons to be cheerful. Come on you Irons!!!

  23. plaistow54 says:

    We signed someone ! Up on Knees Up Mother Brown.
    http://www.kumb.com/story.php?id=123022

  24. plaistow54 says:

    Iain, how cool is Mark Noble ? That fella impresses me so much. 35,000 people, last kick of the match, everything depends on it & he calm as a cucumber sidefoots it. The reason Gerrard was so quiet most of the game was because of him. It was a penalty. Freddie was nearly around Carragher & he deliberately took his trailing foot. Referee was well positioned & spot on, no hesitation. Lucas Neill didn’t handle. His arm was in close to the body, again Ref was correct. We tackled well in midfield & the only weak spot was Boa Morte. Ferdinand & Upson played well & our season continues to improve. Looks like Curbs has signed no one & although the hype of the transfer window sucks me in, i think he is right about paying inflated prices. We are looking good for the run home. That was a big win.

  25. West Ham Fan no 32 says:

    I think we can definitely challenge for Europe, we have 3 games now where we need 7 – 9 points, Wigan, Birmingham and Fulham are all in the mix up for relegation and although two games are away from home we need those points on the board to make Europe a possibility because our following 5 games are all likely to be very competitive.

    Agree with Plaistow54 about Mark Noble he really is an iceman with the penalties, Reina has a great record of saves and he slots a firmly placed penalty right in the corner.

    I would feel comfortable if we were scoring more, we created two great chance for LBM last night which unfortunately he couldn’t take and we still have a tendency to sit back and try absorbing pressure which we are and have always been useless at. We should try and play like Man Utd adopting an attack is the best form of defence mentality, it worked for us at the end of last season and has always worked for us in past seasons. If we can bring that freedom to our play for the last few games and get our main forwards playing there is no reason we can’t finish top 6.

    COYI !

  26. crazyhorse says:

    Spot on plaistow 54,noble had nerves of steel when taking that penalty and showed good quality on the pitch.Hope this silences the very very few people on here who dont rate noble(yes you know who you are)

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