West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul, Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals and Goodbye to Boleyn
Friday, August 28
Are West Ham heading towards a crisis season?
Arrived back from my holidays to find a changed WHU world — Nobby Nolan has gone, Sakho has been bailed by the Old Bill, Zarate has picked up an injury in training and Valencia has been complaining about the WHU medical staff, only to hastily retract his comments. Meanwhile David Sullivan has upset Charlie Austin by saying he has a dodgy ligament in his knee. Appreciate the need to be cautious in signing injury-prone strikers, but by speaking publicly Sullivan has alienated a potential signing. All of which is giving us the air of a crisis club. Finally sat down and watched Match of the Day and it's hard to legislate for Cresswell and Jenkinson making such calamitous errors against Bournemouth. Both looked good players last season and will improve this time, but it's clear they need more support from midfield. Surely having seen what happened against Leicester, Bilic should have changed the narrow midfield diamond formation to something more like a conventional 4-4-2 or 4-5-1? Perhaps we're also missing Alex Song who had such a fine first half of the season last time out and Stewart Downing who could stop out wide and play in the middle. The other worrying factor is that we have accrued endless silly red cards — so far Sakho, Tomkins, Collins, Adrian and Jenkinson have all been sent off, which shows a lack of discipline in the side. Unlucky injuries, sendings off and home defeats is not a great recipe… The Guardian review of the Bournemouth match mentioned the prospect of relegation, which is surely a bit premature, but the gamble of replacing Allardyce is looking a risk at the moment (Benitez was within three hours of taking the job, claims the Daily Mail this week.) Though we achieved a great win at Arsenal, Bilic and the team are still learning and should we get anything at Liverpool it will all look a lot better. Though not having won there since 1963 that's a big if…