Monday, March 20

How can Bilic tighten West Ham's defence?

For an ex-defender it’s odd how weak Slaven Bilic's team has been at the back. West Ham have conceded 16 goals in the last seven games and Bilic urgently needs to sort out the defence. There doesn't seem to be a leader at the back so one option would be to give the struggling Jose Fonte a rest and recall James Collins. Ginge might be ageing but he gives orders and makes last-ditch tackles that tend to inspire the men around him. Fonte is a good player, but just hasn't bedded in yet.

There's also the option of playing three centre backs from Reid (if fit), Fonte, Collins and Kouyate, which worked earlier in the season. It would mean sacrificing a midfielder, but we simply can't concede three goals and expect to get anything in the Premier League.

The Hammers are missing the injured Ogbonna and still have problems at right-back, but I think Sam Byram is worth persevering with. He looks like he lacks confidence and needs assistance from the coaching staff. Sam needs help with the defensive side of his game and to be advised when not to bomb down the wing and respect he point (as he should have done at Bournemouth). But he did some good work coming forward against Leicester in the second half and is still a young player. Masuaku also looked decent going forward as a sub and is an option as a sub if Cresswell is out of sorts.

In goal Daren Randolph was caught out by Mahrez's cross and it could also be worth giving Adrian a recall, particularly if the Spaniard is better at organising his defence. Adrian, Reid, Collins and Cresswell all looked solid defenders under Allardyce, so much of the problem must be down to poor organisation. Slaven has to shuffle the team until he gets a clean sheet.

The defence also needs help from the midfield and West Ham need to get back to keeping it tight for the first thirty minutes rather than capitulating as they did against Leicester.

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