Filed: Monday, 12th November 2012
By: Bud Hedges
I donít think there can be any West Ham fan who could be disappointed with West Ham United at the moment. Sixth in the league, the second best side in London according to the table and all this from a side who, only eight months ago, were capitulating near the top of the Championship table, leaving supporters questioning whether we could actually make it up this year.
The spirit, heart, fight and gritty performance at one of the toughest away trips you may have to make in Premier League football was made this weekend and we held on for a brilliant win. Such a vital three points cannot be measured. There are moments in the season, especially away from home where the side will need to dig in and make sure that they hold on. Wins over QPR and Newcastle were the hallmark of this challenge and both times we took all the points away from the game.
The best part of the win this weekend was that we are apparently in our Ďtough spellí of matches. Iíve heard one report call the ten game period beginning with Manchester City at home the Ďfixtures of doomí. If this is our tough spell, I would like to see how we would cope with an easy spell.
I feel that calling West Hamís fixture list at the start of the season an easy one is short-sighted and doesnít give some teams in the Premier League any credit. We may have not faced some of the stronger teams but you have to beat those that are in front of you and we did have done so by beating five of the 11 teams we've played. Aston Villa, Fulham, Southampton, QPR and Newcastle are all good teams; some are in good form, and some in less good form, but we still had to beat them.
Having said this, what I admire the most about the West Ham side at the moment is the tenacity and the effort that we are putting in to games. Kevin Nolan said after the game with Newcastle: "Itís only just a foundation, we need to get to that elusive forty points and take it from there." Clearly Allardyce isnít letting his side get ahead of them. Taking the Premier League game by game, weekend-by-weekend is clearly the best strategy to take and Allardyce seems to be keeping the side grounded.
West Ham has conceded just 11 goals so far, keeping five clean sheets. One of those clean sheets came against the Champions of England, so the clean sheets arenít just fluke. Allardyce and his coaches are evidently working hard and the never-say-die attitude that West Ham is occupying is definitely paying off. Jussi Jaaskelainen and Winston Reid have been the stand-out performers in defence so far this season, not to take anything away from the heroics of James Collins, James Tomkins, George McCartney, Guy Demel and Joey OíBrien at the back to keep five clean sheets.
The work of the midfield three hasnít gone amiss either. Mark Noble and Mo Diame are controlling games and are providing chances for the side. The goals that Captain Fantastic has scored have obviously been vital and, once again, Nolan is proving himself to be one of the best midfield goal scorers in the history of the Premier League. I believe that Diame is proving a vital player to have in the side; it seems that when he has a good game, West Ham United seem to have a good game, but when he is slightly off his game we donít play too well. He has become a lynchpin for our success because Diame and Noble make up the main part of the engine room.
This weekend was capped off by the tremendous win at Newcastle and as I pointed out earlier, I doubt there are many Hammers who are disappointed at all with West Ham United. The only down side to our play at the moment is the fact that Allardyce is ruining the clubs heritage of losing games from winning positions. A heritage, that Iíll be happy to see leave the club.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by Big Danny M
02:34PM 12th Nov 2012
''This article is spot on, the key point for me being that, after quite a few years, we've finally got an "honest" team, no fanny merchants, and that's mainly down to Big Sam.
For the first time in far too long - and definitely at its worst under under Avram Grant - the team is greater than the sum of its parts. The truth is that, on paper at least, we are "over-achieving". About bloody time, I say, compared with, say, 2006/07 until 2010/11 in the Prem and, yes, even at times last year in the Championship.
The last time we had the momentum we've got now was as a newly-promoted side, with no real pressure on them, who all the so-called pundits had already written off before the start of the 2005/06 campaign. So far this season, everyone's worked their nuts off and put in a proper shift.
Individually speaking, Reid and Noble and, to a large degree, Carroll, have been immense. Whilst Nobby isn't the hardest grafter in the team, he clearly has the respect of the players that he leads and constantly pops up in dangerous positions. With the technique and goalscoring ability he has, we can forgive the fact that his work rate is not the highest. He's effective, intelligent and deserves his place in the team.
Diame is a powerhouse (please though, Momo, release the ball quicker) and there isn't a player that I can think of who has shirked the challenge of physical confrontation. It's great to see those more "creative" players like Yossi throwing themselves into tackles as if their lives depended on it. In Jarvis, we've got real strength and quality - an "out ball", supplier of crosses and fighter all rolled into one. A Mark Ward and Matty Etherington hybrid, if you like.
Let's take this platform and attack the next part of the season with confidence, but without complacency, and see where it takes us. We'll have the occasional off-day like at Swansea and Wigan, and we know we've got most of the big boys still to play, but there's genuine cause for optimism now. COYI!''
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