If you have a problem, if no one else can help - hire The B-Team

Hannibal, Faceman, B.A. and Murdoch – otherwise known as The A-Team – were regulars on our TV screens during the 1980s. The team regularly took care of business in action-packed style.

West Ham have got a bit of business that needs taking care of on Sunday – ensuring they take all three points from a Southampton side who like us are battling for their Premier League lives.

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We don’t have an A-Team to come to our rescue, but we do have a B-Team that could have a huge influence on the game. Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma are our joint top scorers in the Premier League with four goals each – and both have been in decent form in recent games.

Much has been said and written about our central strikers Michail Antonio, Gianluca Scamacca and recent addition Danny Ings, but as far as game changers and game winners are concerned the contributions of both Benrahma and Bowen could be the key to success on Sunday.

After what had been a decidedly low-key and largely unimpressive start to the season for Bowen, that zip, brightness and directness has returned to his game – and with it his eye for goalscoring opportunities.

Benrahma too has been more consistent in his performances. We know what he’s capable of when he’s on song. His problem has been adding consistency to his game. A lot of the good work in his build-up play has been wasted with poor finishing – and making the wrong choice for his delivery and final ball.

Like Bowen, in recent weeks that disappointing and often frustrating inconsistency has been less evident. There looks to be a new confidence about his play. He’s shown a willingness to do the ‘dirty work’ when required and not just bask in the frilly fancy work.

Of course we are going to need more than just our B-Team to step up to the plate. This is going to require an A-Team effort from everyone – back to front.

On paper we are arguably a better side than the Saints – but the visitors have shown some commendable battling qualities of late.

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Draws with Manchester United and the Spuds together with victories over Leicester and Chelsea have put them right back in the dogfight after looking to be all but dead and buried at one time. So they will be far from a push-over.

Many of us of a certain age will remember our B-Team of the 1960s. Burkett, Bond, Brown, Bovington, Boyce, Byrne and Braybrook – together they helped take us to our first ever FA Cup Final victory.

Sunday’s ultimate prize is on a different level financially to that of 1964. One game won’t assure our continued status in the top flight, but as games go victory in this ‘one game’ will give a massive boost to club, players and fans alike.

There has been some unwanted negativity doing the rounds in this recent ‘slack’ period due to the international break. Stories, unsubstantiated in large part, of supposed training ground unrest have surfaced again. Strange that these things usually rear their head when crucial games are on the horizon.

I make no judgement on that score. But it’s not the training pitch that should concern us – what goes on there is no more than hearsay and gossip. It’s what goes on on the football pitch that matters most.

Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen are just two amongst a team of individuals – but they are two players who have the skill and the influence to make a huge contribution to the West Ham cause. Sunday at 2pm would be an idea time for both to show us just how huge that contribution can be.

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