It was always going to happen, Arsene Wenger’s announcement was always going to have an impact on Sunday’s game and so it proved, but once more with West Ham, you always had a feeling it could have been different. I do really feel West Ham are on the cusp at the moment, at times we look a real threat and have some great attacking talent. Arnautovic, Lanzini, Antonio, Hernandez and Carroll compare to any side outside of the top 6, our problem comes with our mentality, we have a no-lose approach which negates the stronger part of our team and puts pressure and exposes the weaker areas of our side.
With Bilic, we were naive in our approach when we went behind, with Moyes we are set up negatively regardless of opposition. Moyes’ approach has kept us in the league but we have played a number of sides where I really felt we could have blown them away had we been more positive, instead we become tepid, insipid and ineffective, unable to use the firepower we possess.
On Sunday we face the ultimate test, City are champions for a reason, if our approach is in any way timid we will be swept away as we were last year. We must carry a threat and we have the manpower to do so, it’s just whether Moyes will release the handbrake. I am not for one second suggesting we go toe to toe with City but we have to cause them problems when we have the ball, not just set up with 10 behind the ball and Arnautovic running around like a maniac up front. What West Ham fans want is to see the team try and win a game, they will get behind any side regardless of its perceived quality if the team is set up to do that.
Hart will be out for the game, but our problems in goal persist, Declan Rice’s hesitancy for Arsenal’s second goal could be blamed on a lack of communication with Hart and that has been an issue with Hart this season, his decision making at times is awful, he is not decisive enough and his lack of confidence is plain for all to see and that permeates to the rest of the defence.
Rice has been a rare high point in what has been an awful season, he is a future West Ham captain and we must protect and nurture him, if we handle him correctly we will reap the benefits.
West Ham need to review this season and right the wrongs quickly, we are better than this aren’t we?