Sixer’s West Ham Soapbox: Hammers bang more nails in the relegation coffin

Sixer: 'looking hard at whether to renew the season ticket ...'
Sixer: ‘looking hard at whether to renew the season ticket …’

You’d be forgiven for thinking our esteemed illustrator, Jake, and our resident chronicler of doom, Pete Sixsmith, were pretending for April Fool’s sake to be on strike. In fact, Jake is in hospital in Spain (here’s hoping they sort you out, pal) and Sixer had a full day’s work at the chalkface. Needless to say, both are in gloomy spirits. I felt for Jake, having to recover my score texts, but maybe he’s grateful the hospital, didn’t have us on live. And here, not for the squeamish is Sixer’s appraisal of yet another 90 minutes of rank disappointment …

And that, my headline,
is about all there is to say about another disappointing and probably defining night at the Stadium of Light, where once again we failed to beat one of the teams around us, leaving us adrift with Fulham in the bottom positions.

I am now quite certain that this spell in the top league is over. It’s about the norm – six or seven seasons and then back to the second level from which we may or may not pull ourselves out sooner rather than later.

This is yet another relegation that we should have avoided but the paucity of the team that we have suggests otherwise. Quite simply, we cannot defend and we cannot score. So how on earth can we expect to win games?

Look at the two we conceded in this game. Great header from Carroll for the first, but neither Brown nor O’Shea put him under sufficient pressure. It was an easy one for the Kevin Kyle play-a-like. The second was a disaster as we failed to clear the ball, failed to tackle and watched it take a deflection and trickle into the net.
Poor teams give away poor goals.

There was plenty of effort throughout the evening but no class or quality until Adam Johnson arrived on the scene and did what nobody else had done in the preceding 60 minutes and ran at the West Ham defence.

He scored a great goal from an equally great pass from Craig Gardner and the two of them desperately tried to get us back into the game.

That we did not force an equaliser is due to the fact that our forward players, Borini, Wickham and Scocco, looked even less effective than our defenders. This is the poorest set of alleged strikers that we have had since we tried to stay up with Paul Stewart and Craig Russell. The outcome will be the same.

Questions need to be asked about the team selection and the players who have been brought into the club since January. Vergini had another poor game, although he does look quite composed when he is on the ball and there is no one near him. That rarely happens at this level and a lot less so in the Championship.

Bridcutt is an okay player and should find his true level next season while Scocco has already overtaken Rada Prica as the most useless January buy. He is approaching several others in the most useless buy of all time competition as well.

Throw in Connor Wickham, the great bright hope, returned from his loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds and now ranking as the biggest flop of Steve Bruce’s time in charge and you can see a club that is going nowhere fast.

West Ham didn’t even have to be average to win, they just had to turn up. They sat deep and faced a team with a two defensive midfield players and Ki, who can play for 25 minutes before fading out a bit and then for another 30 minutes before fading out completely.

No Johnson, despite him being our leading scorer. Who else was going to put the ball in the Hammers net? Borini looks as if he is a spent force now and if I ever see either Wickham or Altidore score I will pinch myself so hard that I will be a mass of bruises. Both are completely out of their depth in this league.

So, off we go to Spurs followed by Everton. I confidently expect to be bottom of the league by then and the remaining games will be played out in front of dwindling crowds and an unpleasant atmosphere.

Relegation (the ninth one I have suffered) is as certain as night follows day. This time I may not be there to see if we can make it back to the top level. My desire to watch Sunderland is being sorely tested yet again. This time, it might just be one relegation too far.

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20 thoughts on “Sixer’s West Ham Soapbox: Hammers bang more nails in the relegation coffin”

  1. Drummer. You just sum up exactly what’s wrong with that last post. We lost Bent, Gyan and Jones, to be replaced with Bendtner. We were relieved to see the back of him, only for the even more inferior arrivals of Graham, and Dumblenuts. Now we’ve got Scocco who looks like slower and even less effective Graham. Where does it stop?

    The likes of Richardson, Reid and Malbranque were released/sold and replaced with the likes of Gardner, Vaughan and the lamentable N’Diaye and now departed Cabral.

    There is a trend here. A downward spiral. Replace good with moderate, and the moderate with pedestrian, and then the pedestrian with complete excrement.

  2. Danny Dichio had a decent goals to games ratio after a slow start. He would be a shoe in for our current squad as would the much maligned Bendtner and Jones. Would be like the second coming of Quinny and Super Kev compared to the pile of planks we currently have on the books.

  3. Sorry yes I should have also mentioned Connolly who did very well for us in fact.

    To add to Vince’s list lets not forget such luminaries as Tom Ritchie, Thomas Hauser, Ian Wallace, David Rush, and for older viewers, John Cooke, John Moore, and David Swindlehurst.

    Rubbish? We can recognise it at a thousand yards.

  4. Fair comment Vince. I was just remebering a season when we shouldn’t have gone down. I didn’t make that clear. I also thought David Connolly did a decent job for us in the Championship. He is still scoring for Oxford United.

    • You are right there,we should never have gone down that year,but I blamed Reid for that one.

      Connolly was not the worst on my list for sure and he never got the chances he probably warranted.

  5. When we needed to buy a proven striker and competent defender during the January we end up with more failures.Our inability to defend or score has been instrumental in this dismal season.

    Last year under O’Neil was no better when we saw N’Diaye and Graham arrive.Both offered very little.

    I am trying to remember when we last bought a player that took us up a level and hit the ground running. I am going as far back as Darren Bent.

    Although not mathematically impossible to survive I think most of us can see that this bunch have neither the ability or desire to get out of this mess. No doubt their Agents are touting them as we speak looking to bail out.

    The club and the fans suffer again at the hands of overpaid mercenaries.

  6. Like Vince, I remember those days when the team would be read out and the announcer would stop at Paul Stewart. Yes, you’d wonder, but who is playing up front? He really was so bad, in that thankless role as a non-striker playing as a lone attacker, that memories are coloured. There was also that wretched miss at Wimbledon in the final game when, as other results had it , we had to win but lost.

    • Well if a guy gets crucified for one miss in a last game of the season match(however important) its a rum deal.Personally I always thought he was was wasted up there,it never worked, but Riedy kept on picking him to do it…what could he do, refuse?

      Mind, if he had been around in thus day and age with our prima donnas, refusing to play for their manager…he would have.

  7. Out of that list you have there Vince there are a few that barely played so didn’t get the chance to show that they could be as bad consistently as Altidore. Benjani I had forgotten about completely, but the likes of Lynch and Reddy were hardly regulars. With the exceptions of Messrs Brown and Gray I would take any of the others ahead of Dumblenuts who is in a sub class all of his own.

    Stewart was terrible as a striker and as you say he was decent as a midfielder.

    • Was just a meander through the memory banks.We have had to sit and watch some right old rubbish over the years…this year is no exception.

  8. Poorest strikers since Stewart & Russell, Pete ? I think you’re forgetting about the 15-point season when the magnificent Jon Stead was at his peak.

    • Yeah I don’t know what Pete has against Paul Stewart,that’s the second dig in as many weeks.He was never a proper striker anyway, he was a midfielder,but for some reason Reidy kept putting him up front…on his own,…he wasn’t a bad footballer really…….I mean he played for Liverpool,Spurs and Man City….. we have had far worse as you say.

      Heres ‘ a run through my favourite dislikes since Stewart……..
      David Kelly,Anthiny Le Tallec,Nunez,Danny Dichio,Tore Adre Flo,Tommy Smith Micheal Reddy,Thomas Butler,Micheal Proctor,Kevin Kyle,Darren Byfield,Andy Gray,Chris Brown,Daryl Murphy,David Conolly.Anthony Stokes,David Healy,Benjani,Craig Lynch,…omg I really enjoyed that!!!

      So Pete..what is it about poor old Paul Stewart that really get your goat,lol.

  9. The bashing of strikers seems to me to mask the real problem which is the midfield and wing backs.

    Strikers need service and the service just is not there.

    Lots of hoof it and hope. Wasn’t Poyet supposed to play it out of the back…

    Borini has been playing up front game after game, but still only has 2 goals from run of play. But really how many chances has he been given TO SCORE.

    Borini and Wickham had 1 clear chance each. So they had to be perfect to do anything.

    The strikers are not great, but the service makes it worse. Even Sturridge on this team would struggle.

    Gus needs to figure out how to get his mids to create more.

  10. A squad of players able to lift themselves for cup ties against the stronger teams in half empty stadia but not with the resolve or commitment to battle out the bread and butter games. A manager who knew that he needed to bring in someone to solve our goal scoring problems in January. Instead we ended up with a slow Argentinian who hadn’t even gone through a pre season, a centre half who looks like he could adapt to first class cricket sooner than the PL, and a goalkeeper as cover.

    Bridcutt is a hobbit sized Cattermole and his attempts to solve the goal scoring crisis have resulted in a persistence with Altidore who has looked out of his depth afterhis first 20 minutes in a red and white shirt. Such was his reluctance to ditch him that we now see Wickham back to save our skins, a player that he could have been picking back in August. Shambolic at all levels. I feel sorry for Ellis Short, He has tried all sorts and been let down by just about everybody.

    The only thing that you can say in Wickham’s favour is that he is less unlikely to score than Altidore. What a comparison to have to make. Rather like the one between Poyet and Di Canio.

  11. Hi Sixer, as a West Ham fan like the last one and as a supporter that has seen yoyoing between the divisions for 3 decades would like to commiserate you on the situation you are in, its all too familiar to me personally. Sometimes going down can be an advantage, it gives your younger players a chance to come through and establish themselves and the football you played at times yesterday was very good your players though shot too often from too far out and on that night there were no lucky deflections. Its certainly not the end you have 8 games to stay up and I hope you do but if not I wish you all the best the following season for a swift return your supporters certainly deserve that ! All the best mate

  12. Hammers fans here. It does look as though you will be relegated and thats sad to see as Sunderland are one of my favourite away days and the fans are good people too. We haven’t been any better than you but we have had the luck in getting away from the bottom. Thats 7 wins from 10 games now for us and I can’t think of one where we really deserved it. We’ve had decision go our way and opposition players missing open goals etc. I hope you get back soon if you are relegated. We’ve both been there a few times and its not pleasant especially with the big mouthed neighbours.

  13. As a West Ham fan obviously pleased but how sad that a great club is so badly run, not the managers, the owners and how sad the players lacked any fight you deserve better.

    best wishes for next season which I fear will be in the championship

    • Cheers, I always view West Ham as a sort of Cockney Sunderland . Genuine fans , great history, famous cup win ! and recently a bit of a yo yo club. Your safe and looking solid under ‘Big Sam’ ( that’s an outsiders view) don’t knock it. Thats what we’ve lacked, solidity and grit . It’s no good trying to be a passing team If like us we’re not up to it. Enjoy the premier next season, enjoy the new stadium and hopefully we’ll be back in a year. Who knows who’ll be in charge going by our record by then,Alladyce for us Di Canio for you ?

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