Still No Cure for West Ham’s Chronic Travel Sickness – by Rob Atkinson


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So West Ham’s winless run of games away from East London goes on.  It’s six months now since the travelling band of ‘Apless ‘Ammers returned home with a three point haul and they rarely looked like ending that dismal run at St Mary’s.  A point gained at Southampton however is a bit of a coupon-buster in itself, given the Irons’ current poverty of goals, meaning that a clean sheet is usually a must to avoid defeat.  Today’s shut-out was owed massively to inspired keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen who pulled off several fantastic saves to help keep his side in the contest.  At the other end, the Hammers had to wait until late on for a decent chance to add to their paltry output of TWO league goals so far this season.  Sadly, when the chance came, it fell to defender James Collins whose finish could charitably be described as wayward.  As the ball ballooned over the bar from Collins’ wild swipe, it was obvious that a much-needed victory was not to be.

The fact is, though that, while the Hammers have scored only two goals all season, they have conceded only one.  This grim fare is not the kind of thing that older devotees of the one-time “Academy of Football” were brought up on, but if you don’t let goals in – you don’t lose.  A good few victories will be needed, however, to add to a bland diet of dull draws if the Hammers are to survive for another year at this exalted level.  Where the goals will come from to provide those victories, with battering-ram Andy Carroll seemingly as injury-prone as Captain Scarlet, is somewhat of a vexed question.

Sam Allardyce divided his time after the match between praising his defence, moaning about a red card not issued to the Saints’ allegedly sinful Morgan Schneiderlin and proclaiming his happiness with a point – despite a forbidding run of fixtures coming up. West Ham have the air of a club about to suffer from a nasty case of second-season syndrome; if they fail to address their striking deficiencies this will pile far too much pressure of a defence that creaked but did not yield today.  Whether worried fans of an East End persuasion can hope to rely on that holding true in the tests ahead must be open to some doubt.  With due respect to Southampton, it is in fixtures like these that the Hammers must seek their survival points.  The major players in the division are likely to roll over them without undue difficulty, so if the Hammers fail to benefit from the dog-eat-dog mentality of the league’s lower reaches they may well find that they’re dropping back over the fateful edge of that dreaded precipice and back into the Championship come next May.

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8 responses to “Still No Cure for West Ham’s Chronic Travel Sickness – by Rob Atkinson

  1. And yet, we are the only team out of the top 6 leagues in europe to have not conceded from open play in all competitions this season. Hope you keep enjoying the championship, you will be down there for years to come.

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    • Imagine. Is there a chant for that? Altogether now: We are the only team out of the top 6 leagues in Europe to have not conceded from open play in all competitions this season, the only team out of the top 6 leagues in Europe to have not conceded from open play in all competitions this season!! (Pause for breath and repeat)….

      Fantastic!!

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  2. A draw away in the prem is no bad thing for a club that finished mid table last year. If I was you I’d worry about 10 years in the wilderness a little bit more. Glad to see you are so concerned about us though.

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    • Not concerned so much as exhibiting a kindly amusement over your well-being and immediate prospects in the light of HF’s obsession with Leeds United.

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  3. Very amusing Robert.HF gate crashes your party and you respond in kind. I love it!It was grim today although personally I see nothing wrong with going away, killing the game and compounding the misery by taking a point. To be honest though with everything that has been going on with Carroll’s injury and our non existent attack it was vital we got something from the game… and we did. Keep up the good work.

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    • Oh my, an oasis of good humour and wit in the arid “Desert of the Joyless” I’ve been traversing these many weeks!! Many thanks, kind sir, I salute you and your laid-back philosophy 🙂

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    • you’re welcome I do Love HF’s work and to have two of you to
      read now will be a treat.

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  4. Don’t rise to HF. A cretin of the first order. After the succession of appalling managers at the Boleyn , Allardyce’s brand of football , which although it is ultra conservative, is more than bearable until we move stadium.

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