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West Ham definitely still in the relegation scrap

Kwame Boakye West Ham fan Kwame Boakye West Ham fan

Sunday, March 16, 2014
12:18 PM

West Ham blogger Kwame Boakye is getting worried again after Stoke City defeat

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Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic holds off West Ham United's Winston Reid during the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke.Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic holds off West Ham United's Winston Reid during the Barclays Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke.

Back to back defeat . . . now this is a feeling us West Ham fans are all familiar with.

Winning four on the spin was great, but it isn’t nice to have the same old West Ham back? The performance and result at Stoke was more or less what we’ve come to expect away from home up until the heroics at Villa, Chelsea and Cardiff.

The insipid defeat at Stoke now leaves us a precarious six points from the dreaded drop zone, a drop zone that we perhaps thought we’d seen the last of when Kevin Nolan hooked in the third against Southampton to seal all three points for the fourth game in succession.

Make no mistake we are still firmly in the midsts of a relegation scrap.

Something that worries me and it shouldn’t because we won’t go down, I cannot believe that despite Fulham and Cardiff scraping wins out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks that they’re going to haul themselves out of the bottom three, so I still have the pair of them to go do down, meaning only one spot is up for grabs, but I digress; the thing that still worries me as a Hammers fan is that five of last nine fixtures are against the top seven clubs of this countr – starting at home to Man United next Saturday evening.

We will have to see a marked improvement from the showing at the Britannia if we’re to sneak a point or dare I say it all three against Moyes’ boys.

Against Stoke, West Ham were poor in both boxes (perhaps missing the physicality and aerial ability of the omitted James Collins?) And the Potters, particularly in the 2nd half, got their tactics spot on; letting West Ham have the ball and catching us on the break to devastating effect.

Yes, the referee missed a blatant handball and yes at 2-1 we should’ve had a penalty and you’d like to think Noble would’ve tucked it away and levelled up the score; but you cannot deny that Stoke were the better team, especially in the second period and dare I say it they played the better football as well. (Has anyone and I mean ever written that about a Stoke City side?)

West Ham need to stop the rot and immediately, three defeats on the spin at this stage of the season could plunge us back into the rat race, so a defeat against this incredibly poor Manchester United side is not an option.

After United, back to back games loom against Hull at home and Sunderland away and I’d like to think in those two games we will get the points that see us finally slay our relegation dragon.

If not, back to back games against Liverpool and Arsenal could put us back firmly in the mire.

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