Soulless West Ham must rediscover thirst for fading tradition

by Dexy Longshot

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Many a wise man in football circles have taken out a subscription to the theory that consistency often plays a pivotal role in the achievement of success.

One such passionate subscriber, Professor Alan Nevill of the University of Wolverhampton, even took the trouble to publish an academic study on the subject.

World Cup runner-up and kung fu master Nigel de Jong believes that the Premier League title cannot be won without it, Blackburn’s current longest serving player Brett Emerton insists a Europa League place is dependant upon it and the best referees are expected to enforce the laws of the game with it.

So, in an admirable display of consistency in the form of three games, three defeats and three goals nestled in the against column on each occasion, West Ham United have stumbled across an inconsistency in the theory of consistency and have consequently been consistently tipped as relegation candidates.

And yet, existing as the anomaly is the least of West Ham’s problems with goals, points and a route out of the quagmire all glaringly absent just three weeks into the new season.

While Avram Grant is left to tackle this troublesome trilogy of turmoil, there is a further growing concern that is, and will continue to irk those who occupy the terraces.

The West Ham faithful are no strangers to adversity with the East London club partial to a relegation scrap.

But staying loyal to the club tradition of integrating academy graduates into a starting XI that admirably attempts to showcase a breed of football that sits closer to Arsenal than it does to Bolton on the aesthetic scale, while maintaining an element of ‘never say die’ has made each struggle, at worst, bearable and, at best, captivating.

Now in 2010 with the presence of Mark Noble, James Tomkins et al and assurances from the manager that something resembling the beautiful game is alive and well, if only in fleeting glimpses, during capitulations against Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United, it is the increasingly noticeable absence of the third and final factor that tips failure into new realms of intolerability among supporters.

It is of no coincidence that players in the mould of Julian Dicks, Paolo Di Canio and Carlos Tevez hold pride of place in the hearts of many fans.

Passion in the face of adversity is what links the three players and the effervescent Scott Parker is the sole member of the current squad to have made significant inroads to joining them with back to back Player of the Year awards in the claret and blue of West Ham.

But even he has lacked that spark in the Sullivan/Gold/Brady/Grant era with the possibility that he has had his head turned by the offer of Champions League football at White Hart Lane.

This country loves an underdog and West Ham fans are no different but when it consistently materialises in Chihuahua form, it is only a matter of time before the flame of romance is exposed to the winds of discontent.

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  • Ben

    Quality blog and excellent points raised. However, not many teams will get anything from old Trafford, or indeed villa park. Therefore I think we should judge west ham after 10 games, but saying that, they do have Chelsea next so it will b played 4 lost 4!

  • Dexylongshot

    .. And then Stoke away I believe, fortress central, I have already written of September and doubt well register more than numuro UNO in the points stakes but once we hit October I think we’ll get it together and maybe after 10 games we could be in the comfort zone of mid table. Don’t write the irons of yet, early days.

  • Martyn

    West Ham have had a difficult start to their Premier League fixtures but the appointment of Avram Grant has probably made their task that much harder. I see West Ham struggling along the ‘Road to Survival’ this season which might have a giant dip at its end saying ‘Welcome to The Championship’.

    I hope I’m wrong but I think the appointment of Grant won’t help a ship which is taking on water pretty damn fast.

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