Sunday, October 2, 2022

On The Right Track: Can West Ham United Finish The Season In The Top Half Of The PL Points Table?

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Anirban Sarkar
Anirban Sarkar is a former columnist of The 4th Official. A huge East Bengal fan and has travelled over 1000 miles to see his team in action.

Things have started to get back to normal at the London Stadium. Following West Ham United’s awful start, fans have become a little bit sceptical about their team’s chances. But Slaven Bilic led the side to a completely different space as the Hammers tightened up the grip on their performance.

Following two inspiring performance against Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion respectively, the East Londoners gave a put on a high-octane performance against their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur only to see them losing the match very narrowly.

Bilic’s team showed some resilient defending and astute attacks in the second half of the match which helped them to reduce the deficit to 3-2. There was a sense of urgency in their play which led a fight back, but lack of attacking threat upfront once again spoiled the mood for them.

Andy Carroll could be the main attacking prospects for the East Londoners. Whenever he was in the box, there was panic among Spurs’ defenders and the English international needs to understand his potential.

If he is fit and fine, he is still one of the most dangerous strikers that a team could have, especially in England. With fullbacks like Pablo Zabaleta and Arthur Masuaku in the side who can cross the ball with perfection, Carroll could pose a serious danger to the opponent team.

In the 3-4-3 system, Carroll is looking a bit off as he often had to make room for Javier Hernandez who is right now the preferred choice upfront. But if West Ham needs to be in the race for a top ten place, they have to include the big man in their plans.

Marko Arnautovic has been a completely different player since he returned from his three-match suspension. The former Stoke City winger looked threatening whenever the Hammers were in attack. He and Chicharito combined well in the later part of the last game and if they were a bit lucky, they could have grabbed a point against Spurs.

However, the intensity from this would provide the momentum for the remaining season and with Manuel Lanzini yet to arrive, there could be a lot of options to ponder with. But perhaps Bilic is missing that midfield combination in the midfield. Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyaté are far from impressive and had there been a particular William Carvalho in the middle of the park, it would become a lot easier for them.

Edmilson Fernandes could be that man for Bilic. The 21-year-old has the power and tenacity to compliment his teammates and he should get more chances this season. They have a decent squad, with more than decent balance but can they now finish in the top half of the table?

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