Anorak News | Hammer Blow

Hammer Blow

by | 12th, September 2002

‘IF a couple of weeks ago Gary Megson was the favourite in the annual which Premiership manager will be first to get the sack, then he must surely have been overtaken today by West Ham’s Glenn Roeder.

”Which way is Division 1?”

The Hammers’ disastrous start to the season sees them propping up the bottom of the table after their first four games, but it is not just the fact that they have only a single point to their name this season that is the worry but the quality of opposition they have lot to.

To be beaten 2-0 by Charlton at Upton Park was a disaster, to be beaten by West Brom is something of a catastrophe.

With £30m from the sale of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, England players such as David James, Joe Cole and Trevor Sinclair in the team (not to mention Under-21 stars such as Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe) and international stars such as Paolo Di Canio and Frederic Kanoute, there is no reason for West Ham to be in such a lowly position.

It will be pointed out that the Hammers had a similarly poor start to last season and went on to finish seventh. But last season West Ham were at least winning their home games. They certainly weren’t losing to the likes of West Brom and Charlton.

Which begs the question of what is going wrong. Some of it can perhaps be attributed to bad luck. After all, they outplayed and should have beaten champions Arsenal, and they certainly had enough chances last night to have won the game.

But bad luck can only explain so much. It does not explain why West Ham crumbled after an hour at St James’s Park in their opening game of the season, losing 4-0 to Newcastle (incidentally sitting only a place above West Ham in the table this morning) in a game that they looked for a long time like drawing.

And it certainly does not explain how they can lose at home to a side whose players even their own fans would struggle to pick out in an identity parade.

The West Ham board have traditionally been more patient with managers than many other top-flight clubs but, with so much staked on at least remaining in the Premiership, this forbearance will not carry on much longer.

Roeder has the players, but they are just not performing – and he must take some of the blame for that.

With difficult trips to White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge coming up, interspersed with home games against the two other promoted sides (Manchester City and Birmingham), the clock is very much ticking on Roeder’s managerial future.

Posted: 12th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink