Everton vs West Ham, Premier League: live score updates
West Ham’s four successive Premier League defeats at the start of this season while disquieting does not necessarily signal relegation is probable next May. Portsmouth, under a manager who would soon come to be loved by Irons’ fans, Avram Grant, lost their first seven games in 2009-10 and, because of their nine-point deduction for going into administration didn’t even break even until Dec 5th, did go down. But Crystal Palace not only racked up seven defeats at the beginning of last season, they did not score a single goal and yet they finished in 11th .Any objective scrutiny of their managerial records would put Manuel Pellegrini’s achievements above Roy Hodgson’s and, on balance, he may lack a talismanic figure of the class of Wilfried Zaha but his squad is at least as good as Palace’s so all is not lost.
One major difference, though, is the absence of proper foundations. Haphazard recruitment, a blindness to the basics of team building by looking for power, pace and authority and a weakness for recruiting talented but sometimes flaky wide players have resulted in a squad that looks flashy but may in fact be fool’s gold. The time for them to prove they can mix it in this league with the required stamina and relentless commitment is long overdue. A club needs its players to show they care for it – it’s the minimum any fan expects but given West Ham’s rootlessness since their displacement from Upton Park there is a worrying sense of dissociation. Football clubs are more than a lump of ground … but location and identity do matter even to those who would like to think of themselves as transnational organisations. Turning the club into a cause again, to nurture that sense of belonging, is a priority for Pellegrini because he cannot rely on the owners to mend the broken bonds with understandably suspicious supporters.