Judging from the response to my quick thread on the Faubert injury, West Ham fans have learnt nothing from the last two seasons. Why did we struggle? Well last season we conceded more goals from headers than any other team in the Prem and that tells a story!
For two years now I have nagged away about the lack of cover for the full back positions. Last season we used Gabbidon, Spector, Upson, Faubert, Tomkins, Reid and Ben Haim at full back - and NONE of those are specialist full backs. As a result, time and time again, we were exposed down our flanks and crosses were pinged into our box for unrushing forwards. Meanwhile, at the other end, until Bridge arrived, we had nobody offering width from the full back position, so limiting our chances to score.
Now the situation is, if possible, even worse! Bridge has gone. Spector has gone. Ben Haim has gone. Gabbidon has gone. Upson has gone. da Costa has gone. Spence, incredibly to my mind, has gone out on loan. That is SEVEN "defenders". And who has come in? O'Brien and Faye! How, exactly, are we going to win promotion with our present defenders? We are already only one injury away from a crisis!
Faubert is out for just 10 days providing the medics have got it right but it may be longer. That means we have NO cover for right back unless we move either Reid or Tomkins from the centre of defence. O'Brien, remember, does not have a good record with injuries so to expect him to complete more than 50% of the games is probably optimistic.
Meanwhile Faye is only just coming back from injury and is 33. He will collect injuries and suspensions over the season and, at that age, he may suddenly hit a wall with his form dipping alarmingly. Look at Upson who is younger!
We have not retained J Lloyd Samuel after his trial so we have NO experienced cover at left back. The first choice, Ilunga, has spent more time injured than fit over the last two years and there has been near universal agreement that he has been crap when available.
And for the two centre back positions, we only have three options: Faye, Tomkins and Reid, who was close to hopeless last season.
Now THAT overall is a frightening situation. This is a rough and tumble division and players will pick up yellow cards so you have to factor in suspensions as well as injuries. Ilunga is injury prone. O'Brien is injury prone. Faye has picked up an injury PRE SEASON. Faubert is Faubert. Reid looked rank last season.
How long before Tomkins is the only defender in the team? We are an open invitation to be shafted at the back and Doctor Evil needs to sort it fast!