Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nightmares Do Happen

Any West Ham fan with a memory longer than a goldfish's will know that nightmares do happen. Yes, many clubs have bad dreams, but some clubs seem to corner the market in the darkest of dark matter. Need proof? Name me another side relegated from the Prem with 42 points in the bank!

So should any of us be surprised by Swansea securing a draw away to Manchester United hard on the heels of  Hull's point at Southampton and Burnley's victory at Crystal Palace? The sinister implications of those three results should be obvious to all: Swansea may be 7 points adrift but three wins from three games would take them to 41 points; Hull are just 5 points behind us and play relegated Sunderland at home next up; and Burnley are now above us in the table and have a superior goal difference.

But to compound the chances of cataclysmic misery, the results at Everton, Tottenham and Middlesbrough all conspired to thicken the storm clouds gathering over Stratford.

Courtesy of Chelsea's thumping 3-0 win, Everton go in to their next game, against Swansea no less, with nothing to play for and on the back of two deeply disappointing performances, including their inept showing at the London Stadium; would anybody now be surprised if Swansea turned them over?

Tottenham, meanwhile, stay on the heels of Chelsea and have to win on Friday; but by the time they play Hull on the last day of the season, their dream will almost certainly be over and they will probably be playing with second place guaranteed and possibly in the knowledge that defeat might send us down. How motivated will the Cockyfools be in that game one wonders?

And, misery upon misery, the failure of the Manchester clubs to win mean that Liverpool remain in the hunt for a Champions League place ensuring they will be at full strength and hungry when rocking up for our last home game of the season. Manchester United, meanwhile, have a nightmare run in and Jose is already threatening to play an Under 23 side for the away game at Palace, which should ensure Allardyce's mercenaries make it through to a minimum of 39 points and with a goal difference superior to ours.

But so what? Swansea are not going to win three out of three are they? And Hull aren't going to secure 6 points from 3 games surely? Take a look at the remaining fixtures and feel a noose tighten around the throat!

After Everton, Swansea play Sunderland away and West Brom at home. Everton are on holiday, Sunderland are down, and West Brom haven't shown up since their last minute equaliser at the London Stadium. Those games are winnable, very, very winnable. A great escape beckons!

And Hull? After Sunderland, they play Palace away and Tottenham at home. Whisper it quietly but two wins from those three - given Palace have no defence and Tottanham may have no motivation - are not impossible.

So we may well still need 3 points. Three points from where, exactly? Spurs may revert to type on Friday but it aint likely is it? You have to fancy them to score at least one and who, exactly, is going to net for us?

Liverpool at home? Again it is difficult to see us keeping a clean sheet and as vulnerable as Liverpool are at the back, you have to have a forward line to capitalise on that weakness.

And Burnley away? Would you stake your life on us securing a win there? It has all the makings of that game at Birmingham which saw us relegated with 42 points.

You reap what you sow, I'm afraid, and if all our nightmares come true, it is no more than the Davids and Bilic deserve. There has been a horrible complacency around the club since Christmas of 2015. The failure to recruit a quality specialist rightback in three transfer windows was criminal. The failure to sign a left back until Cresswell's injury was almost as bad. The decision to operate a centre half light until February was, at best, injudicious. And the overstocking of wide midfielders whilst failing to sign a half decent striker was utter madness. Tohre? Feghouli? Snodgrass? Ayew? Really?

Sorry I have to go. My daughter's head has just turned 360 degrees and she is puking up green bile as her body lifts off the bed and hovers in mid air. Does anybody know the number of a good exorcist?

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