Time for West Ham to look at their priorities
10:49 02 February 2015
Our West Ham blogger think the Hammers should concentrate on winning the FA Cup
Is it time to re-assess priorities this season? I suspect it just might be.
With yet another meek away day display at Anfield our hopes of continuing to scrap for fourth took a bitter blow. We’re only six points off the coveted fourth spot, but as we’re discovering when you’re at the top end of the league; the teams around you will ruthlessly capitalise on any dropped points, and the smart money says that with the run of fixtures we have looming (Man United H, Southampton A and Spurs A) that six-point gap is likely to increase rather than decrease.
In a weird way, Spurs’ victory, though it took them further away from us in the table, was a good result for our hopes of prolonging our cup run. The defeat at the hands of Kane, Eriksen and co. (Co. Is being generous because without those two Spurs would be lucky to be in the top 10 in my humble opinion) means that West Brom sit only three points above the trap-door to the Championship, meaning that Tony Pulis will be more inclined to prioritise league games over their last 16 cup clash with us.
We fielded a full strength side against Bristol City last weekend and as a result Carl Jenkinson, James Tomkins and Diafra Sakho weren’t fit to play any part in our latest routine defeat at Anfield.
If we’d rested them they would’ve been available for Saturday and could well have made a seismic difference to the performance and the result. We could afford the gamble; West Brom however simply cannot, so expect to hear in two weeks time Pulis trumpeting clichés such as we’re ‘focusing on the league’ as he makes sweeping changes with an eye on crucial league games.
Thanks to a splendid season so far we have no such concerns and who cares if we slip up in the game following the tie at the Hawthorns, if we’ve secured ourselves a cup quarter-final?
Unfortunately our run of the Premier League’s gauntlet doesn’t abate after the aforementioned fixtures; Crystal Palace at the Boleyn will provide brief respite and then its Chelsea and Arsenal back to back.
It may be time to accept that in terms of our league position we may not rise any higher than eighth this season; unless we can seriously upset the odds in the coming excruciating run of matches.
The FA Cup however could still provide the reward and exciting finale for a season of triumph and progression.