West Ham can get four points from London derby clashes
08:25 21 December 2014
Our West Ham blogger wants the press and other cynics to eat some humble pie
Prior to the victory over Leicester City the last time West Ham were home to a relegation threatened team on a losing run; they struggled, laboured and toiled to a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.
Lessons from that frustrating day were clearly learned as this time around no points were dropped against a side in near identical form to that of Paul Lambert’s men.
Whilst the victory over Leicester City was to be expected and will have been down as a banker for accumulator betters the world over, the fact that lessons were so clearly and comprehensively learned from the aforementioned draw is what is most satisfying.
The complacency which festered around the team for that infamous stalemate which halted Villa’s seemingly endless losing run simply wasn’t in attendance; instead it was replaced by a thoroughly professional performance which always looked like yielding the three points.
The victory now leaves us in the hallowed fourth spot over Christmas and allows us to go into the London derbies against Chelsea and Arsenal with real confidence and belief. That belief and confidence is founded upon one defeat in 11 games, not suffering a home defeat since August and the fact last season’s top two have already both been dispatched.
The club need to be targeting an ambitious four-point haul from their capital clashes; of course playing two of the best sides in the country within the space of 48 hours is a daunting and rather demanding prospect; but West Ham have also proven themselves to be one of the best the league has to offer. Whilst these fixtures in the past may have had inevitable defeats scribbled all over them; that simply isn’t the case this season.
Cynics, pundits and journalists alike are all waiting for our season to come crashing down and for our lofty position to be subject to an inevitable charge up the league by the usual suspects... yet with almost half the season gone it is still yet to happen.
But the continual dismissal of our top four credentials is getting funnier with each passing week, imagine if we actually do achieve the holiest of grails; the broadcast and print media will fall silent in their droves as they collectively wolf down tectonic slices of humble pie into their slack jawed gobs.
Whilst the ‘inevitable’ charge of the league’s usual suspects shouldn’t really concern us (mostly because we’re simply better than the majority of sides supposedly in the race) the fact that the African Cup of Nations will rob us of Alex Song, Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho for a number of weeks is concerning.
During that period it is essential that we at least stay in touch with the top four, even if it means relinquishing that most coveted of spots and waiting in the wings until our triumvirate of African stars return.
For now though the focus is very much on the biggest derbies West Ham have been involved in for many a year; and proving once again that we belong at the top table.