Cottee Column: A weak and poor display


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Hammers legend TC writes for you each week

Anyone can lose to Chelsea and at least we weren’t thrashed like our friends from over in North London, but what you expect is for the team to compete and have a go and I don’t think the fans would have gone home on Saturday night thinking that.

It was a weak and poor performance. We never really pushed forward as a team and we are now making simply basic defensive errors and that is a very worrying trend.

I think a lot of it is down to frustration. The midfielders are not scoring goals and that frustrates the defence and that is when those mistakes creep in.

Because of that, when you do concede a goal the heads go down straight away and you start to think, we have lost this game and that is not an attitude that will get you out of trouble.

When Maiga came on it at least gave us some presence, but I have to say that his miss was unacceptable in the Premier League.

That would have made it 2-1 and then anything can happen, so you simply can’t afford to miss those. I prided myself on my finishing in the six-yard box, but they can be hard because they are sometimes too easy and you can switch off. It is like a short putt in golf which you just don’t think about it, sometimes they can slip past the hole.

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Maiga has had his chance and I can’t understand why Carlton Cole is not starting games now.

Joe Cole was taken off in the first half on Saturday and certainly showed his anger and you can understand why – it is almost the ultimate insult.

It has never happened to me, though I have been taken off at half time before which I wasn’t happy about, but sometimes making substitutes like that does work.

I remember Joe Royle’s Oldham doing that against us at Boundary Park when we were beating them 2-0 and they came back to draw, but I’m not sure this was ever going to work.

Fulham and Palace are massive

When you think that we have to play the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in the next few weeks, you have to look at the next two matches against Fulham and Crystal Palace as absolutely vital and I think we need at least four points from them if we are not to slip into the relegation zone at Christmas.

Fulham are very poor at the moment, so I think we need to put our formation to one side, put someone up front and start to create chances once again.

It is not a good time to play Palace with a new manager just installed, but if we were to fail to beat Fulham then even more pressure will be heaped upon us.

It is time for the Hammers to entertain the fans again because I don’t think they have been in recent games and it would be nice to get off to a flier like we did last season against them.

I will go for a tight 2-1 win on Saturday because I expect us to let in a goal, but I want to see at least four points from the next two games.

Come on you Hammers!