Fan's column: West Ham should prioritise a good FA Cup run

West Ham United's Craig Dawson celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emira

West Ham United's Craig Dawson celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at Edgeley Park, Stockport. - Credit: PA

Well it wasn’t pretty but we’re through to the fourth round of the FA Cup and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

In the recent past we’ve gone out of cup competitions to the likes of Oxford, Wigan and, most infamously of all, Wimbledon.

The fact that we’re through and have a home tie against Doncaster Rovers to look forward to in the next round constitutes a good night’s work.

Due to the fact that for once we’re not in relegation trouble we can prioritise having a good cup run.

We’ve not reached a quarter final since we lost 1-0 to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in 2017 and that’s simply not good enough.

Stockport County's Liam Hogan (left) and West Ham United's Mark Noble battle for the ball during the

Stockport County's Liam Hogan (left) and West Ham United's Mark Noble battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at Edgeley Park, Stockport. - Credit: PA


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Realistically, apart from a buyout of Chelsea or Manchester City proportions, we will not win the Premier League. Our only shot at glory and creating a bit of history lies in the cups and if we do squeak past Doncaster it will be one of Manchester United or Liverpool away which is far from ideal.

However, they are two sides with their eyes on the title and perhaps their full focus wouldn’t lie on a fifth round meeting against us.

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The game at Edgeley Park highlighted our lack of striking options; with 18-year-old Mipo Odubeko the only striker on the bench and arguably in the squad given the fact that Michail Antonio is a converted winger.

The sale of Sebastien Haller to Ajax was the right move for everyone concerned, it was a failed transfer.

He simply didn’t score the goals you’d expect of a club record signing and neither Manuel Pellegrini nor David Moyes could replicate the conditions at West Ham that allowed him to be so prolific at Eintracht Frankfurt.

He must be replaced and soon, although our history of signing strikers -particularly under the Gold and Sullivan regime - has been a who’s who of wasted money and players who have underperformed.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (left) and Stockport County's Liam Hogan in action during the Emir

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (left) and Stockport County's Liam Hogan in action during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at Edgeley Park, Stockport. - Credit: PA

Javier Hernandez, Simone Zaza, Mido and Benni McCarthy are just a handful of flops that come to mind. The most successful ‘striker’ we’ve signed under their tenure was another winger moved into the centre forward role: Marko Arnautovic.

The club cannot afford another mistake; we’re simply running out of wingers we can convert.
 

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