To any fellow West Ham United fans reading this I’m sure you’ll agree with me in the fact that the thought of playing a pointless second leg against Manchester City is scarier than any horrors the cinemas have to offer at present. The plain and simple truth of the matter is City are simply stronger in every possible way this season. Something quite disappointing if you trace back to the west ham team of the 60’s and the downturn we have faced since. This encounter can be approached in 3 ways with all posing their positives and inevitable negatives.
Firstly, playing the first team barraged with current injury and lack of form, can be beneficial for morale if anything other than a loss can be salvaged. A break will follow the game on Tuesday so a holiday will be certain afterwards, however undeserved it is, means that no player will need to be rested. However this could result in further injury and if a loss occurs then further impatient fans calling for the axe of Big Sam, plus a real loss of morale for an already depleted west ham side. The second approach is playing the kids against a probably weakened city side.
This possesses the ability to spot future talents, allows experience to grow and the result is all but already redundant so with the scoreboard just for keeping tabs on city’s goal tally, playing the youth will also halt the possibility of injuries to the main 11. However a heavy loss will cause further demoralisation for the inexperienced bright eyed youth.
Something a trip to Disneyland in the break will not fix. And will no doubt throw big Sam into the frame again for his lack of tactical nous. The final option which I personally consider the most favourable is a real blend of the fresh faced youth, and the wisdom of the elder players. Resting the likes of Tomkins, Jarvis, Noble, and Carroll paves the way for Chambers, Fanimo, Tombides and Lee. Promising youngsters who with game time could progress to be top players, the blend will mean creating stronger chemistry and links within the squad, whilst also refraining from injury to big stars.
This also gives a clearer indication of the strengths and weaknesses of the youngsters and gives a chance to anaylse the best approach to developing the younger players. The result is already irrelevant after a lacklustre first leg so with little to lose trying out and developing new attacking tactics and fusing defensive bonds will not go unnoticed, and will undoubtedly improve the resilience in forthcoming premier league games.
However, injury could still occur to any playing of the main 11, and demoralisation once again comes into the picture if performances are poor. Which of these scenarios Big Sam decides to take is a mystery however he did state ‘It’s about playing a competitive game of football tomorrow and trying to win it.
We’re playing for pride and we want to play well. In the overall best case scenario a win with a clean sheet, no injuries, a relaxing recovery break with a return of bubbly eager players keen to improve their league form would be perfect for big Sam and hopelessly devoted west ham fans. Although unfortunately big Sam has already used his three wishes on signing Andy Carroll, making the finals of a cup competition and not being sacked over the festive period so he can afford his Christmas presents.