West Ham’s soft core could send the club down to the Championship

After their 3-3 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at London Stadium, that is now 19 points from winning positions dropped by West Ham United this season.

At 3-1 up and looking comfortable enough to see the game out, David Moyes decided to bring Arthur Masuaku on for star man Michail Antonio with just 15 minutes left, and within a minute he made an impact… not for West Ham but against.

That impact being negative, as his clueless clearance ricocheted to the edge of the box, before Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna decided to join Masuaku as nominees for clown of the match, as the former under-headed the ball back to Lukasz Fabianski, duly allowing Pascal Gross to prod home to reduce the deficit to just one.

From that point on, in typical West Ham fashion, the home side completely collapsed and resembled a group of rabbits caught in some beaming headlights. The Brighton equalizer came with the assistance of a controversial VAR‌ decision, as Glenn Murray’s strike was initially ruled out due to it appearing to strike his arm.

But as usual, after a long wait, the VAR God’s yet again decided to against the Hammers and perpetuate more misery on what should have been a joyful afternoon.

Out of those 19 dropped points, this collapse may well be the most significant. If West Ham managed to see out the game today, the three valuable points earned would have seen them leap ahead of their competitors Brighton in the league table ahead of a daunting set of fixtures, as Manchester City and Liverpool prepare to host Moyes and his players over the coming weeks.

Instead, with Bournemouth’s home win over Aston Villa, the Hammers have slid into the relegation zone with the threat of relegation looking ever-more likely with each passing week. As Moyes took charge of the club for the second time, having taken over from Manuel Pellegrini, nobody expected the style of play to be any more pleasing on the eye. What fans did expect, though, was a solidity added to the team which was evidently lacking under the Chilean.

But having now gone five Premier League games without a victory since his first match in charge in a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth, things have yet again gone stale at the club. It does beg the question whether the group of players, including captain Mark Noble, have got enough fight in them to get out of the mess that they find themselves in.

I mention Noble specifically because as a West Ham fan who is 10 appearances short of 500 for the club, he should be leading by example, but sadly, looks just as lost as anybody else. As the rot started to set in during today’s match, Noble was nowhere to be seen, not just physically, as he looked as though he was running in quicksand for the last half hour, but more importantly mentally. There were no signs of him, as club captain, rounding his team-mates up back into shape tactically or even giving a chorus of motivational talk to get their mindset back into a positive one.

Next: Errors, errors, and more errors for West Ham

With just 13 games of the Premier League season left to play, West Ham needs to find a leader who is willing to play with his heart on his sleeve and ultimately lead on the pitch by example. If nobody steps up to the plate, their fortunes may not just hide, but could well disappear for good.

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