As Sunday’s clash away to Manchester City was postponed due to Storm Ciara’s tour dates arriving across the United Kingdom, by the time West Ham play their next fixture against Liverpool on the 24th of February, it will have been over three weeks since they last played a game of football.
With all of this in mind, will West Ham United’s staff and squad use this break to their advantage; or will the lack of game-time prove costly to their chance of Premier League survival?
On the positive side, it does give the club a chance to get injured players back in the frame, with the likes of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko currently trying to work their way back to fitness. It also grants an opportunity for the new signings to further bed in, as Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek look to make a strong impact on the Irons’ fortunes.
It also presents the chance for the new coaching staff, Kevin Nolan and Paul Nevin, to make their mark on the squad, while they aim to implement fresh ideas and belief into the camp at such a vital stage of the season.
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On the flip side, however, this long break also has the potential to have a negative effect on the club. It could hamper any rhythm that David Moyes and his merry men may have believed to have gathered over recent weeks, even though the results may suggest otherwise.
With a visit to fortress Anfield awaiting the Hammers after the hiatus, along with Liverpool playing this coming weekend as they look to continue their scintillating momentum, it may take a while for West Ham to catch up to speed on that particular night, as nearly a month without playing a football match could prove to take its toll. This means that the match could be over before it has even begun.
The playing squad has a well-earned (cough) holiday approaching this coming weekend, which while not ideal in this predicament, is sure to be respected as a negative effect on squad morale is not an option – now more so than ever.
It is now up to Moyes and co. to squeeze every last drop of positivity out of this situation and gain an advantage from the boosts that this may bring to the clubs’ chance of surging up the Premier League table. Simultaneously, he needs to limit the negative aspects that could potentially provide a challenge to him and his team, with points on board now a requirement rather than a luxury.