March is a season defining month for West Ham with huge matches to be played in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.
The fixture list is congested with the Hammers six matches in 19 days, all of which are vital.
David Moyes chose not to strengthen his squad in the recent January transfer window and the West Ham squad lacks depth – will they survive they make it through the month with the season still alive or hope ended.
West Ham squad depth is expected to be put to the test due to fixture congestion this month and all matches being season impacting.
West Ham begin with a vital cup tie away at in-form Southampton (who have lost just one home match all season).
Next, is the trip to title chasing Liverpool, the away Europa League Round of 16 match versus Sevilla, Aston Villa then come to the London Stadium sandwiched between Sevilla again in the second leg and there is no let up as Spurs come straight after on 20th March.
Notably, this season influencing run has already started and West Ham got off to a great start beating fellow European hopefuls Wolves 1-0.
Moyes doesn’t like to make too many changes to his starting XI’s. Ask any West Ham fan and they can probably name the Irons’ best side but rotation will be needed and this is far from the team’s strength. Remember, the manager even rarely makes the full three substitutions in game as West Ham struggle for match changing options off the bench.
With Angelo Ogbonna injured West Ham have three centre-backs to choose from. This allows for some rotation, it’s likely Issa Diop will come start some of the matches, probably the against the Saints in the FA Cup. Kurt Zouma has been outstanding since that cat video emerged and the Hammers look so solid with him playing but can he manage to play six games in 19 days not long after a long-term injury?
Full-back seems a problem at the moment with Aaron Cresswell the only fit left-back and Ben Johnson the only available right-back. Ryan Fredericks is expected to be back soon but he is inconsistent. Vladimir Coufal has had surgery on a groin injury, it’s unknown if he’ll be back during this busy spell.
Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek never seem to miss a game in the heart of midfield but can they play 90 minutes in every one? Mark Noble is ageing and Alex Kral is still not trusted. We need their miracle recovery skills again.
The striker position is once again the talk of the town. Michail Antonio was in shocking form but turned it around with an excellent display in the win over Wolves. However, his fitness is always a concern with his minutes, especially with him going to play for Jamaica this campaign, have to be managed.
It’s obvious Jarrod Bowen will start matches up-front in this period and we wait to see which ones. How many matches Antonio will play is a mystery at the moment but it’s times like this where West Ham fans will wonder why a striker wasn’t signed in January to share the workload with the 31-year-old.
To end on a positive, attacking midfield areas are options a plenty.
An international break is in store after the London derby against Spurs, will West Ham still have their European/top four finish dream alive? Will they still be going for Europa League glory or will the tournament specialists Sevilla knock them out? Will they still be hoping for domestic cup glory for the first time since 1980?
All of these questions will be answered come the end of this exciting and pivotal month.