The West Ham United fans are feeling nervous in the Transfer Tavern due to their side’s precarious league position with just 8 fixtures left to play.
The prospect of relegation is becoming an increasingly realistic prospect for West Ham this season, and with only 1 win from their last 7 league fixtures, it’s easy to sympathise with the views of The Hammers faithful who are already feeling nervous ahead of their massive 6-pointer clash against Southampton at the end of March. As things stand West Ham are just 2 points clear of The Saints who currently sit in 18th place in the top-flight, so the importance of the clash between the relegation-threatened sides cannot be expressed highly enough.
Both Southampton’s new manager Mark Hughes and West Ham’s David Moyes will feel they have a point to prove to the footballing world this season, so the fixture will take on an added importance for both of these Premier League veterans. The international break has arrived at a rather convenient time for West Ham, as they had been on a downward slide which culminated with a 3-0 defeat against Burnley at the London Stadium which was marred by pitch invasions and protests in the stands.
Although the 3-0 scoreline undoubtedly flattered the travelling Clarets, West Ham’s collapse in the final 25 minutes of regulatory time served to underline Moyes’ need to sure up his defence during the international break. In West Ham’s last 5 matches in the league they have conceded a whopping 14 goals, so clearly it’s an area which Moyes has to target in training over the course of the next two weeks.
When Moyes first arrived at the club, the first thing he did was make his side more difficult to beat than they were under Slaven Bilic, and for a while the changes he implemented had a positive effect on their results. West Ham became difficult to break down, and the solid defensive unit was complimented by the attacking flair produced by the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini in the final-third.
However, in recent weeks the solidity that previously characterised Moyes’ side has rapidly become a distant memory, and if West Ham are to survive this year they will need to rediscover their positive defensive form in the final weeks of the season. It’s down to Moyes to promote a back to basics approach on the training ground during the international break to ensure his side stop conceding goals so freely, otherwise West Ham could be set to face a shock relegation to The Championship this season.