West Ham supporters have been drowning their sorrows in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team thumped 4-1 by fellow Premier League strugglers Swansea City last time out, in turn slipping a place closer to the bottom three.
David Moyes’ men went into their clash with the South Wales outfit off the back of a 4-1 loss at the hands of in-form Liverpool the week before, a result which saw them slip to 13th place in the division. And the Hammers fell another place closer to the relegation zone last weekend as goals from Ki Sung-yueng, Mike van der Hoorn, Andy King, and Jordan Ayew secured a comprehensive victory for Carlos Carvalhal’s side, leaving Moyes’ West Ham just three points clear of danger with nine games of the campaign remaining.
Subsequently, there have been many despondent Hammers fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side can pick up a much-needed victory over Sean Dyche’s Burnley at the London Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Yet they will have to do it without influential defender Winston Reid, who was earlier this week ruled out of action for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury he sustained in last week’s drubbing at Swansea.
And while this is sure to come as a setback to Moyes, news that Angelo Ogbonna has trained ahead of tomorrow’s clash will be a welcome relief, and as such the Scot simply must replace Reid with the £8.1 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, things need changing at the back for the Hammers having conceded eight goals in their last two league games, and while many other teams will ship four against Liverpool, it’s inexcusable to concede four to a fellow struggler in Swansea – players must start stepping up if they are to remain in the top-flight.
Whether it’s a change in formation, having played with a back three in those two away games, or indeed a change of personnel that is needed very much remains to be seen, but Ogbonna has been a regular feature in the West Ham backline this term with 22 Premier League appearances to his name.
Yes, the 29-year-old has been guilty of some errors in those games this term, but with West Ham in dire need of improvements at the back in a game they will target as a must-win one, the Italy international must step up and be the man to go back into that backline and shore them up.
Undoubtedly, Reid’s absence will be a big setback for the East London outfit, both against Burnley and for the rest of the campaign, but in Ogbonna they have an adept replacement, and one that has proven his credentials at top-flight level in the past.
As such, the 29-year-old defender simply must step up for the Hammers against Dyche’s Clarets on Saturday.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!