Sunday, December 3, 2023

West Ham Tuesday talking point: Could this West Ham side be the best squad ever relegated from the Premier League?

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James Jones, We Are West Ham, external

Points are priceless when you’re in a relegation battle, but Sunday’s home draw with Aston Villa has gone down as two lost rather than one gained.

The performance lacked real hunger to win the game towards the end and didn’t give fans much encouragement that the recovery needed to maintain West Ham’s Premier League status is under way.

Jarrod Bowen was busy yet largely ineffective down the right, Said Benrahma was wasteful down the left. Thilo Kehrer failed to show much interest in preventing crosses into the box, and Lucas Paqueta often tried and failed to find Danny Ings with balls in behind. Meanwhile, winger Maxwel Cornet, who has been sidelined since October, was preferred to come on up front over Italy’s starting number nine, who chose West Ham over PSG in a £30m deal last summer.

The whole thing is becoming rather baffling for West Ham fans. The players picked to play blow hot and cold, often showing a real lack of interest in fighting for survival. The ones on the bench are seemingly utilised incorrectly in a system that just doesn’t suit the squad’s overall skillset.

On paper, this West Ham squad is worthy of a top-eight finish in the Premier League. In reality, it’s heading for the Championship. Unless something changes, and quickly, the West Ham team which was “too good” to go down in 2003 might just be usurped as the best squad of footballers to ever be relegated from the Premier League.

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