Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
One week to the day and all these clubs will hopefully be getting the presents our guests want them to get! Today we speak to Cody Doherty about what he wants West Ham United to get for the new year.
There are no two ways about it, this has been a disastrous season for West Ham. They left Upton Park full of hope, having just finished 7th in the Premier League and earning themselves another chance at reaching the Europa League group stages. However, things have turned sour this season. It all started with a poor display that saw them knocked out in Europa League qualifying for the second year running by Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu. Things then took a turn for the worse off the pitch. Fans were unimpressed with the view at the new London Stadium, the seats are a long way back from the pitch, as are the benches, which mean Slaven Bilic has to run a marathon every time he wants to get from the bench to the touchline. The connection that the fans felt due to the compactness of the Boleyn has been lost. Fan violence has marred the new ground as well and issues over stewarding have not helped at all. Fan anger about the situation has mainly been directed at owners David Gold, David Sullivan and Vice-Chairman Karren Brady. All are now deeply unpopular with a large number of the fanbase who believe that the club has had its soul ripped out.
This discontent and lack of unity has spilt onto the pitch as well. West Ham have been a shadow of themselves from last season and are currently very much in the midst of a relegation battle. They have been let down badly by their new signings. Håvard Nordtveit has been error-prone, Andre Ayew could step it up and Simone Zaza, Arthur Masuaku, Gökhan Töre and Sofiane Feghouli look completely out of their depth. They also need more from star man Dimitri Payet, fears are growing that he could turn out to be a player that goes missing in times of adversity. The club were knocked out of the EFL Cup at the quarter-final stage after a resounding 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, while in the FA Cup Third Round, they face the daunting prospect of a visit from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. However, the club needs to focus on the league and to recovering the heights of last season. The Olympic Stadium was sold to the fans as a chance for West Ham to join the ranks of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, right now it looks far more likely that they will be joining the ranks of the Championship. The club needed to find a way to bring dissatisfied fans back onside and create an atmosphere that can allow the club to thrive again, just like at the Boleyn.
Wish 1: A new striker
“We aren’t scoring enough goals to be in contention for anything this year. We need to bring in a prolific striker to be clinical and finish off the chances our attacking midfielders like Payet and Lanzini are setting up. We’ve been linked him for ages, but the prospect of Alexandre Lacazette playing at the Olympic stadium is an exciting one. He would provide a bit of pace and strength up top, something we need this season.”
Wish 2: A New Centre Back
“We are weak at the back right now with teams being able to skip through our defence. If we could bring in an experienced centre back for at least a season to control our defence and keep them in their shape we should be able to hold teams off. The names I have in mind are people like Ryan Shawcross or Kolo Toure, someone who has plenty of experience with a team like ours in the Premier League.”
Wish 3: A Full Back
“We are getting punished down the right-hand side of the pitch where we don’t have a right back with enough experience to cope with the pace of the Premier League. We need a fast and strong right back to come in to shield and win the ball in our half who can also take the ball forward and cause a dangerous attack. Someone like Kyle Walker or Kieran Trippier would be a perfect addition to the squad.”
Do you agree with this list?
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Thank you to Cody Doherty for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!