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Another Win Against Sunderland, But West Ham Still Have Plenty To Worry About

Effra sees a few things to worry about in the win against Sunderland.

Given the length of West Ham’s injury list, good fortune doesn’t spring to mind as the most apt description of the first quarter of our season. It isn’t though just Craig Gordon’s backside that has smiled kindly of late on our pretensions for something more than mid-table mediocrity. The fixture list has been a massive boon, meaning our injury-stricken side has only had to face one of the top four and then at Upton Park. Put up Sunday’s second-half defensive shambles against a team of Blackburn or Everton’s quality and this morning Curbishley might have been checking the fine print of the agreement on this technical director the club says its is looking for with the manager’s consent.

Quite how our central defenders could turn in such inept performances at home against possible relegation candidates such that Curbishley was forced to end the game with three of them in a back five beggars belief, even allowing for Keynwyne Jones’ attempts to impersonate Drogba. If Matthew Upson doesn’t think it is his job to jump with strikers to fight for the ball in the air, what on earth does he think he is in the side for, because it certainly isn’t pace, recovery ability, or his distribution from the back. Further up the pitch, Curbishley should now give some serious consideration to starting with Solano at Bowyer’s expense. Since our first three choice right-sided midfield players are out, can we at least play someone in that position who actually wants to play there rather than a player who persistently wrecks the shape of the team on that side of the pitch by not just drifting, but aggressively running into the middle at the first opportunity. Against better teams than the fixture list has generally coughed up so far, our right-side is an accident waiting to happen.

As for up front, getting Ashton and Bellamy fit at the same time seems to be beyond either luck or medical science. Carlton Cole does try but his basic technique is so poor that even a goal-inspired boost to his confidence isn’t going to make much difference. If Bellamy were to go down again now, we would be losing at home to Sunderland and worst, lucky goals and wonder saves or not. Cole with Bellamy is bad enough. Cole with Camara for the next month whilst Ashton and Zamora are out would exhaust all our good fortune on the pitch for the rest of the season.