It's been such a disappointing season so far that you can easily find yourself noticing irrelevancies such as the number of West Ham players who have first names beginning with the letter 'A'. In fact, we have so many that you could almost name a starting XI featuring the 'A-Team'.
However, it's the absence of the A-Team that has underpinned what is becoming a disastrous start to life at the London Stadium. At the back the loss of Aaron Cresswell has destabilised what was a tight unit. Even worse, his replacement Arthur Masuaku is now also crocked and we are back to limited options at left back. maybe it's time for SuperSlav to push Angelo Ogbonna out wide? On a positive note, the problems at right back have eased with the arrival of Alvaro Arbeloa who looked solid against Accrington and is finally match fit.
Up front, the recurring absence of Andy Sicknote is nothing new, but the loss of Andre Ayew - who was our marque signing from the Summer - has forced a panic loan of Simone Zaza who to date has failed to impress. We are missing Carroll at set pieces - both offensively and defensively but on the bright side, Antonio is on fire and keeping our attacking aspirations alive.
Ashley Fletcher was denied a part in Wednesday's League cup tie - a competition that usually provides opportunities for our developing players. Perhaps this signals a more significant role for him today against Southampton - possibly as a surprise starter?
And then we have the other absentee - the REAL Adrian! What is going on between the posts? Normally a reliable presence, our keeper has suddenly become a liability and it would be no surprise if Darren Randolph were to displace him today.
Good managers tend to keep the faith with their netminders but Dazza has been very patient and always impressed when given the chance. If he doesn't get a run as the starting keeper right now you would have to wonder whether he will get itchy for a move elsewhere? Similarly, if we don't buck up soon then Mr Payet may well get fed up with carrying the team and listen more carefully to the advances of Europe's top clubs.
As Mr T once remarked “You might not have the things you want, but if you check carefully, you got all you need” ....Wise words indeed - it's time to quit all the jibba jabba about injuries and get to work with what we have. This is a strong squad and even without half of our A-Team we should still be a formidable force.
Time to show some nuts!
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