With all the talk about West Ham's defensive woes of late (29 goals in 14 games and conceding three or more on eight occasions) many observers have forgotten about the best means of defence - ATTACK!
It's hard not to notice that one reason why we are conceding so many goals is that teams have gotten the smell of weakness and have started to push forward with a confidence that they wouldn't have dared try last season. The reason is simple: they know that our attack is blunt and unlikely to punish them.
Apart from the solo efforts of Dimitri Payet and the heading prowess of Michail Antonio, we offer very little in terms of coherent attack. To counter this, opposition teams just stand off Payet and avoid giving us free kicks around the box. As evidence consider the dreadful stats for goals scored by our strikers (none by any of them until Diafra Sakho's effort ten days ago) and our average possession stats of circa 35% per game!
In simple terms, we can't hold onto the ball to mount a coherent and sustained attack. This means that opposing sides can push up and eventually (often quite quickly in fact) find holes in our defence. For example, against the Gooners, apart from Ogbonna, did Reid, Masuaku or Arbeloa make any major errors or was it that Arsenal just pressurised us into submission? (and, in fairness, did lash off some pretty amazing strikes!)
Wind back to 2014 and West Ham had a similar problem under Big Sam. Back then we defended in numbers (with a 4-6-0 formation on some occasions!) and managed the odd draw, but it was the arrival of Teddy Sheringham that changed things and added a sense of purpose to our attack that suddenly pushed the meaningful action up the field.
Teddy was so successful in his role as forwards coach that he was snapped up as first team manager at Stevenage - a job that subsequently proved impossible with resources so tight he eventually had to register himself as a player at age 49! since then he has been keeping busy by getting married to his long-term girlfriend and in the past month linked with a move to the Australian League.
It seems NOW is the time to move for bring Sheringham back and take the pressure off our defence by making our attack more potent - and frightening for opposition sides.