It looks like it’s going to be a long, hard season for West Ham United.
With just one win from 12 games, the Hammers are propping up the table on just eight points.
After losing their first four league games, goals appeared difficult to come by for Avram Grant’s men. But after snapping up Victor Obinna on loan and with Frederic Piquionne finding is feet, finding the net doesn’t seem to be the problem – it’s letting goals in.
Since beating Tottenham on September 25, West Ham have squandered leads against Fulham, Newcastle United, Birmingham City, and on Wednesday against West Bromwich Albion.
Some may point to Manuel Da Costa’s fitness and off-pitch problem, others may blame the form of Matthew Upson and Danny Gabbidon.
But while the centre-back situation at Upton Park is far from ideal, the weakness in midfield appears to be more of a factor.
Scott Parker stayed loyal to his club, resisting the temptation of a lucrative summer move, and he has performed admirably for the basement boys, scoring three goals from midfield, including a cracker against West Brom on Wednesday.
The likes of Luis Boa Morte, Kieron Dyer and Valon Behrami and Mark Noble have been alongside the Hammers skipper, with Pablo Barrera and Julien Fauabert also featuring. But one gets the feeling that the midfield lacks backbone, and that the Hammers desperately need a strong midfielder to take the pressure of Parker.