Written by Malcolm Atkins – @malatk

I have been quiet on social media lately and not written anything for the site until today, even though I take great pleasure in seeing an article put up. Why? – I have up until recently really been brought down by the huge negativity I have been reading on twitter and Facebook lately. As a fan base we seem to delight in digging our players out. Mark Noble seems to be turning the tide but was getting slaughtered a while back despite being club captain, West Ham to the core and the result stats indicating that we do much better with him in the side. Joe Hart seems to be another favourite punch bag – I think this is because he is perceived as a “board signing” picked over fan favourite Adrian – the abuse was amazing – I remember Alan Mcknight in goal, now he was bad!

I have not agreed with many of these viewpoints but I am most certainly not above getting drawn in. During Sunday’s game I was getting annoyed with Burke, but he was out of position in his first premier league game in ages, was I being fair, probably not and he is surely worth a place in the squad. I have resisted criticising Chicarito previously but was getting ready to hammer him Sunday. Seriously though, every goal he has ever scored in the premier league has been from inside the box. He is a poacher and totally ill equipped for the role he has been in. How many goals would Tony Cottee have got in that set up and the guy is a genuine West Ham legend – rightly so.

My particular concern though is Kouyate. What is going on? Video clips of him not tracking back, looks off the pace and lacking motivation, I have been ready to dig him out. “move him on”, “drop him”, “lazy” Two years ago the bloke looked awesome, strong full of running goal threat, versatile. What has happened? Maybe he wants out! Maybe he does not work hard enough, I do not know. Maybe though as a physical, up and down player just maybe he has been more affected and taken longer to recover from the general lack of fitness / conditioning coaching under the previous regime. Maybe not, but are we be writing off a player that was hitting such heights not long ago a bit too quickly? Should we give the lad time, get behind him and see if he can get back to the player that was pretty much being lauded by all a couple of seasons ago. We all seem to be so critical, we have several players that we have seen perform well, should we not give them the chance to turn around form and fitness?

Right now this squad is under-performing – it needs supplementing with 3-4 players but should we cut some of the existing squad a little slack – I think we should – even though I have been as guilty as many!