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Raising the bar up front: What West Ham United must do to avoid getting relegated this season

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Raising the bar up front: What West Ham United must do to avoid getting relegated this season

West Ham United have been one of the most disappointing teams in the Premier League this season. Following a huge spending spree in the summer, the Hammers have still failed to impose their authority on the English top flight and the situation does not look good for them.

Currently dawdling on the wrong side of the table, with just 30 points on board, West Ham are in dire need of a major turnaround if they are to survive in the Premier League, come the end of the season. The Hammers are currently leading relegation-threatened Southampton by just two points, meaning the London giants are already involved in this campaign’s relegation scrap.

Despite the sacking of former head coach Slaven Bilic, new coach David Moyes haven’t been helpful as the Hammers have registered only one win in their last eight matches in all competitions – a stretch which has dragged them right into the relegation scrap.

And as we go into the final phase of the season with just eight games remaining, Moyes needs to make sure he does everything right to help West Ham survive in the top flight.

Attacking ineffectiveness has been one of the primary reasons behind West Ham’s demise this season. The Londoners duly lack the services of someone who can provide a strong presence inside the box, especially with Andy Carroll out injured. Although Javier Hernandez has been the club’s joint top-scorer this season with seven goals, the Mexican doesn’t have the physical presence which could be useful under the tactical philosophy of Moyes.

In addition, West Ham’s attacking service has also been mediocre. Despite the return of star playmaker Manuel Lanzini, Moyes’ men have failed to unlock opposition defence, largely due to their own futility. In the game against Burnley, for example, the Hammers acquired the majority of possession against the Clarets but were extremely ineffective in front of the goal.

The same thing also happened in the huge defeat against Swansea City earlier this month, where West Ham could only rack up four shots on goal in the entire match despite enjoying greater possession. This points to the fact that the London giants are somewhat missing the creativity or a driving force in the attacking third.

Therefore, the former Manchester United head coach should definitely be looking to make his team more compact, especially in the defensive phases. West Ham, as a club, often dominate their respective opponents, leaving themselves exposed in the game.

They have a string of tough fixtures in the coming weeks, where the main focus should be on snatching a point against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, and then using the momentum to defeat Southampton and Stoke City.