Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWest Ham United – 2012/13 mid-season review - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough West Ham United – 2012/13 mid-season review - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

West Ham United – 2012/13 mid-season review

Getting promoted to the Premier League was as much of a relief as a joyous occasion for West Ham fans. Another season in the Championship would have done a lot of damage to the club, not just financially but to the squad as many of the players probably would have left. The players did a great job to beat Blackpool in the play-off final at Wembley, with Ricardo Vaz Te scoring the winning goal in the 87th minute.

Pre-season didn’t go as well as the Irons would have hoped though. Four defeats and two draws may have left fans worrying about the season ahead, but as the first few games were played it became clear that the fans should have no cause for concern unless something were to go drastically wrong. Only one loss in the first five games left West Ham 8th in the Premier League, two places above their rivals Tottenham.

After the first 5 games, it was obvious that West Ham’s most important player was going to be Mohamed Diame. He bossed the midfield in every game, stopping the opposition’s attackers from threatening the goal as well as getting forward when needed.

Wins against QPR and Southampton pushed West Ham up to 7th place and a home defeat to Arsenal sandwiched between those two wins did nothing to stop the players performing in the way they had been in the previous games. After the 4-1 win over Southampton, the Irons played poorly against Wigan and lost 2-1. An early goal from Ivan Ramis, (a player who almost made a switch to West Ham over the summer) scored after 8 minutes and West Ham never seemed to recover.

The next game was against the Premier League champions Manchester City. The expectations of West Ham fans were understandably quite low but a good home record gave them some hope. They defended resolutely and were unlucky to see Kevin Nolan’s volley ruled offside. City were unable to break down the Hammers’ defence and the game ended 0-0, a very good result for West Ham indeed.

The next two games gave West Ham 4 points, an away win against Newcastle which was an unexpected result in many ways and a home draw against Stoke. This wasn’t the result the fans would have hoped for. though the Potters dominated the first half and scored after 13 minutes, although they couldn’t extend their lead. The second half belonged to West Ham and a rare goal from Joey O’Brien levelled the game, but his team were unable to go on and win the game.

Two defeats in a row against Spurs and Manchester United left West Ham in 10th place, but they got up to 8th win a superb win over Chelsea. Many must have thought it was going to be the Hammers’ third defeat in a row when Juan Mata scored after 13 minutes, but the Blues couldn’t take advantage. A goal from Carlton Cole mid-way through the second half put his side the front foot. Mohamed Diame put West Ham 2-1 up with only 4 minutes remaining and Modibo Maiga got the winner in the 93rd minute. It was the best game of their season up until then and will probably end up being the best win of their season.

Since then, things haven’t gone quite as well for the Irons. They probably should have got something out of the game against Liverpool but it was pretty much lost when Diame went off with an injury. The next match saw West Ham drawing 0-0 with West Brom, a good result for the Irons and a deserved point in the end.

West Ham suffered two defeats in a row in their next two games, including a 2-1 home loss to Everton which was extra painful as Carlton Cole was sent off and the circumstances surrounding it arguably led to the game ending in defeat for the home side. Losing away to Reading didn’t come as a surprise as they were just starting to find their feet in the Premier League and needed to win that game. In the end it was obvious that they wanted it more than the visitors.

It hasn’t been a bad season at all for the Irons – 6 wins, 5 draws and 8 defeats after playing 19 games is pretty good for a team fresh from the Championship. Games against Sunderland and Norwich stand out as games they should have got more out of, but a win against Chelsea and draw against Manchester City go some way to making up for those draws. If things go as they have been so far this season, West Ham should finish mid table. They won’t be challenging for a place in Europe but won’t be sucked into the relegation battle.