Back four blues

Saturday 26th January 2013 9:15

O'Brien: forced to fill in

O'Brien: forced to fill in

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West Ham FanZoner Greg Styles says the defence needs to be strengthened sooner rather than later.

Leaky defence is dragging Hammers down the table

In the space of ten tortuous second-half minutes on Wednesday night, a very decent performance turned into a horror show which no Hammers fan will ever want to see again.

As Arsenal, led by Oliver Giroud, swarmed all over West Ham and were seemingly able to score goals at will, they were met by very little opposition from a defence which still seem to be in the giving spirit after the festive period.

The five goals shipped against Arsenal were a worrying sign of what could be to come if no reinforcements are bought in before the transfer window slams shut.

Sam Allardyce has had to rely on right back Joey O'Brien to fill in on the opposite flank with regular left back George McCartney out injured.

Dan Potts, who will miss the next few weeks with a head injury sustained against the Gunners, has featured in the team of late and has showed great potential for the future, but he is not yet ready to command a first team spot.

Whilst the right side is taken care of with both O'Brien and Guy Demel both recently signing new deals to keep them at the club for the next few years, the left side is a different matter.

A number of players have featured at left back this season with midfielder Matt Taylor also dropped back to help out when needed.

ambitious

It's an area of the pitch we come up short in especially when we don't have a natural left footed player in the position, a loan deal for someone like Ryan Bertrand would be an ambitious but positive move if it were to come off.

But my worry is that Allardyce and the board will not do any more business in this window with four attacking players already bought in and the focus now switched to retaining the services of Mohamed Diame.

We've kept just one clean sheet since the middle of November which is a worrying trend when you find goals hard to come by, particularly away from home where with just six goals all season we hold the worst record in the league.

With the team struggling to find the net with any regularity it means we must not give anything away and be solid at the back, but the team look a tired shadow of the frugal and tough unit which started the season.

With just days left to bring in some much needed cover, we must move fast to make sure we're not sucked into the relegation battle which is hotting up in the Premier League.

@gstyles19

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