Peter Thorne reflects on West Ham's defeat to Manchester United and believes Ravel Morrison could have made a big difference

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
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In terms of the Premier League – and let’s not forget the insistence that the 1992/93 season was in fact Year Zero and nothing before counts – West Ham’s defeat to Manchester United wasn’t that much of a shock.

The two sides have been operating from a different power base for a long time now and the Hammers are many years from being able to compete on an equal footing – assuming they ever get the opportunity at all.

In fact, with most of the teams below the Hammers suffering defeats too, it wasn’t as if the result really changed too much in terms of the relegation dogfight either.

Nevertheless, there was something dispiriting in the way that the Hammers succumbed to their wealthy opponents. Something that seemed to be underlined by Wayne Rooney’s wonder goal.

Last season’s battling displays that earned a well-deserved point and an FA Cup replay were replaced by an uninspiring effort that made United look as if Sir Alex Ferguson were still in charge.

The Reds makeshift defence was never really tested by Andy Carroll, who was reduced to chasing scraps as the Reds quickly struck on the break.

Some criticism could be levelled at the big Geordie until you look at the poor quality of the balls coming into the centre-forward.

For those with memories of Trevor Brooking or Alan Devonshire – players with the skill to pass an opponent and play a killer ball – together with the reputation the Irons have always had for producing players of excellence, there was something hugely depressing in seeing the paucity of quality on display.

Too many aimless crosses were headed away by Phil Jones and former-Hammer Michael Carrick – a midfielder let’s not forget – who were made to look like Franz Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto against a clueless attacking threat.

Sam Allardyce has simply got to look at this area during the close season as one shot on target at home against any defence is frankly not good enough.

Of course, the irony is that West Ham may already have someone on their books who could have helped change things, someone with some vision, guile and more than a little bit of skill.

Unfortunately, that player is getting some game time under his belt at QPR currently.

If reports are to be believed (and many don’t), Sam thought Ravel Morrison would benefit in going out on loan, as he was unlikely to get too many first team opportunities.

Would Ravel have played at some point on Saturday had he been available? It’s hard to imagine he wouldn't.

It’s likely that a win and a draw before the end of the season may be all West Ham need to ensure survival.

The further the team get from February’s run without a win though, the harder it will be.

Sam will surely rally his troops over the next week though, buoyed perhaps, by the congratulatory email from Michael Carrick who will undoubtedly be on Roy Hodgson’s Brazil plane - travelling thanks to his old team, it seems, as the new Bobby Moore. 

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