LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01: Andy Carroll of West Ham United clashes with Brede Handeland of Fulham and is forced to leave the pitch during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on September 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Did I actually just write those words? It probably seems wrong to assume we would get a great result at Upton Park knowing full well our on the road record isn’t fantastic, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem that wrong. We’ve had a decent run of results, been playing like a completely new team and have a great manager who has instilled faith and loyalty into the squad, whilst injecting it with some youth and fresh faces.
But the performance on Saturday came as utter shock to me. I was watching in pure disbelief, viewing a team which it seemed, hadn’t played together even once, nor were the Fulham I know and love. Okay so we have some new members of the squad who haven't had a great deal of match time with their team mates but Saturday’s performance was almost as if they had failed to turn up at all.
Our key man, the one we can usually rely on even when our defence make mistakes, didn’t do himself any favours and had quite a poor performance. Mark Schwarzer it seemed at times was trying to do the defenders work, and it proved costly. 3-0 down at half time is a rather embarrassing score line against a team who have only just returned to the Premier League.
But why we ask ourselves? Why did we play so bad? What is the big drama with our away form? We sometimes manage it, we can even play well and gain a well deserved draw away from home and yes we can get absolutely slaughtered, but I think we least expected the latter, particularly with the venue being Upton Park.
It’s fair to say new boy Andy Carroll inserted something into the West Ham team and into the game play, that’s clearly been missing prior to him joining. I think Big Sam has done nothing but good with his team and clearly their tactics, formation and style of play was something to be envious of when they obliterated Fulham in the first 45 minutes.
Our next match will thankfully be at the Cottage against West Brom, but with their current record under new manager Steve Clarke can we really afford to become complacent believing we perform so well on home turf? We certainly cannot rely on home results to see us into the top half of the table this season that’s for sure, so it’s about time we pulled our socks (and shin pads up) and got stuck in with improving our on the road game.