West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admitted that the depth of the club’s injury list is crucifying their bid to mix it in the upper echelons of the Premier League this season after a goalless draw against managerless Swansea at the Liberty Stadium yesterday.
The stalemate was West Ham’s third in succession while the Hammers are winless in six league matches, a complete contrast to their early season results which included victories at Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool
It is testament to West Ham’s previous form that they remain just four points adrift of the Champions League places, while a draw failed to lift struggling Swansea out of the relegation zone. The Swans sit two points below Newcastle in 18th.
“To be fair, with no disrespect to any player it is all about the squad and that’s why we got a point, but the question is can we play much better without [Andy] Carroll, without [Dimitri] Payet, without [Manuel] Lanzini, without [Diafra] Sakho and without [Victor] Moses? It’s too much,” said former Croatia manager Bilic.
“The guys played really well and put in a great effort to gain a point and that’s why I’m really pleased with the performance from the team. I want to praise the team and I want to praise the players.
“If you remember what I said three or four weeks ago when the injuries hit us, I said the only way we could compensate was by producing a team performance and that is exactly what we have done in the last three games.”
Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and forward Andre Ayew wasted presentable chances in a first half dominated by Swansea before West Ham goalkeeper Adrian was forced to repel a stinging Jack Cork volley in the second period.
Argentine attacker Mauro Zarate twice tested Swansea stopper Lukasz Fabianski, while Ecuador hitman Enner Valencia forced the ex-Arsenal man into evasive action as the clocked ticked down.
West Ham’s last win was their 2-1 success over Chelsea at Upton Park on 24 October when towering frontman Andy Carroll netted the winner after then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had been sent to the stands along with assistant Silvino Louro.