Shameful West Ham fail FA Cup test and add a PR disaster
PUBLISHED: 12:30 28 January 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
No positives for the Hammers as they suffer giant-killing by Wimbledon
On a weekend of FA Cup shocks, West Ham at Wimbledon was the worst, the absolute worst embarrassing humiliation.
We have seen it all before of course. Last season at Wigan for instance and giant-killings against Wrexham, Swansea City, Hereford, Mansfield and Swindon to name just a few.
But this seemed worse. AFC Wimbledon were bottom of League One, eight points from safety, they had lost their last two home games, conceding seven goals.
But this is the FA Cup and while other Premier League teams were dropping like flies opening the way for the Hammers, they fell through the same trap door in the most humiliating way possible.
Some would say that manager Manuel Pellegrini left too many of his best players out of the team – nonsense.
Every player who started this game has been a starter this season. They should simply have been too good for a team who have struggled all season.
But as I said, this is the FA Cup and the team that really wanted to be in it, still are.
A shell-shocked Manuel Pellegrini faced the press afterwards and was not holding back on his words.
“It’s very easy to explain what happened – it was one team who wanted to win and another team who played without any desire or any ambition to win or continue in this cup,” he said.
He was right. The first half was a complete embarrassment. The Dons outplayed West Ham in every department and hopelessly exposed them to score two goals, which could have been four.
The likes of Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna, Andy Carroll, Adrian and Arthur Masuaku really have to look at themselves and their awful performances.
“Maybe we thought we were going to win because we are a Premier League team and they are in League One, but Wimbledon played with the desire to compete in this cup. In the first 45 minutes we didn’t fight,” said an embarrassed Pellegrini.
“I changed three players because I could only make three changes, I could have changed all the players.”
Maybe it would have made a big difference, but within a minute of the start of the second half, it was 3-0 to Wimbledon and a huge mountain for the Hammers to climb.
At one stage they almost made it. Substitutes Lucas Perez and Felipe Anderson pulled it back to 3-2 and it looked like the home side would crumble.
But Wimbledon kept battling and kept attacking and were rewarded with a thoroughly deserved fourth to finish off the hopeless Hammers.
“It’s very frustrating because you can be eliminated, but not the way we were – it’s a disaster!”
It really was. Football is all about great memories and finishing seventh in the Premier League is not one of them.
The FA Cup gives you a chance for real tangible success and this was West Ham’s big chance to go a long way.
Now they have thrown that all away. AFC Wimbledon are not going to win the FA Cup, but West Ham could have done.
And then within minutes of the defeat, West Ham, like a political party, decided then was the time to announce Marko Arnautovic’s contract extension.
As if that would make everything all right and help forget what fans had just seen.
Shame on the players and shame on the club.