By Nick Teale

After impressing last season, West Ham have struggled so far this term with just five points from eight games. 



Sitting 19th in the Premier League table, the Hammers need a turn-around in fortune. 



To try and find out where that might come from, Arsenal.com spoke to Kirk Blows of the Newham Recorder ahead of Sunday's London derby.
 


FOCUS - THE STORY SO FAR

THE STORY SO FAR
"There are two reasons why West Ham have struggled this season. In the summer the search for a new striker was fairly well documented. The had a situation whereby Carlton Cole was always going to be the main man up front and it was hoped Dean Ashton would return but he's still injured and there's no sign of when he might return. They were always going to be a little lightweight up front this season but they have managed to boost the striking department by bringing in Alessandro Diamanti and also Guillermo Franco who was a free agent after being released by Villarreal last season but he's yet to really feature.
"

FOCUS - CAUSE FOR CONCERN

CAUSE FOR CONCERN
"Because Carlton Cole is the only out-and-out striker West Ham really have, Zola has reverted from last season's 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3. To be honest, it doesn't really seem to work. The problem is fairly evident in Cole spearheads the attack but doesn't really get the support. It's supposed to be a three but it's more like a five in midfield because the likes of Diamanti or Zavon Hines seem to come deep so Cole is left on his own at times. They're looking quite comfortable in games, as a rule they've seen lots of possession but there is no cutting edge and that is a big problem. A lack of goals, a lack of threat, and I can see that continuing for some time to come.
"

FOCUS - NEW FACES

NEW FACES
"The fans like Alessandro Diamanti because he's a whole-hearted character who gives 100 per cent. Personally, I would like to see him play alongside Cole in a 4-4-2 and I do think he would score goals in that situation. At Stoke, Zola played a midfield diamond with Diamanti supposedly in a more advanced position but he kept dropping back so it's hard to get a gauge on him at the moment because he's not really playing as an out-and-out striker.
"

FOCUS - TALKING TACTICS

TALKING TACTICS
"I don’t think it's West Ham's usual way to try and contain teams so I think they will try and go forward against Arsenal. The system may look like it's a containing formation because it will look like one up front probably, so there will be a packed midfield but it is West Ham's way to try and score goals."

FOCUS - THE MAN IN CHARGE

THE MAN IN CHARGE - GIANFRANCO ZOLA
"The longer this winless run continues the more doubts will start to grow but at the moment the fans are on his side. He impressed last season for two reasons. One, he changed the style of play after the fairly routine football that was being played under Alan Curbishley and in time, after a couple of months of struggle, Zola did turn things around and get the team winning and they made a push for Europe and missed out in the end because of the injury situation more than anything."

FOCUS - THE ONE TO WATCH

THE ONE TO WATCH
"You'd like to think Robert Green earns West Ham at least 10 points a season. He hasn't been at his best recently; he was a little bit dodgy against Fulham in the last home game and wasn't overly impressive last week at Stoke. But he does traditionally have a good game against Arsenal so West Ham fans will be hoping he can return to his best form on Sunday."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 Oct 2009