Galey's View - Apr 6

Former Hammers defender Tony Gale provides his expert view every week, exclusively on

LOOKING back at the Charlton game, I think it's fair to say that everyone at Upton Park on Sunday walked away feeling disappointed by what they had seen. Unfortunately, Charlton came with a game-plan to stifle and spoil our attacking threat, and it worked.
I must admit, I was a little disappointed with Charlton - they began the season playing good football away from home but, after a few poor results, they seem to have developed a more defensive approach on their travels.
On Sunday, it looked as though one team wanted to win the game, and one team wanted to try and nick it if they could. They matched us up with a 4-4-2, but sat a lot deeper and were just hoping to send Darren Bent away on the break. I much prefer our approach - to go out and win the game from the word go. At the end of the day, one win is better than two draws!

THE problem from our point of view was that we didn't play as well as we can. After three long away trips in the space of nine days, the players looked a little jaded, and struggled to find the high-tempo that has been our trademark this season.
In truth, the game looked like an end-of-season affair at times, and Alan Pardew will be keen to get his team looking sharp and firing again leading up to the FA Cup semi-final in just over two weeks.
You're going to have peaks and troughs throughout the season but, at this stage, it's all about momentum and form can not be turned on and off like a tap. The players have got to lift it going into the semi-final and be raring to go, because there is so much to play for in the weeks ahead.

I see the squad and coaching staff have travelled to Dubai for a five-day break this week and all I can say is: I wish I was there! It just goes to show how football has changed - when I was playing we used to go down to Bournemouth for three days if we were lucky enough to earn a mid-season break!
I can understand Alan's reasons for taking the players away, though. After a busy few weeks, with midweek games, extra-time in the cup and some physically tough battles, it will do them good to get a bit of sun on their backs and come back refreshed, in a good mood, and hopefully raring to go for the rest of the campaign.

I'M not sure if a trip to Stamford Bridge is the perfect way to get that momentum going again, but our record in London derbies this season is good and there is no reason for the players to be fearful.
It's a cracker of a fixture, not only for the Club but also for the fans, who will go there in good voice and desperate for the Hammers to become the first team to win there in the Premiership this season.
I'm sure we'll have a go - as we have done in every game this season - and, although there is never a good time to play Chelsea, they have certainly had a little wobble recently and will enter the game with a few little doubts in their mind. It's the kind of game our boys should relish playing in - everyone wants to beat the Champions - and after the disappointment of looking back on the trip to Old Trafford last week and thinking that we perhaps should have taken something from the game, I'm sure they will approach this one with a bit more belief and determination.