West Ham Would Be Relegated Without Etherington
If you look at the statistics of West Ham's results when Matthew Etherington plays compared to the results when he doesn't play it becomes obvious just what a vital role he plays for the team. If Matty played every game of this season we could have qualified for the Champions League, if Matty hadn't played any games for us this season we could have been looking at relegation.
This season Etherington has made 15 starts in the league. West Ham have also played 18 games without Etherington in the starting line-up.
Of the 15 games that Matthew Etherington has started West Ham have won 8 and scored in all but two of those games.
Of the 18 games when Etherington hasn't started West Ham have managed just 5 wins and have not scored in half of those games. West Ham have picked up just 19 points when Etherington hasn't started. If you extrapolated that to a whole season that would be the equivalent of 38 points - or the number of points Sheffield Utd were relegated with last season.
Conversely West Ham have picked up 28 points in the 15 games that Etherington has played in. Extrapolate that for a season and that comes to about 68-70 points and an almost cast iron guaranteed Champions League place.
I think this underlines how much we miss Matty's pace when he is not in the side and the team does seem to be slow and ponderous without him.
When / if all West Ham's players are fit we will look quite strong down the right hand side but looking at West Ham's results this year underlines the need for cover down the left wing.