Saturday, 9 December 2017

ReMARKObubble!!!

In a season that has become a proper misery-fest, West Ham looked set to rejoice over Crimbo as the most miserable club in the Premiership. With new manager Moyes struggling for results, and still without a win since replacing Slaven Bilic, the visit of Chelsea looked a dead cert opportunity to slide further towards the very top of the bottom of the Premiership.


That is until Marko Arnautovic decided to turn it on with a delightful strike after just six minutes. In a delicious link up with Manny Lanzini, the unpredictable Austrian calm slotted home. Thereafter, Chelsea 'enjoyed' a lot of possession but Moyes' men looked well organised and did not falter. Perhaps after almost a month his emphasis upon improving fitness is starting to kick in?

To be fair to Arnautovic, the lad has come in for heaps of criticism since his costly arrival from Stoke in the Summer, but he is just doing what it says on his particular tin - inconsistent, infuriating, volatile and, on occasion, superb! Today was the latter.

However, with Arsenal next week the Hammers woes are far from over and they remain in the bottom three despite picking up an unexpected three points. Also, with six yellow cards their strength in depth is likely to be tested in coming weeks.

Match referee Anthony Taylor did well for most of the game but will have won few friends in East London after booking Arnautovic for 'excessively' celebrating his first Hammers goal. Grinch award in the post!

But for now, today was the start of the Moyes' era in earnest. Onwards and upwards!

Our Chance to Claim Bottom Spot!



It's looking increasingly likely that the Hammers will occupy the dreaded bottom spot come Christmas time. Today's visit of a resurgent Chelsea will provide a major test for Moyes' men as they try to build on the ultimately fruitless moral victory last week against Man City. Meanwhile, Swansea who are the only club below us welcome West Brom to the Liberty stadium. Come 5PM we may lead the slow bicycle race that this season has become!

Moyes has dropped Declan Rice in favour of the returning Winston Reid, while Joe Hart stays on the bench to allow Adrian a chance to claim the netminding role as his. Although Chelsea look back to their best, the Hammers bench is very strong with any of Carroll, Chicharito or Sakho available to act as supersub, if needed!

In midfield, wise old man Mark Noble replaces the injured Cheik Kouyate and will be hoping to reclaim a starting berth in the side. The bookies give us little chance again but it's a home game and a London derby and our confidence is improving. Hmmmm.

The Hammers have won just two of their last 22 Premier League games against Chelsea (D4 L16) but did come out on top in a League cup clash. Fingers crossed but you'd take a point, gladly! 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Will-Do Brothers as Hammers and Sporting make peace?


Perhaps the most amusing transfer campaign of the Summer was West Ham's failed bid to attract Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho to the Olympic Stadium. Despite Carvalho expressing a willingness to move, the clubs could not agree terms and the negotiations descended into farce with the Sporting President making a series of unpleasant comments about the Hammers board, including referring to our esteemed Chairmen, Messrs Sullivan and Gold, as the 'Dildo brothers'!

Since then, the Hammers have experienced significant problems on and off the field and manager Slaven Bilic departed last month with the club sliding into the Premiership relegation zone. New manager David Moyes has yet to experience a victory with just a draw out of 4 Premiership games. Despite that, the spirited performance against Premiership leaders Man City away on Sunday will have raised hopes that the underperforming squad can rediscover some decent form.

Central to that will be seeing an improvement in the side's dominance during games as they managed less than 25% possession against City. The injection of new talent into their overrun midfield will be a big target in the January transfer window and it looks like the new found positivity between the clubs could well be the start of facilitating Carvalho's move to the Premiership. As the club's statement revealed "friendly relations between the clubs will resume and there will be no barriers to both clubs negotiating or working together in the future".

As for Carvalho, he has been performing well for Sporting both in the Portuguese League and the Champions League. The latter included an impressive performance against Barcelona that suggests he would be likely to cope well with the pressures of the Premiership. Either way, the Hammers need to move on from moral victories (such as the Man City defeat) to accruing some points!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Moyes is Ready to Rock!


They Say that the bookies rarely get it wrong. With odds as high as 35-1 for a West Ham victory today you'd really have to wonder! Even worse, a 1-0 win is quoted at 90-1, while an 7-0 win for city is just 55-1.

To add further insult, our old mate Paul Once predicts a 5-0 thrashing but revealed he really thinks we could see double figures but doesn't want to be unkind to his old club. Thanks mate!

With Sakho likely to start, it's worth noting that he has been the difference between the sides twice in the past three years - both home and away. A repeat of those 2-1 victories is quoted at 75-1.


While City do look mesmeric of late, it's only 11 vs 11. Moyes has been working on our squad fitness and let's hope it pays off today as we are going to be doing a lot of chasing!

Kick off is 4pm. I've been looking at a Vox A.C. 30 of late. A crisp twenty quid note says Moyes' boys can win it for me!

Let's rock!!!


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Bottom at Christmas?....there's still hope!

David Moyes' embattled troops head for Man City away tomorrow without the services of our main offensive weapons in Carroll and Chicharito, along with the likelihood that Winston Reid will also be unavailable. In all honesty, its hard not to feel fearful for our chances of not shipping another painful hiding.

With Chelsea and Arsenal to follow, we are understandably favourites at 4/5 on with BetVictor to be bottom at Crimbo, and frankly, we deserve to be. With an away game at Stoke on the 16th and a home clash with Newcastle on the 23rd, perhaps we can pick up a few points but there may be some hard yards between here and the Stoke game.

The January transfer window offers some hope but in all honesty the problem is not the quality of the squad but the team dynamics and our loss of confidence. We really need a win badly and can kick on from there. For the longer suffering Hammers, we can predict that in typical fashion we will grab a spectacular result against one of the big guns that await in the next three fixtures. If not, maybe we can take a little consolation from the fact that Leicester were bottom in 2014 and we all know what followed!

So, with Antonio back in the mix maybe we can switch Arnautovic to his preferred left sided role and Antonio should provide better cover for Zabaleta. Sakho has downed City before and will surely lead the attack. We are 35-1 against with betfair to win tomorrow.....

35-1 in a two horse race!!!

Must be worth a tenner?

 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

White Walker Downs Hammers in Game of Groans

Hopes were high that a change of management could sort out the mess at West Ham and where better than a visit to a recently misfiring Watford? However, Watford were more than well prepared for anything West Ham had to offer and bossed a first half where Will Hughes opened their account with an ice-cool finish. In truth, the Hornets were unlucky to reach the break only a goal to the good. Apart from a late Kouyate effort, Moyes' men looked pretty clueless and spent large parts of the half chasing Watford.

The second half was a little less one sided and again Kouyate missed a great chance before Watford doubled their lead with a Richarlison strike that Joe Hart may well feel he could have done better with. After that it became a test of mental strength as the Hammers tried to chisel a way back. Lanzini teamed up well with Masuaku and went close, but most Hammers fans knew that if it stayed at 2-0 that would be as good as we could hope for and mercifully the game petered out, albeit with a seemingly endless period of pointless extra time.

Mr Moyes has much to do and after today he will have a sense of the magnitude of the task as we looked shapeless and low in confidence. In fact, lets call it as it really looked - for all intents and purposes we are playing like a relegation side right now. Leicester next at home, followed by away games at Goodison and then Man City....

Winter is coming.

What can we expect from the "Moyes' Method"

The departure of Slaven Bilic was a sad moment for many fans as he offered a clear connection with our past and understood the West Ham way. However, after two seasons that offered much hope, things fell apart and in the end it seemed a mercy to bring things to an end. We wish him well in his next adventure.

So today we get to experience the Moyes' "magic". Undoubtedly a good organiser, firm disciplinarian and with an ability to get more out of his teams than the sum of their parts, he is in many ways the right person to sort out our undoubtedly talented but underperforming squad. However, his preferred style could hardly be considered anything like the West Ham way such that from a strategic perspective this may be a step backwards towards a fancy version of Big Sam.

Currently stuck in the relegation zone and on a downward slide, perhaps this more pugnacious style of football is what we need and, in reality, maybe Moyes is what we most need right now. Today's game will tell a lot about how well the players are responding to his physically demanding methods but will also provide an interesting insight into what he makes of the squad. The absence of Chicharito is a disappointment as it would have been fascinating to see how he will use Carroll, Sakho, Chicharito and maybe even Martinez as an attacking resource.

At the back, the starting XI will tell a lot about what he thinks of the relative merits of our centre backs and also the Cresswell vs Masuaku face off. In midfield, Moyes likes an sensible head (Noble) but will be attracted to the mobility of Obiang and Kouyate. Marko Arnautovic will be wondering where he fits in the grand scheme of things having become the figurehead for the failed season to date and especially after Moyes' adverse  midweek comments. Young Declan Rice will surely be hoping that he can continue his ascent as Moyes has been a good developer of younger talent in the past.

For these reasons, there seems little point in trying to predict a starting XI but we can expect a tighter formation and a lot more metres covered than under Bilic. Moyes himself is under a lot of scrutiny after his mixed experiences since leaving Everton for what most recognise was a poisoned chalice at Old Trafford and then at Sunderland. He did OK in Spain but this is perhaps the first chance since Everton to work with a team that is better than it's billing. We should probably expect a conservative approach, a dull game and a tight scoreline - and probably not just for this game alone!!!

COYI.