Sunday, 25 August 2019

Bobby Bubbles Player Ratings in the Win at Watford

Watford are one of our least popular opponents but Saturday demonstrated how we have started to get to grips with the Hornets. Building from our 4-1 thrashing of them at the end of last season. after a close first half yesterday Pellegrini's troops pushed on for a deserved 3-1 win that has really kick started our season. Bobby Bubbles gives his verdict:

Pellegrini: Bringing on Antonio early in the second half was the master stroke that changed the game. However, we still look disorganised and jumpy at the back! 8/10.

Fabianski:  Calm and assured despite a shaky defence in front of him. No blame for the goal. 8/10

Fredericks:  Solid if unremarkable stuff. Needs to bring more to our attack but still getting game time with Yarmo and Antonio. 7/10.

Ogbonna: More assured after the poor performance at Brighton where all the transfer talk clearly unsettled him. 7/10.

Diop:  You sense that he prefers playing alongside Balbuena. Solid performance, albeit with the odd bit of chaos but Watford are a hard side to defend against as they have a very fluid attack. 7/10

Masuaku: Not right enough for the goal but in fairness our midfield was too casual getting back and left us horribly exposed. Otherwise, another decent performance and he is decent going forward7/10.

Rice: Solid throughout without any remarkable moments. 7/10.

Noble: Captain Claret is back! A trademark cool penalty and usual strong leadership throughout. His return was undoubtedly a major factor in our getting the win. 8/10.

Lanzini:  Looks right back to his old self and back on the pace. Excellent play leading up to the penalty. Tricky throughout. 8/10.

Anderson: Always looks capable of opening things up and did so for the crucial second goal. 8/10.

Haller: Excellent stuff. Looks the real deal - pacy, skilful, two-footed and knows where the net is as he demonstrated twice. The 2nd goal was a delight. The first of many MOTMs we hope! 9/10.

Yarmolenko: Still finding his feet again but had some good moments before a surprisingly early substitution. 7/10.


Antonio: A real game changer with his physicality and movement. Almost scored twice with the second effort responsible for our third goal. It's hard to know whether he should start or provide a super sub function??? 8/10.

Fornals: No major impact 5/10.

Next up Norwich and the chance to get into the top half. This time last year we were pointless...

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Wholesale Changes as Hammers Look to Kickstart Season

After a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to Man City, West ham now look to an away trip to Brighton to get their season started in earnest. The absence of seb Haller and Felipe Anderson is a big loss for the Hammers. Moreover, Brighton won 3-0 away to Watford last week and may expect to get a good result today but Pellegrini has shaken things up and has interesting options on the bench with Yarmolenko, Antonio and Ajeti. 

The awarding of the captains armband to incoming Angelo Ogbonna speaks volumes as to how close the call is for centre back berths at present. 

Rory Nostradamus predicts a 2-2 draw.

Starting XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Wilshere, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Fornals, Hernandez

Substitutes: Roberto, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Sanchez, Antonio, Yarmolenko, Ajeti

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Here We Go

The Hammers may have a snazzy new kit but there may not be a lot else to celebrate about  opener against the irrepressible Man City. Our recent record gives little cause for optimism as we have continued to leak goals at a hefty rate in preseason and our results against City themselves have been conclusively disappointing in recent times, including another 4 goal concession at the Asia trophy in July. 

However, it's a new start and West Ham have some new blood who can hopefully make a difference. Declan Rice is a year older and will look to make a bigger impact in midfield compared with the total concession of recent encounters. It's also worth noting that although the Hammers were thumped 0-4 in the equivalent fixture last November, we matched City in chances created! Sadly, we learned how clinical they can be. Equally, at City in February, they stumbled home 1-0 courtesy of a VERY dodgy penalty decision. 

Up front, newbie Seb Haller has been forthright in his assessment of the game!  In a Daily Mirror piece he revealed "What a sh*t game to start with!.....There are better games to build your confidence. Hopefully I will touch the ball!"

Pellegrini doesn't do park the bus tactics so we can expect a high scoring thriller! We reckon City will be too strong but are opting for a 2-2 draw with Haller and one other pitching in for the Hammers.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

The image that Hammers Fans most want to see right now!

With our last post recalling the Incegate fiasco where the Guvnor had his picture released in his new clubs colours before the deal was official, switch forward to 2019 and such misleading imagery is so much easier to put out there!

So, as Italian press reveals that Sebastien Haller is on his way to the London stadium for E40m from Eintract Frankfurt the Hammers are looking forward to welcoming a player often referred to as the new David Trezeguet. Fast and powerful, he looks well suited to the Premier League and notched 19 goals last year in the Bundesliga along with a hoist of valuable assists- stats that outperform Mr Maxi Gomes!

Fingers crossed, here is how he will look in the handsome new kit!

Traitor-Rator: Who is West Ham's biggest Ever Judas?

After all of the positivity of last season when after a poor start the squad found its mojo and delivered a host of good results playing attractive football, once again we now face falling back to where we started. 

With Marko Arnautovic's departure, the club are struggling to identify a forward who can provide the regular supply of goals that would allow the club to push to the next level and maybe even European football. 

With the Maxi Gomez deal all but dead, its hard to see who might come in. As a much needed distraction, let's focus our fury on Arnie and ask - is he the worst ever Judas to play for the club?

To add a little objectivity, we have rated our top four traitors according to the following characteristics; 
1. How two faced was the departure?
2. How self serving was he in making it happen?
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time?
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'?
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness?

Let's start with that 'Big time Charlie', Paul Ince. A childhood Hammer, Ince was one of the few positives to emerge in the Post-Billy Bonds era and despite decent personal performances was part of the relegated side in 1989 which saw John lyall depart after 15 years at the helm. Ince aws photographed in a Manchester United shirt to save him having to come back from holidays for a new signing photograph for the press, the deal was postponed as he failed the initial medical. However, the tabloids still published the picture and all hell broke out! Ince escaped after a second medical and one game into the 1989-1990 season. The departure was badly managed but Ince has cited that at 21 years old he was naive. In truth, the club was in a mess and had a yoyo period for the following 4 seasons getting relegated and promoted twice and Ince was a wanted player at a selling club. He enjoyed playing the panto villain in matches between Man utd and the Hammers but has not spoken negatively of the club over the years.
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 2/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 2/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 2/5
Total score 11/25.

Next up is Jermain Defoe. Also 21 years old, he was a bright young star of an amazing Hammers squad who somehow managed to get relegated in 2004 with a squad teeming with stars but low on luck! While the Hammers can claim the greatest ever escae from relegation in 2007, 2004 was surely the stupidest relegation from the Premiership? Defoe reacted badly to the relegation and within 24 hours made a written request for a transfer. Distressed fans focused their annoyance on his insensitivity and he was turned down by the club. He stareted the following season at West Ham but refused to sign a new contract and had an obviously poor attitude, picking up three red cards in 22 appearances before the club lost patience and sold him to Spurs. Over the years he has repeatedly  apologised to supporters for mishandling the move due to his young age and often expressed a desire to return to make amends. 
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 4/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 1/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 1/5
Total score 11/25.

Et maintenant, c'est Dimitri Payet. Surely the most naturally gifted Hammer of recent times. Payet arrived in June 2015 and quickly established himself as a fans favourite with a series of impressive performances that woshortlisted him for PFA player of the year while he received the Hammer of the year award. A lucrative new contract arrived then suddenly in January 2017 (aged 29) he refused to play for the club stating that he wanted to return to Olympic Marseille. After much huffing and puffing he left for a modest fee. He later stated that he felt the club lacked ambition and that he was 'bored'.
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 5/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 4/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 4/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 4/5
Total score 19/25.

So finally, Mad Marko Arnautovic. We cant say that we weren't warned by Stoke fans after he smahed his way out of their club to join the Hammers. He arrived in Summer 2017 and after a poor start switched to a new central attacking role that proved a piece of David Moyes genius. 11 goals and Hammer of the year award followed. On to this season and he started getting restless before Christmas as rumours of Chinese interest surfaced. After much stealth, using his agent brother Danijel to voice the Mr Hyde half of his persona, he seemed placated by a big new deal. He denied ever wanting to leave but then submiited a transfer request in mid Summer and forced a bargain purchase for Shanghai SPG where he will presumably see out his career being paid huge money in a pointless league. As yet there have been no noises from Marko about his departure but the series of incredibly two-faced statements in his final six months will surely annoy fans for a long time! The difficulty replacing him is currently hurting the club but Manuel Pellegrini has a talent for bringing in top players so we wait in hope!

1. How two faced was the departure? 5/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 5/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 1/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 5/5
Total score 19/25.

Wow!!! A draw between Marko and Dimi!!! Arnie will be furious as he loves to hog the limelight. It's interesting how our old skool traitors are lightweight compared with the two-faced mercenaries of the modern era! 

Monday, 29 April 2019

Julien's Faux Pas #14: Neighbours...

Oh yes, after the sensational events of the weekend let's celebrate with a JFP to commemorate the occasion of West Ham becoming the first away side to score at Tottenham's new home and, of course, the first to slay the Hotspurs!

How many celebrity Hammers can you identify and one cheeky sod has made a double appearance?


Why not have a little sing along as you savour the scene?

Everybody needs good neighbours
Just a friendly wave each morning
Helps to make a better day
Need to get to know eachother
Next door is only a footstep away
Everybody needs good neighbours
With a little understanding
You can find the perfect blend
Should be there for one another
That's when good neighbours become good friends


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Bobby Bubbles Player Ratings as Hammers Humble Hotspurs

Lukasz Fabianski - 10

Has had an outstanding season and once again was impeccable between the sticks. Pulled off a number of crucial saves with early two stops when Son looked set to score possibly the most important.

Ryan Fredericks -10

Really starting to find his feet in the past few games. His pace was important today and he used to Great effect on a number of occasions including an absolutely crucial block towards the end.

Issa Diop - 10

Most West Ham fans are of the view that our best centre-back partnership consists of Balbuena and Diop (Sorry Angelo!). Today's performance cemented that view as Issa looked back to his best and even showed some attacking prowess with a barnstorming run towards the end. Young players are prone to periods of loss of focus and he has come through his!

Fabian Balbuena - 10

A towering presence at the back and at this stage looks back to full match fitness after his injury over the Christmas period. Topped things off with the crucial for clearance off the line at the very end. Outstanding!

Arthur Masuaku - 10

Only a month ago he looked to be on his way out of the club, but after a series of excellent performances (where he's looked much steadier in defence) he looks to have a real future of the club next season.

Declan Rice - 10

Absolutely brilliant once again. Seems to have boundless energy. Another memorable performance as he put himself about with Eric Dier's late entrance only serving to underline how much better Dekky is as a defensive midfielder option!  He really is good enough to build team around over the next couple of years.

Mark Noble - 10

it's hard to imagine life  without Captain Claret  and today was just the latest example of his total commitment to the club. Above all other players of recent times, Noble deserved to be on the West Ham team that goes down in history as the first to beat Spurs at their new ground. Class.

Robert Snodgrass - 10

Has totally turned it around at West Ham and is now a fans favourite. Not afraid to put in about a bit and picked up a yellow card for his troubles today. Ran his socks off until he was substituted.

Felipe Anderson - 10

Absolutely brilliant again and a constant threat to Spurs. Hasn't scored for a while but had z couple of close efforts and, as always, can hold onto the ball when needed with his superquick feet.

Michail Antonio - 10

Put simply, he has recovered his pace after all those hamstring issues of last year and is thoroughly enjoying himself. Superb finish for a memorable goal and almost nabbed a second!

Marko Arnautovic - 10

His best game in a while - looked up for it again....who knows what will happen in the Summer.