Saturday, 12 September 2020

Here We Go: Its Circus Time Again!


It may be the weirdest period in living memory but at least there are some constants that we can anchor ourselves to and down at the London Stadium at least it's business as usual! With the club in a state of confusion, player unrest and uncertainty as to our ability to deliver a coherent game plan it's all too familiar. 

But maybe it'd be better to call it no business as usual as we have failed to address the shortcomings in our squad and haven't managed a single noteworthy signing! When Messrs Sullivan and Gold argued for the move away from Upton Park for the older heads we accepted that the payback would be that we would stop selling off our best players. Grady Diangana was a great prospect but he is no Declan Rice, so maybe that part of the deal is true but no additions to a squad that lacks a decent striker (no Antonio is NOT a striker!) and that sorely needs back up in central midfield and across the defence is really worrying. 

Our visitors for tonight's SKY TV featured clash have been canny in the transfer window and picked up decent additions in Jeff Hendricks and Callum Wilson. They took 4 points off us last season and wil fancy their chances of a flying start at the London stadium tonight. 

However, the Toon are struggling at left back which may provide an opportunity for Jarrod Bowen to strut some. Also Tomas Soucek is available to pair up with Declan Rice in midfield. We have lost our opening games for the past four seasons, so avoiding a defeat has to be the first priority, but a win would be a real boost right now and with a torrid looking fixture list next month we need a decent start in September!

As for our final league standing prediction, it really looks bottom half unless we bolster a saggy looking squad. At least our new kit looks smart!

COYI!

Predicted Starting XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Soucek, Bowen, Fornals, Antonio.



Saturday, 20 June 2020

Wow! Moyes picks surprising starting XI!


If the starting XI is anything to go by then Mr Moyes has certainly been switching it about in the lost three month period!

Declan Rice slips to centre back, with Soucek and Noble in midfield, while there's no place for Seb Haller.

Up front its Antonio with Fornals, Bowen and Anderson in behind in what seems to be a 4-2-3-1 formation!

It's not what was predicted but certainly raises the interest with what looks to be a whole new set up under Moyes!

West Ham United: Fabianski; Ngakia, Rice, Diop, Cresswell, Soucek, Noble (c), Bowen, Fornals, Felipe Anderson, Antonio


Substitutes: Randolph, Fredericks, Balbuena, Johnson, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Wilshere, Xande Silva, Ajeti

Here we go! Hammers look to kickstart survival campaign



We're back! After three months of fear, sadness and frustration, today marks the start of truly recovering some sense of normality since the COVID-19 catastrophe began.

Hovering close to relegation (currently in 17th place on goal difference!) we certainly won't be bored from now to the end of the season. With our opponents today looking towards a possible top four finish we will be hoping that all the positive vibes from the training ground will translate into fully fit and motivated players. On a positive note, Moyes' teams rarely want for effort or fitness, so we can expect them to look sharp.

As for the starting XI it's impossible to know what Moyes will do - we look better with two up front but caution calls for three in central midfield, hmmmm. If we do go for a midfield pairing who would you select from Rice, Noble and Soucek - especially now the Czech has had plenty of time to settle in. 

And that's not to mention the circus going on at right back! With Traore seemingly fit again we will need pace at the full back berths. That said, the Ngakia situation is very disappointing all round and is starting to reach the point where he could join the list of ex-players that shall not ever be mentioned!

Just how the absence of a crowd will impact upon things is also intriguing - although the new stadium is no Upton Park in terms of atmosphere, it has improved on the fortress stakes and does provide a degree of home advantage that will be seriously diluted today.

We reckon Moyes will play it cagey and it'll be a low scoring affair. With nine games to go, 38 points (i.e an average of one per game) would likely suffice and we do have a relatively attractive run in. 

If you are watching with mates don't forget to maintain social distancing, even WHEN we score :-)

COYI!!! 




Saturday, 7 March 2020

Julien's Faux Pas #16: Hammers Consolidate VAR League Position

Grrrrrrr. A mighty display again today by the Hapless Hammers rewarded with three more points in the VAR league that puts the Hammers miles ahead at the top of the hard done by decision ratings. Having created the lion's share of chances, the Hammers fell to another borderline decision that did not go their way. It's starting to feel a bit hoodoo at this stage. Maybe its time to bring in the Witch Doctors to try to change our luck?

Anyhoo, here's the latest in the JFP series. 



Team News - Moyes Opts For Offensive Starting XI

The atmosphere is hotting up as we prepare for the Hammers visit to Arsenal. David Moyes was left with lots to ponder on as Tomas Soucek made an unexpectedly fast recovery from the injury he sustained at Anfield, tempting Moyes to shuffle the pack and play a tighter midfield. However, Moyes has decided to go for broke by keeping the starting eleven who impressed in last weeks victory over Southampton. Don't be surprised if we see Soucek before the end though!

Martin Atkinson is match referee.

West Ham United: Fabianski; Ngakia, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble (c), Fornals, Bowen, Antonio, Haller.
Subs: Randolph, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Soucek, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Anderson.

COYI!!!

Tough Call for Moyes as Hammers Midfield is Suddenly Overcrowded!

Can you believe it - West Ham's midfield no longer picks itself! As the Hmmers head to the Emirates looking for precious points to ease their relegation fears, David Moyes has been boosted by the news that Tomas Soucek has made a speedier recovery than expected and is available for today's clash.

However, Moyes has discovered that his best formation seems to include two up top and with the arrival of Jarrod Bowen coupled with the major improvement in Pablo Fornals form, it's hard to know what Moyes will do today.

Messing with a winning team is generally discouraged, so he may start with the team that trounced Southampton and look to Soucek at the hour mark if needed. Equally, Moyes more conservative side may take over and he may drop Bowen and start with Rice-Noble-Soucek in midfield and pulling Antonio to the right wing in an effort to dampen Arsenal efforts to control the game. 

That said, West Ham are doing much better with limited possession as their physicality up top with the twin battering rams of Antonio and Haller are creating chances and maybe they can afford to let midfield slide. In addition, having more pace on the counter can help to keep the Gooners back four back in their own half. 

Some fans think Moyes should go for it as this is a game that West Ham might not expect to get anything from. But this is an Arsenal side that can be rattled and even dominated. A point would be a decent return but a win is possible if the Hammers maintain the form of the past two weeks. Moreover, with all the VAR nonsense so far this year perhaps its time that West Ham got a bit of good luck for a change?

And don't forget that Moyes has Lanzini and Anderson on the bench...

COYI!!!


Here's Why West Ham Will Take Down the Gooners Today!



Yes it is true that West ham have played Arsenal 20 times since 2010 and managed just two wins and two draws (and 16 defeats). For sure, the Gooners are back on a run of good form and have won three of their last four home games while we have lost our last five on the trot. And indeed it is undoubtedly true that the bookies are rarely wrong and that Arsenal are 4/7 on for the win with the Hammers at a generous 9/2.

However, this is no usual Arsenal - 10th in the league and despite our troubles, the Gooners have only won one more game than us and have a similar strike rate. factor in the VAR and dodgy keeper nonsense and essentially West Ham have performed as well as our North London neighbours. 

Add to that the fact that Moyes has discovered upon a formation that works and now has some pace in the side and the Hammers look a different proposition to the toothless lot that stumbled through December to February and into the drop zone. With Antonio fully fit and developing a decent relationship with the rejuvenated Haller, along with Jarrod Bowen providing some bite from midfield, and the Hammers suddenly look capable of springing a surprise. 

Mystic Mark reckons it'll be 1-1, while Chaz Nicholas predicts a Gooners win. More importantly, the eerily accurate Rory Nostradamus has gone for a 2-1 Hammers win!

COYI!!!