It's a pretty positive place around Upton Park these days, with the mighty Hammers flying high while also playing attractive football in the traditional "West ham way". Word on the street is that Ray Winstone has been signed up as the next high profile Hammers fan to do the 'Kiss Sam Challenge' during the after match victory celebrations at Upton Park. As lowly Aston Villa arrive to (seemingly) provide fodder for the Hammers to again show off their attacking prowess, it's worth bearing in mind that this is the type of match that a side playing true to the West Ham traditional would lose, thus heralding the latest false dawn!
In the past, our efforts have often been scuttled by determined and well organised opponents - something we might expect from a Roy Keane 'inspired' side. Moreover, Although last week's result away to Stoke was pleasing- especially with the gutsy way we managed to fight back from a seemingly impossible position at 2-0 down and sinking fast - its worth noting that for an hour a very modest Stoke City side bossed us and enjoyed 60% of the possession. Meanwhile, our full backs were pulled asunder and we were lucky to avoid a spanking. Stoke are certainly formidable at home, but they are no world beaters and usually bludgeon rather than outclass their opponents. We experienced the latter until Valencia's goal which was very much against the run of play.
|Even Mrs Brady - Old Lady gets a piece of the action!|
Despite all the talk, Alex Song didn't have a great game in comparison to the colossal performances of previous games and Enner Valencia was anonymous for the first hour.
However, whether by necessity or good judgement, Sam was forced to shake it up and bringing on Carlton Cole with Downing slipping inside and more central changed the game. Moreover, we demonstrated a degree of ruthlessness that has been lacking since the famous 'Boys of '86' era.
Expect Villa to huff and puff, but without the suspended Benteke they are unlikely to blow any houses down, while the return of Diafra Sakho can only add to the current sense of invincibility and you'd have to think that if we can get an early goal then we could be in for an enjoyable day.
|Oh, alright then you saucy Scots bugger!|
It could be fun watching Senderos et al try to contain the pace of Sakho and Valencia, especially if Stewie SuperDowning decides to celebrate his call up to the England squad with another attacking masterclass. Not many Liverpool (or West Ham) fans would have predicted that when he first arrived at the Boleyn after a rough time at Anfield.
However, VERYWESTHAM are most interested in seeing how much possession the Song-Noble-Kouyate axis can muster against the Villa midfield as this will demonstrate if we have truly reclaimed the West Ham tradition.
|Er...No. Just a handshake thanks.|
Its great to be facing into games with a sense of excitement along with an expectation that we will be going straight for the ......and with a genuine confidence that we should get a good result.
Prediction: Hammers to take the claret leaving Villa with the blues at 2-0.
Sakho to go 7 from 7.
Sam's after match interview to be disturbed by Ray Winstone storming the interview to give Sam a manly bear hug. No kisses this time out but three more valuable points please!