Saturday 31 March 2018

In Yer Face! This is a big big game in so many ways...

With all the off field activity in recent times West ham have quietly slipped into a real relegation dog fight. We are likely to require at least two more wins and another couple of results in order to stay up. Given a tough run in, where home 'advantage' will be in uncertain supply, we look in big big trouble.

Undoubtedly the games against Stoke and today's visitors, Southampton, will be critical to the outcome of a difficult season. It's an understatement to suggest that the atmosphere will be tense today and that the first goal will be crucial. We need leaders today - this is a game made for Mark Noble but the uncertainty regarding James Collins' availabilty is deeply concerning, as well as the Lanzini injury.

On the plus side, Masuaku is back and we have to hope that Mr Moyes gives him the opportunity to continue his potent partnership with Marko Arnautovic. Similarly, Declan Rice keeps getting better and better having been labelled Ireland's best player after his recent international debut vs Turkey. Right now he looks like a better option than the ineffective Joao Mario - just the latest player to demonstrate the need to do transfer business in the Summer as January only seems to bring other club's left overs.

Southampton bring the Hughes-Arnie and Austin-Sullivan factors just to add extra spice to what is a fascinating encounter.

We can do this.

Rory Nostradamus says 3-1 home win.


P.S. the pic is of punk legends Peter and the test tube babies relaxing after Thursday might's excellent Dublin gig. Thanks lads! Their new album is classy and called 'In Yer Face' - hopefully our lot will take heed and really go at it today.

Saturday 17 March 2018

Five changes that can save West Ham from relegation

After three onfield batterings on the trot, Moyes and his army find themselves in deep deep relegation doh-dah! While the off field problems are undoubtedly an unwelcome distraction, central to our recent difficulties has been the loss of a functioning formation that can deliver goals while keeping it tight at the back.

Here are five changes that can get the team back on track and save Moyes' men from relegation disaster:

1. Bring Masuaku straight back into the side. After serving a harshly prolonged six week ban, Arthur has served his punishment and will be chomping at the bit. Its hard not to notice hoe Arnie has lost his form since Arthur went missing.

2. Drop Joao Mario. We might dream of he and Lanzini pairing up as the Mario brothers but in reality we dont have room for two defensively lightweight players in midfield.

3. Its time to promote Declan Rice to a regular starting berth in midfield. I am a big fan of Kouyate but he is horribly out of form and our midfield lacks a bite that Rice's energy can bring.

4. Use Chico more. We would really benefit from some of the cheaper goals that a predator like Hernandez brings. With some tense and likely close encounters looming against Southampton and Stoke, he can be the difference.

5. Bring back Payet. Just kidding! We need players with true grit, warriors who will put bodies on the line etc etc...thank God Ginge is back at centre back. We'll be needing him.

Its incredibly tight in the bottom half this year. The smalkest of things might tilt things in the right or wrong direction. Whatever your thought on all the off field goings on, we need to heed Sir Trev and shelve the issue until we are safe. Let's all get right in behind the team and give them that boost that might make all the difference.

That's what 'real' fans do.


Monday 12 March 2018

And finally....some good news for a change!

WOW! West Ham really are in a total and complete mess right now. With fan unrest bringing all manner of bad media upon the club while on the pitch our defence has lost its way totally, Hammers faithful really need some good news right now.

Given our atrocious away record this season, the home games against Southampton and Stoke will be crucial. The return of Arthur Masuaku - after a severe six game ban for spitting - can kick start a team that needs a boost both in defence and in attack. Masuaku can bring both and will be desperate to prove his worth. With Patrice Evra filling in with modest success, David Moyes must be tempted to bring Masuaku straight back into the side.

Otherwise, the team will benefit from a break and take the opportunity to rebuilt confidence. Whatever about what is going on off the field, the club need to get behind our underperforming team if we want to avoid dropping back to the dreaded Chumpionship! 



Monday 5 March 2018

Cheer up: at least its not boring!

Towards the end of the Allardyce era things had reached a very dull plateau at West Ham with lower-midtable obscurity a pretty sure bet the longer it went on. Then we had the nearly period with SuperSlav where with a bit of luck we could have broken into Europe before the wheels came off and we lost faith.

Now its David Moyes and what a frantic period for the club! With fans seriously unsettled with the board and divided into marchers and non-marchers, coupled with the realisation that we are in a thrilling (?) Relegation battle that will likely keep us on the edge of our seats until the last kick of the season! Is it really all that bad?

Oh, and Andy Carroll has been snapped having a few beers in his local, no doubt unwinding after a week of heavy fitness training in an effort to get back before the season ends...

Chaos, madness,, comedy, as usual then i guess! Did anybody else feel a bit miffed at a group of fans hijacking the notion of being 'real'...does that make everybody else not real if they don't agree with every sentiment or action of the group? Respectfully (and the real group did start a campaign that is energising fans to have more say in our club and how it develops) but calling anything 'real' can only end in division.

Interesting times - real fans will see them through and focus on getting behind a team that really needs our support right now.


Friday 2 March 2018

Judean Popular Peoples Front Consider Their Position

However divided West Ham seemed as a club a few weeks ago, the unilateral decision by the 'Real' supporters group to cancel the planned March has left supporters in a state of disunited disarray. With so many different groups involved, perhaps such a split was inevitable but its worth revisiting why the movement gathered momentum so quickly - and that was primarily because of a lack of confidence in the board delivering on a raft of promises. At present, for many fans looking on there is no real reason to believe that anything has actually changed - apart from a few more promises!

Let's hope that we don't descend into chaos and recriminations - early signs amongst the West Ham media are that this is likely as there are already a series of articles expressing a thinly veiled sense of annoyance with the march cancellation occuring in this way.

As a first step it will be good to hear more clearly what was so positive about the meetings with Lady Brady that has placated the march organisers? Given the background to this movement - where words like 'betrayal' have been bandied about, its hard to see how things have suddenly all reached a happy resolution.

For example, does anybody really believe that David Sullivan will relinquish ultimate control over transfers? We may well install a director of transfer activity but they will undoubtedly be answerable to the board. It also seems a big ask that such an opinionated force keep his thoughts out of the media. Leopard and spots comes to mind!

At this point it would be better to focus upon visibly achievable changes. The stated demands of the march were always a bit vague. One thing that is truly tangible is that the stadium design needs rethinking to make it more football-friendly.

Also, the club need to stop urging folk to join the hopelessly long season ticket waiting list - either its 20,000+ long or not. If it is, really what is the point of joining it apart from making a donation to West Ham Inc?

It seems unlikely that this story is over just yet! Let's stick together, whatever else this episode has created a sense of unity and purpose. The challenge is to keep that positivity focused where it needs to be on the bigger picture of making fans connected with and proud of our club.