Saturday 27 February 2021

The Cyborg Bleeds!

After 12 hours wothout conceding, the Man City machine has been wounded as West ham have scored to go in 1-1 at half time!

West ham have given up 70% of posession but City have so far had only two shots on target, while Michail Antonio has hit the post and scored the crucial equaliser as the Hammers have gone for a counterattacking ploy.

Whatever the final result, at least Moyes' men have demonstrated that Man City's defence can be breached. Peps lads look stunned. More we say, MORE!


Sunday 21 February 2021

Player Ratings as Hammers Hold on For Dramatic Win

Where will it end? West ham left fans dreaming of all sorts of possibilities after a victory over arch rivals Spurs with the kind of result that sides on a roll dig out. In truth, it was an anxious final half hour as David Moyes well drilled troops had to be at their very best as Spurs through everything at them.

But with cool heads and a little bit of good fortune Kane, Song and Bale were sent home without anything to show for their efforts. As a result the Hammers move back into 4th place, just a point away from second place with just 13 games to play! 

Bobby Bubbles has settled down enough to reveal his player ratings for the game

Lukasz Fabianski (8): Totally reliable once again. Had to deal with a series of tricky shots and was saved by the bar and the post in the final frantic moments. We need to pin him down to a new contract asap!

Vladimir Coufal (8): Had a tough day dealing with Song and maybe Fredericks would have provided better support than Bowen but solid throughout.

Craig Dawson (8) - Super again and along with Diop hardly put a foot wrong all day. We are managing Oggys absence very well so far.

Issa Diop (8.5) - Brilliant. Has slotted back in seamlessly and looks composed and focused. Took no nonsense from bully boy Kane. He really has a bright future ahead.

Aaron Cresswell (7) - A tough day at the office as Spurs targeted the flanks but did well as Maurer and Bale came a knocking. Maybe could've been more alert for their goal.

Pablo Fornals (7) - Back after being rested for a few games. Looked hungry and linked in well with Lingard for the crucial second goal.

Declan Rice (8.5) - Huge presence in midfield and put in goal saving block right at the end that underlined his impact upon the game. Will be playing European footy for West ham next season if we can maintain this momentum!

Tomas Soucek (8) - We have run out of superlatives for this guy. Even did a bit of bloodied warrior stuff to add to the occasion! Just a head in a very tight Hammer of the year race!

Jarrod Bowen (7.5) - In and out. He does lose possession a lot but also his direct style opens up chances such as Antonio's opener. Not his best day defensively.

Jesse Lingard (8.5) - Another super performance. Incisive and skillful. Topped it off with a delicious strike that proven the difference between the sides. How is he so fit after such a long time without game time?

Michail Antonio (8.5) - Could sense the defensive weakness of Spurs and duly pounced. Had a good game in terms of keeping a presence up top and did heaps of unglamorous tracking back. We need him to stay fit!


Noble and Johnson were not on long enough to rate.

Said Benrahma (8) - Late entrance but as always was lively and helped lessen the relentless tide towards our goal as Spurs looked for an elusive equaliser. Needs a goal and you sense that the floodgates will open.

Antonio Leads the Line as Moyes Plays it Tight

Here we go. David Moyes has started with  conservative line up but has plenty on the bench if needed. Both Antonio and Kane start for their respective sides. It'll be a tactical fascination! Both Antonio and Lanzini have excellent scoring records (n=4) against Spurs. Both sides like to counterattack, so the first strike could well be key. Will a shaky Spurs defence be able to handle set piece kings West Ham?

Much to consider!

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Bowen, Fornals, Lingard, Bowen, Antonio

Subs: Randolph (GK), Martin (GK), Fredericks, Johnson, Balbuena, Noble, Lanzini, Benrahma, Odubeko

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris ©, Tanganga, Dier, Sánchez, Reguilón, Lamela, Højbjerg, Ndombele, Lucas Moura, Son, Kane
Subs: Hart (GK), Doherty, Alderweireld, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Bale, Alli, Carlos Vinícius

Referee: Craig Pawson

This Could Be One of the Games of the Season!

Here we go, it's truly the business end of the season and unusually the Hammers are in the thick of the battle for European places. It's the perfect time for West ham to host their great friends and neighbours Tottenham Hotspur. Although we cannot be there in the flesh to support our heroes, the Hammers fanbase will no doubt be there in force.

This is a big chance to really put one over on Spurs as a win would send us back in to the top four and a full 9 points clear of Jose Mourinho's stuttering stars. However, its a game that is always hard to call and that traditionally has no respect for current form! The clash presents a fascinating array of possibilities as Moyes and Mourinho go head to head.

This will test David Moyes mindgame abilities - should he spring a surprise by starting with Lanzini - a player who has started to recover his form and who scored one of the goals of the season in sealing a remarkable comeback in the earlier fixture this season as West ham stole a draw with 3 goals in a crazy final 8 minutes! 

Or will he start with Captain Claret to impose experience in midfield - an area of the pitch where West ham will expect to dominate. Will he continue with Ben Johnson after his excellent performance in Monday night's thrashing of Sheffield United. Or will he stick Ryan Fredericks on from the start to counter Spurs pace on the break?

And then there's the whole frontline uncertainty. Key to this will be whether Antonio is available and if so will he be his abrasive best? Will Said Benrahma or Jarrod Bowen make the first XI to partner Jesse Lingard? 

At the back it will be a big game for Issa Diop. The lad has been unlucky with injuries but will need to at his best to manage the physicality of Harry Kane.  

All in all it's a cracking propspect. 

Why not have a little sing along with our celebrity fans 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



Monday 15 February 2021

Bobby Bubbles Player Ratings as Hammers Nail Blades


Happy days again as the Hammers romped home against the hapless Blades tonight to move up to a lofty 4th in the Premiership with just 14 games to play! 

The Blades huffed and puffed but West Ham's impressive defensive set up was too much for them and ultimately the Hammers repeatedly opened them up on the break and, of course, a set piece goal added to the mix as a 3-0 scoreline left the Blades facing an uphill struggle to avoid an increasingly inevitable relegation.

Here are Bobby Bubbles player ratings for the game

Lukasz Fabianski (8): Calm and totally competent throughout with a couple of decent saves to stop the Blades creeping back into the game.

Vladimir Coufal (8.5Another stellar performance from the Czech full-back who almost topped it off with his first Hammers goal. 

Craig Dawson (8) - What a find! Handled the absence of Angelo Ogbonna without fuss and yet again left us wondering how we picked him up for next to nought!  

Issa Diop (8.5) - A super night for the Frenchman who looked composed throughout and also chipped in with an excellent headed goal. He has been patient and underlined how he will be a key part of our set up moving forward. 

Aaron Cresswell (8) - Brilliant again, solid at the back and skillful going forward. Linked in excellently with young Ben Johnson. 

Ben Johnson (8) - looking more and more like Glen Johnson did back in the day. Good decision making and plenty of pace going forward. 

Declan Rice (8) - Huge presence in midfield and really merits the Captain's armband. Cool penalty kick as well.. 

Tomas Soucek (8) - colossal presence all over the field. Hard to decide who is more important to our midfield - Soucek or Rice?

Manuel Lanzini (7) - Constantly nagging at the margins without truly impacting upon things. Not as strong defensively compared to the other attacking midfielders in our squad. 

Jesse Lingard (9) - Another MOTM performance. Incisive and skillful. Unlucky not to grab another goal but his efforts for the penalty changed the game totally. 

Jarrod Bowen (7) - Huffed and puffed. Did better in terms of holding on to possession compared to lately. An important part of the machine. 


Mark Noble (7) - Solid after he replaced Lanzini. 

Said Benrahma (7) - Late entrance but as always was lively and set up Ryan Fredericks for the killer blow at the end.

Ryan Fredericks (8) - Great squad player and his pace is a valuable asset when facing counter-attacking sides. Tonight it was about shoring things up and a brilliant goal!

West Ham's Campaign for European Action Laid Bare

As the Hammers prepare for the 'Tevez Derby' with the visit of bottom of the league Sheffield United tonight, results over the weekend mean that a win could lift them back up to fourth if stumbling Chelsea do not overcome Newcastle.

With almost two thirds of the season played Hammers fans can look to Europe with real hope and in the knowledge that, in contrast to most seasons, they are already well above the ten wins that are typically required to ensure Premiership safety. 

But how many wins are needed to achieve top six status? Over the past five years it has typically taken 16-18 victories but this season's results so far suggest that a lower victory count will suffice and the usual 20+ wins needed for a top four place may well be as low as 20 wins!

West ham's best placing in recent years was in the 2015/6 season where Slaven Bilic led his side to 7th with 16 wins in a season that saw Andy Carroll available and in scoring form with Dimitri Payet wowing the league and amassing 12 cracking goals. 

All of which raises the important question of whether David Moyes' men can continue their excellent form and what win total can they achieve?

Looking over the Hammers remaining games - 8 at home and 7 away gives considerable hope that with a bit of luck (e.g. a few penalties for a change) and the squad avoiding injuries (a long shot given recent concerns regarding Oggy and Antonio), a top six finish is very achievable. 

So far the Hammers have achieved a similar points haul in home and away fixtures during this season of empty stadiums and lie 5th in the away results league and 8th in the home league which would change to 6th if they can win tonight.

The remaining 15 fixtures are

Home: Sheff Utd, Leeds, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester, Chelsea, Everton and Southampton

Away: Man City, Man Utd, Wolves, Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton, West Brom

If the Hammers can stay in the race over the next ten relatively tough games then their run in provides plenty of winnable games. However, the home clashes with Spurs, Everton and Chelsea are six pointers that will be key to our final placing.

Let's start with a win tonight and then another 5-6 wins should be enough for a top six placing. 

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Blunt Hammers Look To Nail Red Devils

Here we go. In the bigger scheme of things tonight's fifth round FA cup clash is high priority for West ham. As the push for top six European status stutters, David Moyes has asked his side to win the cup for Captain Claret, Mark Noble.

Speaking of which, the man himself returns to add numbers in midfield and, hopefully, to free up Tomas Soucek to push further forward. Unfortunately, the failure to replace Seb Haller has already caught up on the Hammers as Michail Antonio is rested with fatigue.

Andriy Yarmolenko leads the line but evidence to date suggests that he is no replacement for the boisterous Antonio. With Said Benrahma also not in the starting line up it is hard to see where the creativity might come from.

Set pieces will be crucial and it will be fascinating to see how well Harry Maguire copes with the considerable threat posed by Soucek et al. That's if the Hammers can get some set piece action. Interestingly, Yarmolenko is clever at getting corners so that offers some hope. 

Elsewhere, the Hammers have their usual starting back five and wikl hope to keep things tight. Solksjaer has shuffled his horde with no Pogba and Bruno Fernandes starting on the bench.

Will Mipo Odubeko get his long awaited start? Either way, there has to be a winner tonight as there can be no replay back at the London stadium. David Moyes has never won in 13 attempts as an away manager at Old Trafford, but its Covidtime. 

Any bets on Benrahma opening his Hammers account with a winner from the bench?

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Souček, Bowen, Noble (c), Fornals, Yarmolenko

Subs: Trott (GK), Fredericks, Johnson, Diop, Balbuena, Alves, Lanzini, Benrahma, Odubeko

Manchester United: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Telles, Matic, Fred, Greenwood, van de Beek, Rashford, Martial
Subs: Grant (GK), Shaw, Tuanzebe, Williams, Fernandes, James, McTominay, Diallo, Cavani

Saturday 6 February 2021

The images that will give West Ham hope

Hammers fans were left frustrated at their team's inability to get out of first gear as they stumbled to a barely deserved point at Fulham tonight but they were keft infuriated by referee Mike Dean's dreadful sending off of Tomas Soucek in the last minute of play for a clearly accidental coming together between his elbow and Alex Mitrovic's face!

Mitrovic for his part tried to communicate that it was not malicious to referee Mike Dean but to no avail. Now West ham will surely appeal the decision in the hope that Soucek can play against Manchester United in the Hammers next game. One suspects that this image may help

Failing that, Specsavers have jumped in behind Soucek's case with an amusing response to the PL tweet announcing the incident!

Jasper Carrott to Disown Mike Dean

Dear dear me, he's at it again. The most attention craving referee in the Premiership has once again stolen the headlines, and once again for a howler of a decision.

Mike 'funny ha ha' Dean sent off West Ham's Tomas Soucek for an allegedly violent incident in the final minute of a tepid Premiership encounter at Craven Cottage.

Soucek and Alexander Mitrovic tussled on the edge of Fulham's penalty box in preparation for the Hammers final throw of the dice with an injury time free kick. 

Dean took an eon looking at footage, during which he did not wind back to get a sense of context and then spotting the opportunity to grab the headlines produced a red card - even though Mitrovic indicated that it was not malicious.

Hilarious, but not in a Jasper Carrott kinda way. The football loving Brummie will surely disown his refereeing lookalike after yet another horrible gaff. 

Meanwhile, Fulham will feel they deserved more than a point from a game where they were the only side who got any momentum but sadly for Scott Parker's men it was not to be and the point does little to ease their dire circumstances.

Meanwhile, its back to the drawing board for Moyes and Co. Ahead of their FA cup fifth round visit to Old Trafford next Tuesday. 

Whether thd unfair card can be overturned remains to be seen but there is s growing sense that its time to put Dean out to pasture.

Hammers Ready to Crash Back into the Top Four!

Here we go, a chance to go back in to the top four as we approach the business end of the season. David Moyes has fielded an aggressive starting XI with Bowen returning for Ryan Fredericks. 

The Hammers rather limped home when these sides met just a few weeks back as Fulham missed 'that' penalty with the last kick of the game!

Hammers will be hoping that Said Benrahma will finally break his duck, while Jesse Lingard will lookbto build upon his fabulous debut against Villa.

West ham are evens for the win, Fulham are 3-1 against. 

Kick off is at 5.30. 

West Ham XI: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Lingard, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Martin (GK), Johnson, Diop, Balbuena, Lanzini, Fornals, Bowen, Yarmolenko, Odubeko

Five things we have learned about West Ham this week

Its been a week of great happiness at West ham with a brilliant away win at Villa and a genuine sense that this squad can really go places, possibly even to a level we have never been before as the outside chance of Champions League football has entered our consciousness. 

The week began with an underwhelming performance against Liverpool where Moyes' men failed to get to grips with a makeshift Reds and eventually were rolled over as Liverpool scored three brilliant goals to coast home. Of note, Michail Antonio missed a great chance to put the Hammers ahead before the Red tide took over but in reality West ham lacked the ambition needed to to ask questions of the Liverpool defence and we ultimately paid the price.

But this Hammers team is made of tough stuff and bounced back with possibly our best showing of the season against Villa, with 5-star performances all round as new signing Jesse Lingard slotted in to a fully firing attack and Villa simply couldn't cope.

So, a big week that had many reveals about the current state of the club. Five points stand out.

1. This team is the most physically robust we have had in decades. We are a nightmare from set pieces and have energy to burn. Historically we have been a side that runs out of puff in the final 15 minutes but under headmaster Moyes we are properly conditioned. Add to that the array of talent on the bench and we have tremendous capacity to maintain tempo throughout games. 

2. The Moyes method may not be glamorous bit it is really working and the players respect him. Our defensive set up is excellent, helped by having the huge presence of Rice and Soucek in front of it and a team of wide midfielders who recognise their defensive duties as of equal importance to their efforts in attack. So many players have improved their game under his coaching that we will need to be wary of bigger clubs trying to pinch them when Summer comes - who wouldn't want a player who has prospered under his demanding and disciplined system? Moyes has been hard-headed about transfers as he does not want to disrupt a happy squad and although there have been exceptions, the January transfer market is a place of desperation rather than opportunity. For every Soucek there have been ten Benny McCarthys. Lets hope that our lack of an established back up striker doesn't derail things but talk about bringing in Costa or Sakho is nonsense. They really are not Moyes-type personalities!

3. The squad has great depth in defence and attacking midfielders but we lack cover in central midfield and up front. This, sadly, may be our undoing in terms of a top six finish as injuries to any of Rice, Soucek or Antonio would dramatically alter our ability to dominate games. That said, with a bit of luck in terms of injuries we have a shape and momentum that makes us a real headache for any opposition. One disappointment of late has been the failure to give young striking talent Mipo Odubeko some game time. At 3-0 against Liverpool the game was lost and surely that was the moment to withdraw Antonio and give the young lad a run. Anybody who has watched the footage of his U23 efforts will be excited by his potential as he has a real finishing edge and plenty of guile. Time will tell if he can make the massive leap to the top level but he looks like a genuinely exciting prospect. 

4. Vlad Coufal is the best right back we have hsd since Ray Stewart - so says Tonka himself and he's right. There has rightly been much praise for his performance in cancelling Jack Grealish in midweek, but that has merely been the latest in a series of top performances. He is strong in every aspect of the game but perhaps most of all its his football brain that singles him out. His decision making is simply outstanding and he manages to deliver just the right amount of aggression in these treacherous times for defenders where forwards constantly go down with minimal contact. Add to that his calmness in attack and he really is the whole package.

5. The battle for Hammer of the year will be the closest ever! Its nip and tuck between Soucek, Coufal, Rice, Ogbonna who in any other sesson would already have justified the award. 

Happy days!