Sunday 20 March 2022

Moyes Gets Cagey With Surprise Change to Starting XI

Kick off is approaching for the East London derby between Spurs and West ham with both sides needing a result to bolster their Champions league aspirations. Although the two sides are neck and neck with 48 points, the supercomputer at fivethirtyeight reckons the Hammers have just a 3% chance of making the top four and predicts what would be a hugely disappointing seventh place finish for David Moyes heroes. 

But, with a Europa League quarter final spot nailed down, the Hammers could still crash into the Champions League through that route. 

Moyes has gone cagey for today's clash by dropping Fornals to the bench in a surprise move that sees Masuaku reurn, presumably in a back 3 formation aimed to cool Kane and Son's jets. Benrahma retains his place and Declan Rice has shrugged off his bruised ankle from Thursday night's game. 

Will the Hammers feel the effect of extra time just a few days ago? History suggests that when Moyes tries to play it tight against the bigger clubs that it backfires.

But then of course Yarmo awaits on the bench and with his current form its hard to rule out another key cobtribution from the brave Ukrainian

Anthony Taylor is ref. Hmmm.

West Ham XI: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Masuaku, Rice (c), Soucek, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Areola, Diop, Fornals, Vlasic, Fredericks, Král, Perkins, Yarmolenko, Noble

Friday 18 March 2022

It's Olympic Lyon for the Hammers!


Yes folks, it's for the quarter finals of the Europa league. Not a bad draw! Avoided Leipzig, Barca and Atalanta but no Rangers.

We start at home.

If West ham can overcome the French side it will be either Barcelona or Eintracht Franfurt. Again we would start the two legs at home


Thursday 17 March 2022

Soucek strikes! All square in Hammers vs Sevilla

It's been a cracking first half at the London stadium with West ham dominating but Sevilla looking dangerous when they get forward. 

Antonio looks sharp and almost opened the account after a sublime pass from Said Benrahma. He then waltzed across the Sevilla box and slipped over a superb cross for Soucek to deftly place his header past the hapless Bono in the Sevilla goal. 

1-1 on aggregate and an intriguing second half awaits. 

Advantage Moyes, but only just....

Great News for Hammers as both doubtfuls start

Yowzah! The teams have been announced and both Antonio and Cresswell start, while Vlasic is also fit and on the bench. If needed, Sunday's here Yarmolenko might come on and bring that added spark.

The atmosphere is electric at the London Stadium.Rice and Soucek will be relishing the chance to go toe to toe with Rakitic et al. 

This is a big one!

West Ham United: Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Fornals, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Randolph (GK), Fabiański (GK), Yarmolenko, Noble, Vlašić, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Král, Alese, Chesters, Perkins

Starting XI for St Patrick's Day Clash Revealed

Happy St Paddy's Day all you Happy Hammers folk! 

On the day we get to drink green Guinness and celebrate all things Irish let's consider how the greatest Irish Hammers XI might look.

Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph gets the call and although he has fallen down the ranks of late, he has been a great servant to the club during his two spells at West ham. He gets the nod ahead of the likes of Gerry Peyton, Roy Carroll, Stephen Henderson and, dare we mention ....... Allen McNightmare!

On the defensive front the situation is less impressive. Unbalanced and not endowed with aerial presence. There would undoubtedly be much sweating at set pieces. For some reason West ham does not attract decent Irish defenders!

As full backs Joey 'the Lips' O'Brien and Georgie 'Linda' McCartney are solid if a little uninspiring in attack, but Centre back is a real patch up and forced us to bring Georgie more centrally alongside Gary Breen, with Noel Cantwell taking the left back spot.

A little reminder that Ireland beating England goes way back! 

Midfield is by far our strongest zone. Steve Lomas as enforcer and water carrier and a nice partner for Chippy Brady. Although Brady is primarily a Gooner, we got two very decent seasons out of him that included some cracking moments, and a delightful strike against the Gooners!

Wee Michael Hughes was a great seizure from Wimbledon - gamey, if lacking in physicality, and with a useful habit of scoring at key moments. Both Frank O’Farrell and Tommy Moroney were key contributors in the early fifties but Tommy Moroney gets the final nod, mostly based upon his presence on the glorious Ireland team that was the first foreign team to beat the old enemy on their own turf at Goodison Park in 1949.

We won't talk about Mr Rice as it'll only open still sore wound!

Up front, David Kelly underachieved – too light for top-level English football. David Connolly was too, well, David Connolly (i.e. perfectly average). Jimmy Quinn was a decent contributor in the late 80s while Robbie Keane came and went in the blink of an eye, with most of that time spent on the injury room table, but on the basis of what might have been he gets the nod, just!

And finally, Iain Dowie – a true Hammer who was not prolific by any means but always gave 100% and created opportunity for those around him. A real servant who had two determined spells at the club.

Can Conor Coventry and/or Mipo Odubeko force their way into the reckoning? Let's hope so but it's a big jump from U23 status to a top six side. Fingers crossed. 

So, a team that would by no means be worldbeaters, but we might expect plenty of effort and any side with Liam Brady could always find a moment of magic.  

Enjoy your day and let's hope tonight brings double Paddys day and Europa League celebrations!

P.S. the club are doing a 20% off offer on Irish-Hammers merch until midnight.

How Hammers Can Overcome Sevilla Tonight

It's going to be a big night at the London Stadium as West ham attempt to topple six time Europa League winners Seville. A goal behind from the first leg, Moyes' men will need to be patient against a tight Seville defence that specialises in clean sheets. However, the Hammers can rightly feel unlucky not to have come away with a draw last week and will lok to exploit the wide spaces at their home stadium tonight.

The biggest talking points ahead of the game have been around the availability of Antonio and Cresswell, both touch and go after picking up knocks in last Sunday's win over a feisty Villa side. Of note, the Hammers scored the two goals that brought the win after Cressy and Mikey had gone off, so their absence is not insurmountable for a squad that may be thin in numbers but are big on determination. 

Set pieces will be crucial to the outcome tonight as both sides are well organised in open play. Last week Seville scored a peach from a corner and managed to keep the corner count down for West ham. With that in mind, Benrahma and Fornals need to push for corners at every opportunity. Seville may be well organised, but dealing with Rice, Soucek, Zouma and Dawson is a formidable challenge and if Antonio is fit he can add his usual goalkeeper-suffocation!

Otherwise, the fans will play a big part as European midweek football under the floodlights is what the London stadium move was all about. No English side has overcome Sevilla in nine previous clashes, so the Hammers have it all to do.


Sunday 13 March 2022

хваліть Україну: Yarmolenko Strikes!!!

Wow! Back for his first game since the invasion of his home country, Andriy Yarmolenko has scored the opener at the London stadium.

As captain of the Ukraine national side he has had to carry a massive burden over the past few weeks but as we have witnessed Ukrainians are a resilient bunch and simply will not be toppled. 

There's a very emotional atmosphere out on the pitch right now. 

Sometimes football really hits the spot. 


It's all going pear shaped for West Ham as double injury trouble

After a cagey first half it's all going wrong for West ham as just 10 mins into the second half and both Antonio and Cresswell have limped off. 

Worryingly, Antonio was holding the back of his thigh, raising concerns about a recurrence of his hamstring problems.

Understandably, the Hammers look all out of shape and Villa look emboldened. We are going to need to up our game as Benrahma, Johnson and Lanzini all look off form.


Hammers Chance to Seize the Claret

The Hammers take on Villa in a key clash that could decide the top spot amongst the claret n blue clubs. Having beaten Villa 4-1 earlier in the season and with 4 points from their two games with Burnley, West ham will be looking for at least a point to top the C&B ratings for the season.

More importantly, their grip on a top six spot is slipping with Arsenal and Tottenhan both on decent runs of form, it's all very congested between 4th and 7th. 

No Jarrod Bowen again today, sees Benrahma come in. Otherwise the starting XI is predictable. Villa have picked up 26 points in the 16 games since Gerrard arrived and will be tough nuts to crack.

After a tough game on Thursday at Sevilla and the return leg next Thursday, the thinness of our squad is starting to catch up. You'd love a sneaky 1-0 with no injuries but Coutinho et al will have different ideas.

The smart money is on a 1-1 draw. Hmmm.


Thursday 10 March 2022

Good and Bad news as Hammers Take on Sevilla

There's no magical recovery for Jarrod Bowen as West ham prepare for their biggest European test in a decade. Declan Rice returns after his viral illness to captain the side while Areola continues with his Europa netminding responsibilities. Vlasic gets a rare start and will be looking to impress in a season that has been all stops n starts. 

Kick off is 5.45


Starting XI: Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice (c), Soucek, Vlasic, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio

Subs: Fabianski, Randolph, Noble, Benrahma, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Kral, Alese, Chesters, Potts, Perkins