Sunday 12 November 2023

Hammers back on track after thrilling victory

Phew! Today's clash with Notts Forest certainly was a lively affair. The sides traded blows and thankfully at full time the Hammers had nosed ahead having trailed 2-1 at one point.

Forest wanted to play, which allowed for an enjoyable spectacle. David Moyes played a Paqueta-Bowen-Kudus attack which relied on fast counterattacking but ironically, it was two set pieces that delivered the crucial goals!

MOTM James Ward Prowse was at his best and grabbed two assists to underline his suitability for international duty. 

The Czech mates had their best performance in ages, with the marauding Coufal cleverly managing an early yellow card while Soucek was dominant at set pieces and scored the winner.

But at the end of the day it still took a sensational save from Areola in stoppage time to seal the win. Back to mid-table as we enter yet another international break. 

Moyes will sleep better after a gutsy performance in which the team looked much more coherent with Zouma back to steady the defence.


Moyes Brings in the Changes

Despite all the talk about giving Divin Mubama his chance up front, conservative Mr Moyes hasn't even given the young star a place on the bench for today's visit of Nottingham Forest.

It's back to old ways for the Hammers with both Soucek and Alvarez in the midfield and no natural striker up front as Antonio is on the bench.

We can expect Paqueta to move further forward (and probably to the left) with Bowen centrally and Kudus on the right of the attack. 

In good news, Kurt Zouma is back and starts. The Hammers will need to pass well out of defence as the long ball looks like a poor option with such a short attack, unless Soucek pushes forwards.


West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Souček, Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Kudus, Bowen 

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Antonio, Cresswell, Mavropanos, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Fornals, Benrahma, Ings

Time to shake it up in attack for Hammers

VWH caught on camera!

So, after a tough battle at the London stadium on Thursday night, the Hammers pulled through to stay top of their group in the Europa League.

And it took a touch of brilliance from our two best performers of late, with James Ward-Prowse deftly lifting the ball into the box for Lucas Paqueta to slot home the winner.

It was a tricky encounter as Olympiacos were stubborn experienced European opponents who frustrated West ham at every possible opportunity.

But the worrying thing is that having gone ahead we lost momentun and but for the post, Olympiacos would have snatched a draw - possibly even deserved!

There's still plenty of football to be played in the Europa if the Hammers are to have European action after Christmas.

Back to the Premiership and frankly we are in miserable form after four successive defeats. The loss away to Brentford was especially disappointing as we did enough to win but managed to gift them all three points.

One cameo from that game has garnered much attention - with a 2-1 lead and seemingly coasting, we engineered a tap in for either Antonio or Benrahma at the back post. Bizarrely, the pair contrived to get into a tangle and put the ball wide.

And although our defensive leakiness is the most obvious problem right now, the form of Benrahma and Antonio is a close second in the concerning stakes. They both look devoid of confidence and really should be consigned to the bench today!

Forest are a difficult side with plenty of quality who will be salivating at the chance to have a crack at a befuddling West ham side. Quick on the break, Forest will punish any ponderous attacking that leaks turn over ball. 

Up front, we lack shape and a clear plan. Mubama looks like a talent but he will continue to struggle with link up play unless he gets game time. Ings looks well off the pace and lost in Moyes' system. Antonio needs a goal badly - perhaps his old club are the side to do it against?


Thursday 9 November 2023

We demand a Greek tragedy!

If you look up the definition of a Greek tragedy you will know that it typically deals with themes of pride, arrogance, love and loss, highlighting the fraught relationship between men and the Gods. 

And so it is that the Greeks of Olympiacos come to London tonight seeking to humiliate David Moyes bedraggled Hammers. Having dumped an out of sorts Hammers to their first European defeat in eons, the Greeks will surely swagger into town believing that further glory awaits their pillaging horde.

However, the arrogance of Olympiacos' provocative supersized banner during West ham's ill-fated visit to Athens a fortnight ago can be the motivation for a traditional East End revenge tonight.

A fortnight ago, it was Moyes' men who succumbed to the evil embrace of arrogance, allowing the energetic Greeks to seize the momentum. Two defensive howlers later and the game had slipped from the Hammers' flimsy grasp!

In fairness, the Greeks deserved their victory and at times played with riotous joy against an understrength West ham. But Olympiacos looked much less confident once Moyes finally unleashed his top talents and the suddenly shaky Greeks barely hung on for a famous 2-1 victory.

And therein lies the key to tonight's would be revenge - attack early and with great ire and Olympiacos will crumble. Anything less would be a crime against the Gods of football!

VERYWESTHAM will be pitchside as the game unfolds.

Our preferred starting XI is: Fabianski, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Alvarez, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta, Kudus, Bowen, Antonio.



Sunday 5 November 2023

Hammers on the brink!

What started as a positive season for the Hammers has suddenly turned sour, and after yesterday's capitulation at Brentford has the media wolves back on David Moyes' trail.

Having come back from the concession of an early goal, strikes from Kudus and Bowen had the Hammers firmly on the front foot at half time against Brentford. 

It looked like West ham were finally going to get a result against the Bees when Bowen flashed a perfect low cross across the box to where both Antonio and Benrahma were unmarked and looked certain to make it 3-1, but bizarrely contrived to grt in eachother's way.

Alas, two moments of poor defending later in the half and it was the 5th straight league defeat to Brentford. In fairness, the absences of Zouma, Alvarez and Paqueta were big factors but it was a game that the Hammers should have won.

Elsewhere, the impressive thumping of Arsenal in the midweek League cup tie was pleasing, but the Gods of Footy rewarded Moyes' men with a daunting quarter final trip to Anfield. 

So, top six and League cup glory look pretty unlikely at this point. Thursday's clash with Olympiacos suddenly looks like a season-defining moment! It's time for the lads to roll up the sleeves and thoroughly avenge the cheeky Greeks!

If we play like we did in Athens we could be out of contention on all fronts before Christmas. It's hard to see Moyes surviving that scenario.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Drab Dychian affair as Hammers unable to find opening

It's been a tricky first half for West ham as Everton have imposed their combatative, if limited, game on proceedings. 

Paqueta and Kudus have looked lively, while Everton have remained disciplined, if unadventurous. Dyche will feel his side are better suited to the scrappy fare as Everton look to gring out a much needed result.

Kudus picked up a bizarre yellow card after a nasty challenge from James Tarkowski, in which the Ecerton centre back seemed to leave a bt in for Kudus. Jordan Pickford then stood over the floored Kudus roaring into his face. Pickford also collected a yellow which will hopefully quieten his timewasting antics as the game progresses.

West ham need a goal to draw Everton out to play. They certainly haven't looked close to finding the key in the first half.

Moyes Shakes it up for Toffees Visit

West ham have enjoyed a pretty positive start to the season but after a run of poor results really need to get back to winning ways today. Lowly Everton come to the London stadium looking to push away from the relegation zone and will hope to beat West ham at their own counterattacking game.

Moyes will relish the opportunity to get one over on his old club and has unsurprisingly gone for his strongest starting XI. The big talking points are the return of Aaron Cresswell for Emerson who is on a ban, while Moyes intentions are clear with the switch of Soucek to the bench and a rare start for Kudus. 

How Bowen and Kudus line out is less clear as both prefer the right wing, but either can slip more centrally to slot in behind Antonio. Alternatively, Moyes might push Antonio to the left and push either Bowen or Kudus to the centre.

Either way, Moyes clearly plans to attack an Everton defence that looks vulnerable. 

There's plenty on the bench if needed but disappointingly no spot for Divin Mubama who must be starting to wonder what he can do to get a chance in this strong squad?

Rory Nostradamus predicts a 3-1 win for Moyes' men. 



West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma(c), Aguerd, Cresswell, Alvarez, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta, Kudus, Bowen, Antonio. 

Subs: Fabianski, Soucek, Fornals, Mavropanos, Cornet, Ings, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Kehrer.

Friday 27 October 2023

Hammers in one hell of a mess

David Moyes' men left Athens last night with their tails between their legs after a sound thumping from Olympiacos. In truth, the 2-1 scoreline did little justice to the Greek's dominance in a game where the Hammers didn't show up until the final fifteen minutes.

Moyes opted for a starting lineup consisting mainly of fringe players, presumably hoping that the hunger of those on the margins would translate into an energetic performance. It didn't!

The Hammers looked lacklustre and disorganised. Without Bowen, Paqueta and Antonio we lacked any cutting edge up front, while defensively we struggled with Olympiacos' width and then descended into circus antics in front of goal. 

Olympiacos' first goal resulted from a stunning failure to close down a meandering run along the 18 yard box and a cruel deflection off Mavropanos. Instead of hitting back, we then conceded an embarrassingly sloppy second on the cusp of half time as Ogbonna and Areola miscommunicated and a seemingly benign cross scuttled into the net. 

It was easy to blame our defence for the 0-2 scoreline at half-time but in reality our top half had totally misfired. It was hard to choose between Fornals, Ings and Benrahma as to who was the most unimpressive (or disinterested) as we seemed to feel entitled to get another European win by only showing up! Olympiacos, in comparison were full of energy and commitment, constantly coming out on top in 50-50 collisions.

Mercifully, half time came but instead of a second half revival, the next 30 minutes were dominated by the Greeks who truly had the bit between their teeth. Spurred on by their fans giant banner that read "Tonight you dine in hell" they hunted in packs and should have gone further ahead.

Moyes brought on the bomb squad, but they too stuttered and it wasn't until too late that Paqueta scored a majestic goal to open the door on an unlikely comeback. Along the way, Danny Ings missed a massive chance (again). Worryingly, once again we created almost nothing of note from a string of Ward-Prowse corners, getting lost in bully-boy antics in the six yard box.

Last night was the first time you could really sense the absence of Declan Rice's leadership and energy. 

So, it's back to the drawing board. Everton at home on Sunday is a big chance to get going again, while Olympiacos' visit in a fortnight gives us a chance for some revenge.


Sunday 8 October 2023

Hammers set to rock the toon

It's fifteen minutes to kick off and the teamsheets are in. The Hammers starting XI is pretty much as predicted, with Kudus, Kehrer, Benrahma and Fornals on the bench. 

Mavropanos is missing today. 

Jarrod Bowen has never scored against Newcastle but will fancy his chances against Dan Burn at right back for the Toon.

Newcastle have Callum Wilson on the bench hoping to add to his dozen previous goals against the Irons. 

Let's do this!

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Souček, Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Bowen, Antonio

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Kehrer, Ogbonna, Fornals, Kudus, Cornet, Benrahma, Ings, Mubama

Newcastle United: Pope, Trippier, Schär, Lascelles ©, Burn, Tonali, Longstaff, Guimarāes, Almirón, Anderson, Isak

Subs: Dúbravka (GK), Dummett, Targett, Livramento, Hall, Manquillo, Murphy, Ritchie, Wilson

Match preview: Here come the Toon

This afternoon sees a buoyant Newcastle United side visit the Olympic Stadium to do battle with David Moyes' men. The game is particularly signifiant as both sides fancy a top-six finish and come the run in the division of points in this clash will be an important decider of places in the top half of the league.

Newcastle have looked swashbuckling at times, including an eight goal demolition of the tragic Blades, but with losses to Man city, Liverpool and Brighton, rest just below the Hammers. 

Newcastle have traditionally been poor away from home, but the counterattacking capacity of their current squad has changed all of that. Boosted by Saudi cash, Eddie Howe has invested wisely and on their day his side can be ruthlessly effective. Their 4-1 thumping of PSG in midweek serving due warning to Moyes as to how formidable they can be if you go toe to toe with them.

But Moyes rarely gets dragged into a slugfest and one expects will try to frustrate the Toon and look to catch them on the break or at the marvellous James Ward-Prowse's set pieces. 

The Hammers have enough squad depth to have rested Zouma and Antonio in the midweek win away to Freiberg, but their were long shifts for Bowen, Paqueta and Ward-Prowse.

Newcastle have significant injury problems just now with Barnes, Willock and Botman ruled out, while Joelinton and Hammers bogeyman Callum Wilson doubts. Anthony Gordon is suspended.

Kick off is 2pm. Rory Nostradamus s calling a 2-2 draw.



Friday 1 September 2023

Top of the League and coasting!!!

Yesssss. In a test of Moyes' metal, against a Luton town side that conceded 65% possession, West ham played professionally and slowly grinded the Hatters into the dust.

Bowen latched on to a Paqueta precision cross and then Zouma banged in a Ward-Prowse corner. In between, The Hammers had a tight off side call to overrule an Emerson strike.

Yes, there as a late scare as Luton ping-ponged a goal, but it was a pretty one-sided affair with MOTM a toss up between Zouma and Paqueta.

Two away wins already, ahem......

Top of the league after 4 games despite losing Declan Rice. Happy days!

Kudus came on in injury time but it was all over at that stage.

Hammers Taking Care of Business as Transfer Window Shuts

It's time to get down to business for West ham again as the transfer window shuts without a new striker.

It hasn't been a bad few weeks business and tonight we shall see more of Ward-Prowse and Alvarez, with Mohammed Kudus on the bench. It's also a return for Nayef Aguerd and Said Benrahma.

Luton will be charged up for their first home game in the top flight in eons. A win will put the Hammers bak on top of the Premiership. 

Kick off is at 8pm.


West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Bowen, Paquetá, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Cresswell, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Fornals, Cornet, Kudus, Ings, Mubama

Monday 28 August 2023

Incoming!!! Massive Striker News for the Hammers

Amidst a sea of speculation about the potential arrival of a big-name striker to West Ham, it looks like the white smoke is about to be released.

Reports earlier today indicated that Tim Steidten was off to Brazil with orders to bring home a new striker. Later, there were reports that the deal had been rejected outright by Corinthians as they feel that they cannot afford to lose any top talent just now and West ham's valuation was considered well below the mark.

But now, Football Insider have revealed that West Ham have agreed personal terms with Yuri Alberto and that all that remains is some finalising of the finances before the 22 year old heads for London.

It's certainly exciting news as the emerging star has an excellent scoring record, had a decent spell in Russia cut short by the Ukraine war and has broken into the Brazil squad since his freescoring return to Brazil. 

It's not a fully done deal yet but West ham are very close to a much needed signing. This transfer window has gone from a famine to a veritable feast over the past fortnight!

P.S. There's still time to bring in some back up at left and right back.


Here's what the Supercomputer Says about the Season

Ok, so its only three games into the season, but already the boffins are trying to predict the final rankings for the season!

A supercomputer has generated a predicted final table and it makes for interesting viewing. 

Up top, it's a case of the usual suspects for the top six, with Newcastle smashing their way into a European slot and eternally-almosters Spurs slipping down to 7th. 

The Hammers have made a wonderful start to the season, which they will be hoping to continue away to Luton on Friday night. However, with European commitments and a squad that is creaking at both full back positions, as well as limited striking options, perhaps the 10th finish is a pretty reasonable prediction.

Down below, this may well be the year that Everton make the drop. They look rudderless at present and even with Sean Dyche at the helm may lack the firepower needed to compete. 

Unsurprisingly, Luton and Sheffield Utd are expected to return to the Chumpionship as the step up for clubs with limited resources is really huge these days.

Notts Forest will feel hard done by as they look better than the predicted 14th allocated to them.

It'll be fun to look at this again at Christmas.

This is what we've heard about West Ham's hunt for a new striker

As we enter the final days of the transfer window (it closes this Friday at 11pm), the speculation around transfers has reached peak hysteria.

While West ham have made some excellent signings, they still need a replacement for Gianluca Scamacca to provide competition and support for the ageing Michail Antonio.

And it's that striker position that is in the media spotlight with Sky Sports indicating that Tim Steidten has apparently flown to Brazil in search of a striker.

However, there are conflicting reports as to the identity of West ham's interest with the Sun suggesting it is Flamengo's Pedro, while the Mail reckons that it is Corinthians Yuri Alberto. 

Both are prolific in the Brazilian league, but have each had disappointing previous spells in Europe - Pedro failed to shine at Fiorentia, while Alberto had a brief stay at Zenit St Petersburg. 

Pedro is a friend and former youth team mate of Lucas Paqueta.

Meanwhile, Dharmesh Sheth of Sky Sports reckons that the Hammers remain focused on Morocan Youssef En Nesyri, with some suggestng a swap deal may be on the cards with Sevilla as Pablo Fornals may be returning to his native Spain.

The Mirror's James Nursery believes PSG's Hugo Ekitike remains a target.

As for our existing forwards, Danny Ings is rumoured to be on his way to join Sean Dyche, whom he played under for 4 years at Burnley.

In short, lots of speculation, much of which seems based upon vague links rather than actual hard information. It's difficult to get too excited as the seasoned eye will recognise that moving to the Premiership would be a big step up for all of these players.

Sunday 27 August 2023

This is What Kudus Will Bring to West Ham


Well, well, well! What seemed like a disastrous transfer window has morphed into a well orchestrated capture of quality talent!

The latest signing is of Ghanaian forward Mohammed Kudus from Ajax. The 23 year old has enjoyed a productive three seasons at Ajax where he has developed into a real asset - supercompetitive in defence, with pace and close control that makes you think of a combination of Alain St Maximum with our own Lucas Paqueta. Mouthwatering stuff or what?

Kudus can bring some valuable attributes to the current West ham side, including;

1. He has tremendous pace and dribbling skills, limpet-like on the ball and hard to dispossess. He will suit our counterattacking style, particularly with his ability to swivel in possession and launch counterattacking moves. 

2. He is excellent at dispossessing opposition players. In a team that thrives on turn over ball, he will be a real asset and, unlike the aforementioned St Maximum, he is a head-up player who is quick to release the ball and bring teamates into the play. 

3. We can expect to hold on to possession better as his lose control and tenacity allow him to hold onto the ball in tight spaces. 

4. Similarly, we can expect him to force opposition sides to cough up free kicks and create a perfect supply line for chief of artillery, James Ward-Prowse. 

5. He also has a decent strike rate of 17 in 64 for Ajax. 

However, a few words of caution should be mentioned. He is not a striker, so lets hope we stay active in the hunt for support for Antonio. Also, he has had a number of niggly injuries in the past and is likely to pick up further knocks in the physical environment of the Premiership. 

All in all, he is a great addition to the side. How his arrival will impact upon Benrahma, Cornet and Fornals is unclear but Moyes has had plenty of time to figure that out before splashing the cash.

Check out the Youtube video below if you want to whet your whistle.

Saturday 26 August 2023

Let's hope David Gold is Looking down on this

West ham are top of the league! No, it's not a fair play league or goals from corners table, it's the actual Premier league table.

It was a day with much to celebrate as the Hammers finally ended their awful run against Brighton, with a MOTM performance from Alphonse Areola, first goal for James Ward Prowse and tremendous strikes from Bowen and Antonio in a hugely disciplined performance.  

Man city play tomorrow and may topple us then, but tonight we are kings!

No doubt David Gold is smiling!


It's time to take action against those unruly Seagulls

Unbeaten in their last 12 encounters with the Hammers, Brighton are officially our new bogey team,  taking over from the Lukaku drivenToffees. 

David Moyes will hope to build on our decent start to the season but will need to find a new formula to undoe the Seagulls. Interestingly, Everton provided that in a late season 5-1 thrashing of Brighton!

On paper, we have the players to match Brighton but will need to play well as a unit to get anything from the superorganised South coasters.

Alvarez gets his first start at the expense of Benrahma, suggesting that Moyes wants to keep it tight. Oggy is in for the suspended Aguerd.

Jarrod Bowen was relatively quiet against Chelsea last week but will hopefully leave his mark on what is his 300th league appearance.

We will go top of the table if we win by two or more goals. Just saying...

Kick off is at 5.30. 


West Ham Starting XI: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Ogbonna, Emerson, Soucek, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Bowen, Paquetá, Antonio

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Johnson, Cresswell, Kehrer, Fornals, Benrahma, Cornet, Ings, Mubama

Wednesday 23 August 2023

West Ham's attacking targets profiled - it's a no brainer who we really need

There appears to be no end of speculation as to the possible identity of West ham's Scamacca replacement, with all sorts of potential signings being mooted as the solution to the Hammers attacking needs. However, even the most superficial examination of the list of wanted players leaves any seasoned observer feeling lukewarm.
Hugo Ekitike is one such option - at just 21 has plenty of potential and plays as an actual striker but with just 3 goals in 26 games for PSG is hardly an established attacking force who you could expect to slot straight into the Premiership.

Much has been made of the Hammers pursuit of Ghanaian winger Mohammed Kudos. He has a decent scoring record, albeit in the Eredivisie with 24 goals for Ajax in 85 appearances, but he has endured a series of significant injury setbacks and might find the physicality of the Premiership challenging.  

And then there's the recurring speculation about Sevilla striker Youssef En Nesyri. A decent forward, with good aerial presence but a tad clumsy on the ground, as evdenced by his scoring rate of a goal every 4 games or so in La Liga - a rate that is slightly worse than Michail Antonio has at the Hammers.

Which brings us to Dominic Solanke - Well versed in the rigours of the Premiership, an excellent work rate and attitude, and a strike rate of a goal every third game for a modest Bournemouth side.

If these are the options on the table, then it seems pretty obvious where our efforts should focus!


Tuesday 22 August 2023

Jesse Come Home? Look at the Facts

Lingard to make triumphant return to West ham. It's a headline that would have the Hollywood script writers frothing at the mouth but despite the media push to characterise Lingard as a changed man who sees West ham as his home, Professor Moyes is surely too canny to fall for that blather.

Jesse certainly enjoyed a fantastic spell during his six-month loan at West ham in 2021 but he has played virtally no meaningful football since (apart from a cracking goal for Man Utd against….West ham in 2021). 

In reality, Lingard has never performed as well before or since his six months at West Ham. A simple comparison of his scoring rate - 9 goals in 16 games (0.56 per game) at West ham vs 20 in 149 (0.15) at Man Utd and 0 in 17 at Notts Forest last year) highlights the difference. In effect, almost one third of his Premier league career goals were scored during his West Ham stay!

Lingard is now almost 31 years old and a million miles away from the player who resurrected a failing career with a successful stint at West ham when he was awarded the Premiership player of month, Premiership goal of month and enjoyed a brief return to the England squad. His response? To reject West Ham for a big money contract at Forest that was a disaster. 

Only the most naive Hammers fans would believe that Lingard would be a favoured acquisition at West ham. Moyes is merely demonstrating a quality that Lingard failed to - by showing loyalty and generosity to help Lingard find a new employer. He'd be more suited to Luton or Sheffield United just now.

Transfer Latest: They've got to be yanking our chain?

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey - as the saying goes and indeed that seems to be the philosophy at West ham as the club have completed their third signing in just over a week with the arrival of stylish Greek centre back Kostadinos Mavropanus.

You would think that this would quieten the playful speculation about transfer activity at the club but, if anything it has become more extreme!

Why on earth would West ham take on the burden of a spent Jesse Lingard while letting a club legend like Pablo Fornals leave? 

Similarly, the disruptive and expensive acquisition of Romelu Lukaku makes even less sense. But to top it off, we are apparently still in the hunt for Harry Maguire.

Perhaps Sullivan and Co. have finally learned the fine art of the dummy run. Yes, we have cash but its important that we try not to look too desperate for a particular signing, so this speculation may in fact help our cause.

Whatever the true nature of all these activities, Sunday's win emphasized that the squad is united and focused. Let's avoid spoiling that by adding any players who have egos that are substantially larger than their current abilities.


Monday 21 August 2023

Five Learnings from the Chelsea Game

The season is truly up and running for West Ham after an impressive victory over the changeling monster that is Chelsea. The win was classic Moyesian fare, as the Hammers applied precise counterattacking with gritty determined blanket defence to overcome the visitors. The game left much to digest as Moyes rebuilds after the departure of Declan Rice.

1. James Ward-Prowse is a great acquisition - a lively presence in midfield with those superb set piece deliveries. Chelsea feared conceding corners and free kicks throughout. The one pity was that with just 25% possession, the Hammers spent too much time in defensive formation, often deep in their own half. 

2. Emerson has really slotted in at left back. Last season many fans wondered if he was a new Athur Masuaku - decent going forward but unreliable defensively. However, the good news is that Palmieri can defend and slots in nicely alongside Aguerd with effective triangulation out of defence with Paqueta et al.

3. Alphonsus Areola is ready to take up the mantle of first choice netminder. He had a great game nicely rounded off with a penalty save at a key point of the game when things had turned against the Hammers. Getting in level at half time was key to the final result.

4. Lucas Paqueta brings a special ingredient to the team. If the FA investigation works out badly then the Hammers are in real trouble. Fingers crossed.

5. We do better in holding a lead when we attack. Against Bournemouth we sat back and got punished by a jammy goal. Not so yesterday, we kept pushing forward and suckered punched Chelsea.


Sunday 20 August 2023

West ham show faith with offensive starting XI

There has been no shortage of speculation ahead of David Moyes selection for our first home game of the season and as the team sheets emerge it's clear he wants to move forwards.

James Ward-Prowse makes his debut and will link with Lucas Paqueta in an attack-minded midfield. Pablo Fornals slips to the bench amid speculation about his future. 

The other new signing, Alvarez, is on the bench. Seen as a natural replacement for Rice, the Mexican will have some acclimatisation to do after his big money move from Ajax.

Antonio is up top with Benrahma and Bowen out wide. It's a team that can provide scoring opportunities but will need to be energetic to avoid getting over-run by a strong Chelsea midfield.

Ex-Chelsea pair, Emerson and Zouma start against their old club with Aguerd and Coufal making up the rest of a back four. Thilo Kehrer is still out with injury.


West Ham: Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Ward-Prowse, Soucek, Paqueta; Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio.

West Ham United substitutes: Fabianski, Johnson, Cresswell, Fornals, Cornet, Ings, Alvarez, Ogbonna, Mubama.

Why Paqueta Must Play today!

The circus continues at West Ham as Chelsea come visiting for today's London derby. Both sides picked up a draw in their opening fixtures, with Chelsea looking impressive at times against Liverpool.

Meanwhile, the Hammers threw away the win against a toothless Bournemouth side by conceding a late equaliser.

But today's game is overshadowed by the Lucas Paqueta situation, with the Brazilian due to unrgo an FA investigation into alleged betting pattern abnormalities.

It's hard to know how much meat there is to the allegations, with various outlets speculating that it relates to yellow card offences.

Footage of soft yellow cards being dished out to Paqueta against Villa (last season) and Bournemouth (last week). However, upon viewing both, its hard to see what all the fuss is about. 

Against Villa, Paqueta tries to dispossess John McGinn with a wrap around tackle which doesn't quite come off. In the context of the game, Paqueta had received his usual sizeable dose of heavy attention and unsurprisingly had a niggle back - in reality, he is a wiry operator and the challenge is not unusual for him or the Moyes 'dispossess and counter' philosophy.

Against Bournemouth, the yellow is for a coming together from a long kick out - like most on the ground players, he is a tad awkward but the yellow is very soft and by no means a solid card. Hardly the stuff of betting certainty!

The news from West ham is that Paqueta has been training as usual. It's important that the club show faith in him by selecting him to start today.

We will need him against Chelsea!

Saturday 19 August 2023

Another Disappointing Week at West Ham

There's been very little for Hammers fans to celebrate since the Europa triumph that rounded off last season. Just two signings, albeit both look rairly decent, but hardly a replacement for our former captain and heartbeat.

And Gianluca Scamacca has departed with no sign of an attacking replacement. A comical snub from Harry Maguire has been followed by a worrying probe into our star midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

Quite frankly, we needed a lift but instead we got the above as our new third kit. Traditionally, the third kit has provided an opportunity to add a bit of street-friendly style to the supporters wardrobe. Our previous all-black number remains a sought after shirt but last years white with orange dip Jersey was awful and now we have replaced that with an insipid wishy washy blue thing. It's not quite as dreadful as Aresenal's aquamarine disaster of a few seasons back but to be honest, it looks a bit 'Spursy'.


Saturday 12 August 2023

Moyes Reveals Brand New Age

Here we go. Post-Rice Hammers take on Bournemouth at 3pm today and David Moyes has given some interesting food for thought in his starting XI.

1. Areola finally gets his moment ahead of Fabianski.

2. Coufal gets the nod ahead of Kehrer at RB.

3. Zouma is our new captain and Aguerd is back.

4. Antonio is up top ahead of Ings.

5. Fornals starts and will want to underline his contribution in a midfield that looks more porous without Rice to partner Soucek in front of the back four.

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Zouma ©, Aguerd, Emerson, Souček, Paquetá, Fornals, Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Anang (GK), Johnson, Ogbonna, Kehrer, Coventry, Cornet, Ings, Mubama

Hammers Finally Kick into Gear

After all the celebrations have finally died down following our European adventures of last season, it's back to business as usual for David Moyes' men - business as usual but sadly without the rock that our success of recent seasons has been founded. 

Declan Rice is already singing his praises about working under Mikel Arteta, while back at the village it's a late and ponderous squad preparation for the new season. Just one arrival so far as Lanzini, Scamacca, Rice and a few others have departed.

At least the inward transfers have finally started to move with Edson Alvarez arriving to try to fill Rice's shoes. A decent defensive midfielder, but the seasoned observer will know that the Mexican will need time to settle in to the workmanlike tactics of headmaster Moyes, and the unforgiving physicality of the Premiership.

The same concerns do not apply for Messrs Maguire and Ward-Prowse who are apparently on their way and are both seasoned Premiership veterans. Many fans have reacted unkindly to the Maguire but although he can be error-prone, he is a decent centre back on the ground who is dominant at set pieces - both defensively and offensively. Have we just signed a new Craig Dawson? Hopefully!

Ward-Prowse is superb at set pieces but critics would say he doesn't do enough in open play.  We will have to wait and see, but he will undoubtedly improve the quality of our corner kick taking which was awful last year.

Up front, we look pedestrian - an ageing Antonio and Ings with the still developing Mubama will hardly terrify opposition defences. In simple terms, we need to find the player Scamacca did not deliver upon - a physically robust, lone wolf who is precise in front of goal - no small task in this world of specialist forwards. 

The Paqueta rumours are worrying as he is ready to really deliver this coming season and has looked livey in pre-season. We have nothing remotely similar in terms of creativity amongst our other midfielders. Young Potts looks like a real prospect but this will likely be a developing season or him - he needs to share space with the likes of Paqueta to realise his potential. Similarly, Flynn Downes has looked decent whenever he has been selected and surely must not be let depart?

Our recent pre-season thumping against Rennes and Leverkusen were awful as we looked asleep and disorganised defensively.  Let's hope today is different. Bournemouth have invested in adding pace to their flanks, while we have done nothing to address an obvious weakness in our squad. Today's game may swing on that difference.

It's hard to see a repeat of the 4-0 schooling we dished out to the Cherries towards the end of last season but lest we forget that in Bowen, Benrahma and Paqueta we have real attacking quality.

Rory Nostradamus says his crystal ball has gone all cloudy, so we have no great sense of what lies ahead today. 



Thursday 8 June 2023

Hats off to the two Davids!

In the 13 years that David Gold and David Sullivan have owned West ham it has rarely been fashionable to praise their role in the club. 

Their relationship hit rock bottom with fan protests after the move from Upton Park to the London Stadium as the team struggled to perform at their new home.

But the Davids stuck to their guns, following a conservative path, refusing to drop managers until they had been given a fair chance and rarely splashing silly money in the often crazy transfer market.

Right at the beginning they promised affordable football in a grand stadium with a team competing at the top table. 

No doubt they might have managed their PR a bit better at times but there can be no doubting that they have delivered on those early ambitious targets!

With season tickets starting at just over 300 quid, a decent ticket transfer system, a stadium that is super-accessible, comfortable and pleasant to visit, a team that we not only love but feel proud of and that has a solid connection with our academy system, a youth team that is winning league and cup doubles, and now our senior team winners of one of Europe's three competitions. 

Oh, and that academy has produced one of the most sought after players on the planet right now - Declan Rice is a gifted midfielder but his worth is surely doubled by his impressive character - one of the best ever role models in English football? 

Hats of to the Davids - no doubt some cynics will say that all this happened despite rather than because of how the club is run but that's just simply not a realistic analysis. In reality, D&G  have been dedicated, patient and determined. 

I met David Gold in the club bar at Southend United at a pre-season friendly back at the beginning. He was a warm and charming gentleman who was generous with his time and bought us a drink. It was hard not to be impressed by the man and his genuine love for the club.

Wind forward to 2023 and for me the one great sadness in all the joy of the Prague adventure was that Mr Gold didn't get to witness his dream being delivered. 

Yes, we will have times when we aren't best pleased with goings on at the club but would anybody prefer to have the directorship arrangements at Man Utd, Liverpool or Spurs?

Rest in Peace Mr Gold and I truly hope that you witnessed this past 24 hours in some celestial way.


Sunday 28 May 2023

Hammers Ready to be the Executioners!!

David Moyes has made a host of changes for the visit to relegation notwannabees Leicester City bringing in Kehrer, Aguerd, Cresswell, Benrahma and Antonio, with Flynn Downes also starting ahead of Tomas Soucek.

Declan Rice will make his 204th (and possibly last for some time*) appearance in the Premier League for the Hammers. 

Leicester have to go for broke so it'll be a cup final atmosphere which should be good rehearsal time for the upcoming Europa Conference final in 10 days time. 

Let's pray for no injuries. A win and a Chelsea loss with a 3 goal swing will see us pass out the expensive West London squad with a final 12th place position possible. 

For Leicester, they must win and hope Everton slip up at home to Bournemouth. How times have changed since they won the Premiership!


Starting XI: Fabiański, Coufal, Kehrer, Aguerd, Cresswell, Rice ©, Downes, Paquetá, Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio

Substitures: Areola (GK), Emerson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Lanzini, Souček, Bowen, Cornet, Ings

*No doubt whatever happens he'll be back at some point!

Sunday 21 May 2023

Hodor the Hero but questions remain about UEFA and Dutch security

Thursday evening's clash of West Ham and AZ Alkmaar was a tense and exciting affair eventually settled by Pablo Fornal's injury time stunner.

But the tie was marred by truly remarkable scenes in which over a hundred Alkmaar 'Ultras' dressed in black and hooded attacked the family and friends section of the ground. 

It's hard to see how such embarrassing cowardly behaviour could resonate with any wannabe thug and even more embarrassingly the thugs were beaten off by a 58 year old post- hip operation Hammers fan who bravely blocked the stairwell where the thugs attempted to gain entry. 

You'd have to wonder what's next on the agenda for these terrifyingly dumb hoodlums - maybe lay seige to a creche or a nursing home? 

But as the dust settles it is apparent that the Dutch authorities mismanaged the incident - failing to make any arrests at the stadium and now reversing into watching video footage of the heavily hooded thugs. 

The security was so amateurish that Hammers players felt compelled to do the security's job for them! And now, rumours emerge that UEFA are investigating the West ham players for their role in the incident. How bizarre can thus get?

In reality, UEFA have a duty of care to all teams and their supporters who participate in their events. Perhaps its time for West ham to take a considerably more assertive stance on the matter?

Or do we just let the cowardly thugs walk away and lazily blame the victims. It's farcical. 

Thursday 18 May 2023

Moyes Turns Down Opportunity of a Lifetime!

Here's what he could have taken home

It's a big night of European footy as the Hammers push for the first major trophy in 40 years!

Manager David Moyes is looking to nail down his place in West Ham history by progressing past AZ Alkmaar tonight and then either Basel or Fiorentina in the final.

But this evening presents a tough test - Moyes is the only man to have ever steered an English side to victory aainst the Dutch side, beating Louis van Gaal's side with Everton 20 years ago!

Asked at the prematch press conference if he might follow Jose Mourinho's lead by getting a tattoo to mark the occasion he made it clear he prefers to stay ink free, whatever the outcome!

But if his side can prevail there will be no ducking from the squad's demands for him to dance to 'Cotton eye Joe"

Here's what he said at the press conference:

Q: Jose Mourinho got a tattoo of the Europa Conference League trophy when he won it with Roma. Will you do the same if you win it?

Moyes: "I don’t think I’ll have a tattoo, but I’ll look forward to trying to get the final. That’s the only thing I can consider at the moment"

Kick off is 8pm