Saturday 30 December 2023

Has Moyes finally ditched the 'boring' tag?

It has certainly been an emotional December at West ham! Kicking off with a dull and disappointing draw at home to Palace, followed by an amusing win away to Spurs, Motes men headed to Craven cottage in expectation. The 5-0 horror show was unexpected but in part due to a viral illness running through the squad. 

But Moyes' sides never lie down and bounced vack with impressive wins over Wolves and Freiberg, the latter booking a Europa quarter final place and ensuring further European frolics well into the New year.

A Carabao cup quarter final came up next - Moyes was left with a tough dilemma as although the other 3 semi finalists were hardly terrifying, his overstretched squad looked tired. He decided to give tge fringe players their chance and they fluffed it with an embarrassing 5-1 thumping. Disappointing to concede so many, but the performance was simply appauling.

Suddenly Moyes was under pressure - the doubters felt that a European trophy and top half football was not adequate to justify a new contract. Moyes needed his troops to rally around hime and they truly delivered with back to back victories over Man Utd and, remarkably, a super-rare win away to the Gooners!

The latter result was all the more impressive given the absences of Zouma and Aguerd, with Paqueta only making it through the first quarter before limping off. Put simply, the system worked despite reduced personnel.

If the pattern continues we can expect a mauling by Brighton but who knows what the Hammers will throw up next? 

It's certainly not boring!

Saturday 23 December 2023

Reckoning time for Moyes the Gambler!

There's barely a dull moment at West ham these days as results vary from emrrassing (0-5 vs Fulham, 1-5 vs Liverpool) to impressive (3-0 vs Wolves and a comfortable 2-0 vs Freiberg).

As a result, more temperamental fans have swung from 'he's a genius' to 'please rid us of this outdated management', with barely a pause for any middle ground.

Perhaps Moyes has become infected by the thrill of uncertainty, because in surrendering a semi-final place in a very winnable Carabao cup, he planted all his eggs in the basket labelled 'beat Man united'!

Failure to get a result today will push many observers over the edge and add to the questions around Moyes tactics and overall game management.

But a cold analysis of Hammers recent form must include two key observations; (1) Wolves and Freiberg were home games, while Liverpool and Fulham were both away, and (2) against Fulham we had players out or below par with a squad virus and against Liverpool we omitted the central axis of our side by not starting Zouma, Aguerd, Paqueta and Ward Prowse.

So cheer up Hammers fans, we can expect a committed performance from our best XI today, against a faltering Man Utd.

Anything less will tip a lot of fans towards a new set up.


Wednesday 20 December 2023

Moyes has eyes on Saturday as weakened team starts at Anfield

As the teamsheets have been revealed it's clear that David Moyes views Saturdays clash with Man Utd as the 'big un' of this week.

With Zouma, Ward-Prowse and Paqueta all benched, it's clear he feels a win at the weekend is the priority.

That said, Fornals and Benrahma will relish the start and have lots to prove as clubs are perched ahead of the January transfer window - with one rumour that Barcelona are looking at the Spaniard.

A CB pairing of Ogbonna and Mavropanos doesn't instill total confidence but with Soucek and Alvarez in front of them that will hopefully add some solidity.

Otherwise, it's pretty clear that Moyes is planning a smash n grab raid with a small but pacy front line. Let's pray to the Gods of Football for turnover ball!

Thilo Kehrer will be disappointed to start from the bench. 

Liverpool start without Salah, Alexander-Arnold and Diaz. 



West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Mavropanos, Ogbonna ©, Johnson, Álvarez, Souček, Fornals, Kudus, Benrahma, Bowen 

Subs: Fabiański (GK), Zouma, Kehrer, Cresswell, Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Ings, Mubama

Cat and Mouse as Liverpool await Hammers

Tonight's Carabou cup quarter final clash is truly intriguing as Liverpool and West ham seek a semi-final spot whilst both are looking towards huge games at the weekend.

Liverpool will face Arsenal in their ost important Premirship game so far this season but will be needing to be careful in team selection against a tricky Hammers side who taught Arsenal a lesson when the Gooners arrived with a less than full strength side in the last round.

However, David Moyes will want to keep as much back as possible for the visit of Man Utd on Saturday as ultimately those two sides look very likely to be in a dogfight for the 6th place spot when the seasons reaches its climax.

All of which makes for much speculation about the potential starting XIs for tonight. West ham have an abysmal record at Anfield but never the less pine for domestic cup success. 

Speaking with a Liverpool supporting friend i told him that Moyes intentions will be clear once we know if he is starting Zouma, Paqueta, Bowen and Kudus. If all four start then he means proper business. 

However, a big criticism of Moyes is his stubborn tactic of playing negatively against the top six - usually with disappointing results! If this Liverpool side has an achilles heal it is defensively. As such, it makes sense to play with an aggressive stance. 

One big positive is that whatever happens there will be no extra time as it is straight to penalties if the sides are level at full time. 

The worst case scenario for Moyes would be to field his strongest starting XI and lose on penalties.

The lineups ill be announced shortly.


Sunday 17 December 2023

Both Craft and Grit behind Hammers Success

What a difference a week makes. After a dreadful 5-0 drubbing of our virus-ridden side by Fulham last weekend, Moyes' men bounced back with an impressive (and important) 2-0 win over Freiberg on Thursday followed by a clinical 3-0 thumping of Wolves this afternoon. We are 8th and looking nicely perched as we move into the Christmas fixturefest.

Wolves simply couldn't match the swashbuckling style of our front line, as Kudus was almost un-markable (and really hard to dispossess once he gets his feet on the ball). Paqueta is a magician - constantly dreaming up exotic ways to hurt the opposition, while throwing himself around midfield. Bowen is an incisive presence, with stunning accuracy both inside and outside the box!

While the floating front line of Bowen, Paqueta and Kudus has really found it's rhythm, there is also plenty of grit at the back as Zouma, Aguerd and Coufal are in top form. The recovery of form by Coufal has made a huge difference in both defence and attack. The Czech dynamo probably drifted into Julian Dicks territory at times today but you've got to admire the passion.

Meanwhile, Kudus and Paqueta are running a circus tricks sideshow to keep fans entertained, as Alvarez, Ward-Prowse and Soucek look after the housekeeping in front of the defence.

It would be wrong to overlook Lucasz Fabianski's excellent form, having come in to shore things up in Areola's absence - he made a number of key saves today that stopped Wolves gaining momentum.

Liverpool in midweek will be a tough encounter, with the prize a semi-final spot in the League cup. Man United come calling next Saturday and no doubt Moyes will fancy our chances against his former employer. 

Even Roy Keane reckons West ham can bag a European slot this year.....

It's a veritable smorgasmoboard of entertainment just now!


Thursday 14 December 2023

Exciting clash awaits humbled Hammers

It's another night of European action at the London stadium as in-form Freiberg come looking to topple the Hammers off the top of their Europa League group table.

The game is certainly no dead-rubber as the winners will avoid a tricky play off against one of the sides dropping into the Europa League from the Champions League.

That would certainly add to what is already a congested fixture programme - but with the likes of AC Milan, Benfica, Galatassaray and Feyenoord in the draw, getting a result is a priority.

The Hammers only need a draw as they overcame Frieberg in Germany, but after a 5-0 humbling at Fulham at the weekend, they need to up their game against a Freiberg side that are on a three game winning streak. 

Sitting in 8th in the Bundesligo, with the Hammers mid-table in the Premiershio, both sides will want to maintain their challenge in Europe.

It's a strong starting XI, with just Zouma missing from Moyes' best starting XI. 

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Souček, Kudus, Paquetá, Bowen

Subs: Areola (GK), Johnson, Kehrer, Cresswell, Zouma, Ogbonna, Coventry, Fornals, Benrahma, Cornet, Mubama, Ings

Thursday 30 November 2023

Player analysis: West ham vs Backa Topola

It was a tough night in Serbia, but the Hammers came away with an important win to keep them in pole position to win their Europa League group. 

Tomas Soucek again underlined his importance in the side, creating chaos at set pieces and popping up in the role that had been given to Declan Rice last year to seize the winning goal.

Soucek is not always pretty to the eye, but he has a knack of scoring goals when it counts. At times ugly, but effective. Every top side needs one.

Ben Johnson had a great game and was probably our MOTM. Strong in defence, he was cheeky coming forward - like the kid who shot out of our youth set up 3 years ago. He earned a series of corners going forward despite a pretty predictable partnership with Fornals down the right wing.

Benrahma and Fornals did their usual thing - capable but not potent.

Mubama struggled up front alone and his lack of awareness as a target man showed. Lots to learn, hopefully at West ham, but he needs time to develop his positional awareness.

Cornet looked lacking in confidence and persistently turned in instead of testing their right backs speed. We've never seen the real Maxwell Cornet.

Mavropanos was slick in possession and solid against a lightweight attack. The jury remains out as to whether he can really cut it in the Premiership cauldron but he has plenty of potential.

Cresswell is coming to the end of a great career but the lack of game time was evident. With Ward Prowse on set piece duty his star is fading.

Danny Ings needs to drop down a level to a club that plays two up front - a rare beast in modern football.

We move on, it's a harsh wheel that keeps on spinning.


Soucek steals it at the death

Poor Backa Topola! The plucky Serbs had worked their socks off for a result and in all fairness deserved at least a draw.

But just before the 90 minute mark Tomas Soucek stole into the box and thumped in a crucial goal to snatch an ill-deserved win for Moyes' men.

Football can be so cruel at times.

On to Sunday and the visit of Palace. Let's hope Bowen et al are fit in time for an encounter that will require a much better performance from an out of sorts Hammers.

That said, four wins on the trot!

Impotent Irons lurch towards play offs

It's all gone very drab out in Serbia as the hapless Hammers have failed to impose their tactics on the game and allowed a determined Topola to coast along with hardly a save for their keeper to make.

Moyes has brought on fresh 'firepower' in Ings (no goals this season to date) and Cornet ( who has never scored for West ham).

Backa will see a result as their finest European achievement and look the more likely to snatch a win than the Hammers.

It's looking like the scenic route for Moyes men where if they don't beat Freiberg will have a two-leg knockout with a side dropping from the Champions league.

On the plus side, it would make for a cracking finale to the group in a fortnight.


Hammers making hard work of Topola in Serbia


It's been an intriguing first half - with high intensity cheered on by a typically passionate home crowd in Serbia. 

Backa have been impressive, with plenty of energy and neat interpassing, while the Hammers are also moving the ball quickly but without any clear openings so far. 

Johnson has made a number of key blocks and tackles to keep the Serbs at bay. Up front Mubama has looked an isolated figure, trying to live off long ball scraps.

Benrahma is doing his usual 'almost' act out on the left, while Paqueta and Ward Prowse have been busily probing through the centre.

Aaron Cresswell had an almost howler with a misplaced pass across the back on the half hour mark as Backa have looked hungry but Fabianski saved the day, albeit after an initial fumble.

All to play for in the second half, but with Freiberg an impressive 4-0 up at home to Olympiacos, Moyes men will need to uo their game if they want to top the group.


Big night ahead for on the edge Hammers

The last time David Moyes reached into the depth of his squad for an away European match the Hammers came up well short of the mark with a tepid performance away to Olympiacos in Athens.

He'll be hoping for a much better performance tonight in Serbia as he is forced to again field a weaker side due to an outbreak of niggly injuries that keep Antonio, Bowen and Kudus out of the matchday squad.

Despite that, he has still been able to field a strong starting side with Divin Mubama starting up front. It's another big chance for the almost man that is Said Benrahma, with rumours of an end of season (or even January) exit growing.

Mubama is looking to nail down a new contract and will need to impress in what is probably his biggest test yet at the club. Similarly, Ben Johnson has been handed a start ahead of Thilo Kehrer and needs to remind Moyes that he has a significant contribution to make at full back or will likely exit in the near future.

Pablo Fornals has been a superb servant at the club but has slipped well down the pecking order and will relish the opportunity of a starting berth tonight.

The bench is pretty youthful but also includes Cornet and Ings as attacking options if needed.

A win would all but seal the group for Moyes' men before the final group fixture against Freiberg. 

Kick off is 5.45


West Ham United: Fabiański, Johnson, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Cresswell, Fornals, Ward-Prowse, Souček, Paquetá, Benrahma, Mubama

Subs: Areola (GK), Anang (GK), Emerson, Scarles, Kehrer, Zouma, Ogbonna, Orford, Coventry, Chesters, Cornet, Ings

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.