Tuesday 31 January 2023

All quiet on the West Ham front...or is it?

With just a few hours remaing before the January transfer window closes it looks increasingly unlikely that the Hammers will add to the signings of Danny Ings and Brazilian youth, Luizao.

In reality, the end of January is like the final hours on holiday when suddenly useless overpriced holiday momentos seem weirdly attractive as those remaining dollars start to burn a hole in your pocket. 

Very few problems are solved by panic buying in the notoriously dodgy January window....think Benny McCarthy et al. In fact, bringing in washed out and unwanted squad players often just serves to destabilise the existing squad.

Then again, there was Hartson and Kitson!

So far there has been little of note to digest as both Conor Gallagher and Kalvin Philips are very unlikely to leave their current clubs, even on loan. 

Moreover, you might ask what it is West ham really need - certaily in central midfield we have Rice, Paqueta, Soucek and Downes....Lanzini is another option so perhaps David Moyes would be better to focus upon helping these undoubted talents to find their true form?

Up front, we now have three strikers to compete for a single spot and although Scamacca and Ings have injuries, they are reported as short term and shouldn't prevent their being available for the final 12-15 games.

Out wide we have Bowen and Benrahma, with Fornal and (hopefully) Cornet to support. Meanwhile, Oggy, Aguerd, Kehrer and Zouma can cover centre back without causing too much concern about Dawson's departure. 

However, the usually downbeat Moyes used the "maybe" word when asked if there would be activity today, which for him represents a strong 'yes'.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Monday 30 January 2023

Antonio Heads Hammers Two Nil Up

Michail Antonio has put some decent light between the sides by heading the Hammers two up in the opening minutes of the second half against Derby.

A third would allow Moyes to play with his side and rest his big players for Newcastle at the weekend but plucky Derby are still giving it a go and have just had a decent shout for a penalty denied.

Mikey certainly needed a goal but is the kind of player who goes on scoring runs so hopefully this will ignite his season.

Derby have just made four substitutions which tells its own story - they've got mighty Morecombe at the weekend!


Collymore Predicts Hammer Horror

It's no surprise to Hammers fans to hear that Stan Collywobbles has seized tonights FA cup match to again demonstrate his animosity towards the club.

He has predicted a victory for the League one outfit against a Hammers side that has been faltering and has low morale at present.

Perhaps big Stan has some justification as he points out that Derby are unbeaten in 15 games and have that positivity to get a result. 

Right now, it's 1-0 to the Premiership side but if Derby could get an equaliser the Hammers might wobble!

However, with Rice and Paqueta on the bench Moyes has decent options.


Hammers Stutter to Half Time

After a bright start, West ham have reverted to recent poor form in their 4th round clash with Derby. 

Their early rhythm has given way to sloppy passing and a general lack of incisiveness when in possession.

Derby can smell blood and Conor Hourihane has started to put together some neat passes.

More worrying though is that Derby's right winger, Laing, looks to have the beating of Emerson and has glided past him with ease on a number of occasions just before the break. 

Derby's left back is on a yellow so expect Benrahma to go for the jugular if he gets called into action as the game progresses.

Otherwise, a cup upset is still very much on the cards!

We may need Rice and Paqueta yet. 

Bowen Puts Hammers One Up!

It's ten minutes in and after a few half chances Jarrod Bowen has broken the deadlock against Derby. 

In truth, Derby look a bit light in Midfield and Flynn Downes is bossing proceedings at present.


Time for Divin intervention: Hammers take on Rams

David Moyes has gone for a strong starting line up to face the Rams in tonight's fourth round FA cup clash. It looks like three at the back with Oggy, Kehrer and Aguerd, while Emerson and Johnson will patrol the wing back berths. 

Flynn Downes gets to partner Soucek in midfield, while up front it's Fornals, Bowen and Antonio. Rice, Benny and Paqueta wait in the wings if needed.

Hammers fans will be hoping to get another look at young striking starlet Divin Mubama who is on the bench.

It's just about kick off....Rory Nostradamus reckons it'll be a 2-1 win with the subs making the difference.


West Ham United: Areola (GK), Johnson, Fornals, Antonio, Downes, Bowen, Ogbonna (C), Kehrer, Aguerd, Soucek, Emerson

Substitutes: Fabianski (GK), Cresswell, Coufal, Lanzini, Paqueta, Benrahma, Rice, Laing, Mubama

Man Utd (away) awaits tonight's winner

The fifth round draw has been made and whichever side prevails tonight at Derby will face the Red Devils in the next round. That should add to the excitement as the Hammers look to build upon recent results and keep their cup dream alive.

With a tough series of fixtures ahead in the Premiership, David Moyes will probably look to give his broader squad some game time, and hopefully an opportunity for some of our impressive youngsters.

Derby are no pushovers and are looking to gain automatic promotion from League One having endured a torrid time with financial implosion but look to be pushing on from all of that and will enjoy having a crack at a wobbling Premiership club!

Kick off is 7.45 and its on ITV4.