Saturday 25 February 2023

The end of an era beckons

Well, well, well! Not many would have predicted that David Moyes and West ham would be in serious relegation doohdah at this stage of the season but here we are. Nottingham Forest arrive to the London stadium as one of the surprises of the season and just below mid-table after an impressive 1-1 draw with Man City last week. In comparison, the Hammers have stuttered all season long and currently sit in 18th spot.

Worryingly, Moyes men tried to shut up shop at Spurs last week and after an hour of huffing and puffing with a flooded midfield, Moyes' men were pushed aside and ran out 2-0 losers having hardly thrown a punch in anger throughout the game.

Although there is some good news on the injury front with Zouma, Paqueta and Cornet all back in training, their recoveries are likely to come too late for today's clash - one that has been billed as a must-win for Moyes with no end of rumours around potential replacements if he gets shown the door in the coming weeks (days?).

Even more alarming is the fact that the pundits seem to think the Hammers will suddenly find that missing cohesion and overcome Forest! Paul Merson, Mark Lawrenson and Stan Collymore have all opted for a Hammers win, while Chris Sutton has predicted a draw.

Only a win will do. Failure to ease the relegation threat will necessitate that we ditch European and FA aspirations and put the head down to avoid the drop. In reality, if that has to happen Moyes will surely be gone by the time next season starts. As such, this really is a big game!


Sunday 19 February 2023

Good news on the squad but is Moyes Going for Dirgeball?

The Hammers really need some points today as they travel to Spurs and lie in 18th place in the Premiership. Although Moyes has stopped the sequence of losses that characterised the Hammers form upon resumption of the league after the World Cup, the problem is that this is one of the tightest leagues in living memory!

In reality, any of 9-10 sides are in serious danger of relegation and yesterday's results served to highlight how the gap in quality through the league has narrowed such that any side on its day can give the league leaders a run for their money.

That said, David Moyes has gone for a conservative starting XI, with Rice, Soucek and Downes in midfield, suggesting that he plans to create a stalemate in midfield. At the back, the good news is that Aguerd is fit to start alongside Ogbonna and Kehrer. Up front it'll be a lonely afternoon for Antonio with Bowen in support but both Benrahma and Fornals are left on the bench.

If it gets sticky out there, Moyes has either Ings or Scamacca to bolster the attack. 

In reality, a draw would be a decent result but as things are going maybe Moyes needs to go for all three points?

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Emerson, Rice ©, Souček, Downes, Bowen, Antonio

Subs: Areola (GK), Johnson, Cresswell, Scamacca, Fornals, Ings, Benrahma, Casey

Saturday 4 February 2023

Evens Stevens at the Break as Paqueta Strikes

It's been a decent game of football at St James' Park in the evenong Kick off. West ham have looked lively and but for a dreadful defensive lapse in the opening minutes could and should be ahead.

Lucas Paqueta scored his first goal from play for the Hammers, seizing on the broken ball after a delicious Declan Rice corner. 

The celebration that followed was spectacular with a somersault followed by joyous blessings!

In reality, Paqueta has been the best player on the pitch and looks to be finally finding his feet in the Premiership.

Newcastle have looked a bit cocky and conceded a lot of space to West ham who really should have another goal. Eddie Howe will surely want to change it around for what is set up to be a cracking second half!

So, it's 1-1 at the break.