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.