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West Ham


John Simkin
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West Ham is one of the main favourites of the so-called football experts to go down. This is understandable as they finished in 16th place in last years Championship (Division 2). This is reflected in the odds: 8-11 to be relegated.

Although very biased I think the experts and the bookmakers have got it wrong. They have brought in some good new players: Gabbidon (will be as good as Rio Ferdinand), Benayoun, Konchesky and Collins (yet to play because he is injured).

West Ham also has several good young players who will improve dramatically this year: Reo-Coker, Ferdinand, Etherington and Noble.

West Ham’s main problem is having a right-back (Repka) and centre forward (Harewood) who are not of Premiership standard. If we don’t get a couple of new strikers we will struggle to get goals this season. My own choice would be players from the lower divisions, Ashton (Norwich), Nugent (Preston) or Connally (Leicester). Except for Ashton, this would be a gamble, but I think they would all be able to make it at this higher level.

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West Ham’s main problem is having a right-back (Repka) and centre forward (Harewood) who are not of Premiership standard. If we don’t get a couple of new strikers we will struggle to get goals this season. My own choice would be players from the lower divisions, Ashton (Norwich), Nugent (Preston) or Connally (Leicester). Except for Ashton, this would be a gamble, but I think they would all be able to make it at this higher level.

Ashton signed a new contract in the week and clearly will not be joining West Ham. Jeremie Aliadiere is an interesting loan signing. I have seen very little of him so will withhold by judgement but clearly Celtic did not think much of him. Strachen does not often get things wrong. Let us hope he is not right about Aliadiere.

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  • 3 weeks later...
First of all can I say that the prediction that Arsenal will finish 4th behind Tottenham is the most outrageously provocative statement that John Simkin has made in the entire time that I have known him, and that is saying something!!

After recent results, maybe I should have suggested that both West Ham and Tottenham will finish above Arsenal in the league.

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It seems that I underestimated West Ham. At the beginning of the season Alan Pardew promised that his young and inexperienced team would play fast attacking football. In recent years promoted teams tended to play very defensively in their first season in the premiership. In fact, most teams outside the top three (Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United) play that way. For example, Liverpool have played four games this season and have yet to concede a goal. However, they have only managed to score one themselves.

On Saturday West Ham played at Fulham with four forwards. They had 54% of the possession (not bad for an away side). Fulham had not conceded a goal at home so far this season. Yet West Ham scored two on Saturday. Aston Villa had a good defensive record until they played West Ham last Monday when they let in four goals. It is not too difficult to keep a clean sheet when you playing against a defensive team. However, it is a different matter when you play a team that is willing to attack you.

I am aware that West Ham have only beaten three average sides so far: Blackburn, Aston Villa and Fulham. The same could be said of Newcastle where a ten man West Ham got a draw. They even outplayed Bolton but failed to convert their chances.

The big test comes on Saturday when they play Arsenal. Let us hope that Pardew does not lose his nerve and continues with his attacking policy. After all, it is possible that Arsenal is like Blackburn, Aston Villa and Fulham and only an average team this year. :)

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I see that Tottenham nearly held onto a goaless draw at Grimsby. See my thread on the Brain of Football:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5000

Tottenham seem to have problems scoring this season. Maybe they should take a look at West Ham's strategy. Last night West Ham put out a reserve side and still scored 4 goals. :blink:

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Guest Stephen Turner
I see that Tottenham nearly held onto a goaless draw at Grimsby. See my thread on the Brain of Football:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5000

Tottenham seem to have problems scoring this season. Maybe they should take a look at West Ham's strategy. Last night West Ham put out a reserve side and still scored 4 goals.  B)

John, as my dear old Granny was wont to say."Pride comes before a fall" ;)

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Interesting article in today's Guardian about West Ham's tactics against Arsenal tomorrow.

A fearless, attacking style has carried West Ham into the Premiership's top six and their manager Alan Pardew has no intention of abandoning that tomorrow just because Arsenal are the visitors to Upton Park.

Pardew acknowledges his side face a "step up in class" against Arsène Wenger's outfit but plans to stick with the approach that has seen them accrue 14 goals in their opening six games. Ten of those have come in the Premiership, making them the second top scorers.

"We are not the type of team to shut up shop and hope to get something," Pardew said yesterday. "My teams have never played like that. There are obviously different ways to win games but I think, the way the team is set up at the moment and the way we're playing, I would be doing our players a disservice if I said, 'Let's change for Arsenal'. We're going to play very similar and see how we get on . . . At the moment I've got a team with its tail up and exuberant and I don't want to take that away from them."

West Ham's positive start has surprised many observers, particularly since they earned their promotion after finishing in the last play-off spot. But Pardew knows Arsenal will present a tougher test than any of their opponents so far.

"Our expectations can't be too high against the level of team we are playing," he said. "We are obviously aiming to win and we want the stadium to be in very good voice, and I'm sure it will be. This is a step up in class and we have to make sure we can deal with it. Up until now we have looked more than capable."

Only Chelsea, with 12 goals, have scored more freely than West Ham in the Premiership. Pardew believes the boring tag with which Jose Mourinho's team have been labelled owes more to their solidity and superiority than a lack of style.

"Chelsea are so accomplished at the moment that I think they have only had one or two shots on target against them in five games," he said. "It's a bit like Steve Davis [was in snooker] - if you're that good, it does tend to get bit boring. From where I'm coming it's a great product, a great league."

http://football.guardian.co.uk/News_Story/...1576465,00.html

Even if West Ham gets wacked on Saturday I hope Pardew does not change his tactics.

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After their 0-0 draw today West Ham are now 3rd in the table (although they have played one game less than most of their opponents). Despite the result, according to the BBC, West Ham continued to play attacking football and had the best of the chances. Most importantly of all, West Ham has one of the best defensive records in the league and their goal difference is only bettered by Chelsea.

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After their 0-0 draw today West Ham are now 3rd in the table (although they have played one game less than most of their opponents). Despite the result, according to the BBC, West Ham continued to play attacking football and had the best of the chances. Most importantly of all, West Ham has one of the best defensive records in the league and their goal difference is only bettered by Chelsea.

I predict quite confidently that they will soon get vertigo :lol:

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I predict quite confidently that they will soon get vertigo :lol:

A problem that Liverpool are unlikely to suffer from this season.

Quite so! The European Champions are indeed accustomed to scaling great heights. They will take it in their stride... as always B)

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I thought Arsene Wenger’s comments after the game was interesting. He claimed that West Ham managed to get a draw because they approached it like a cup tie. I suppose he is saying that West Ham put more effort into their performance? If that is the case, the question is, why did Arsenal not put in the same kind of effort as West Ham? It seems to me that effort was not the problem for Arsenal. West Ham matched Arsenal all over the pitch (probably the first time in 20 years that they have managed to do this). This is partly because West Ham has improved. However, it is partly because Arsenal appear to be in decline. Alexander Hleb is a good acquisition but others like Cesc Fabregas, Antonio Reyes and Robin van Persie have some way to go before they can replace the quality of players of previous years.

In today’s Guardian David Pleat explained how West Ham’s tactics nullified Arsenal. They are such a predicable team that a lot of teams will have success against them this year. That is why they will finish outside the top four.

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  • 4 weeks later...
West Ham is one of the main favourites of the so-called football experts to go down. This is understandable as they finished in 16th place in last years Championship (Division 2). This is reflected in the odds: 8-11 to be relegated.

Although very biased I think the experts and the bookmakers have got it wrong. They have brought in some good new players: Gabbidon (will be as good as Rio Ferdinand), Benayoun, Konchesky and Collins (yet to play because he is injured).

West Ham also has several good young players who will improve dramatically this year: Reo-Coker, Ferdinand, Etherington and Noble.

West Ham’s main problem is having a right-back (Repka) and centre forward (Harewood) who are not of Premiership standard. If we don’t get a couple of new strikers we will struggle to get goals this season.

Very disappointing performance by West Ham last Sunday. They were outclassed by Manchester City. Hopefully this was because of the quality of Stuart Pearce’s team.

As I suggested at the beginning of the season, Repka and Harewood (I know he has scored four goals) are not good enough for the Premiership. Repka was taken off at half-time last Sunday (he had just given the ball away three times in succession) and is clearly the worst defender in the Premiership (he held that title when West Ham was relegated a couple of years ago).

I would like to see Newton or Collins playing at right-back tomorrow. I would also like to see Bellion or Zamora replace Harewood but I don’t expect it will happen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I suppose this is the only satisfaction Liverpool will get this season – the relegation of Everton.

Thrashing West Ham at the weekend was also quite satisfying :angry:

http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/match/last_match/

I agree we were outplayed on Saturday but a 2-0 score hardly indicates a thrashing. After the match Pardew claimed that Liverpool was easily the best side we have played all season. I expect he is right, after all, Arsenal is in clear decline. I still think we can hold our mid-table position. We will lose to teams like Liverpool but we are capable of beating most teams in the Premiership. We might even beat Liverpool when they visit Upton Park.

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George Swindin died a few days ago. According to Brian Glanville, Swindin was one of three good goalkeepers Arsenal had during the war. They were all in the armed forces and they all made a desperate effort at the end of the war to get back to play in a cup-tie against West Ham. It was thought that if they had a good game they would become the first-choice keeper. Swindin won the race but unfortunately for him, West Ham won the game 6-0. However, he regained his place because as Glanville put it: “Those of us who were there knew that, had it not been for Swindin, the margin might have been more severe.” I think that is what is known as the “Good Old Days”.

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