How would you feel if you had a car which was steeped in history; a car that you bought because it had a certain style, a bit of class, maybe a Jag XJ6 or a Saab. Then someone comes and sprays it yellow, lowers the suspension, fits some furry dice, and a huge spoiler on the boot. That must be how West Ham fans must feel about their club.
Fat Sam’s WHU (note chewing gum on windscreen)
The Academy of Football and Fat Sam, hardly a marriage made in heaven but clearly one that is bearing fruit, they sit above us in the PL. The Jag has become a Toyota Corolla; efficient, goes through walls unscathed and never stops.
Allardyce’s teams have always caused us problems, the long ball, pacy wingers, monstrous centre forwards, hard working spiteful midfield and Easter Island figures at centreback are his trademark. Add to that a GK who invariably plays out of his skin and we can see why an artistic team would struggle.
I don’t like FSA or his teams, which is a shame because I have always had a soft spot for the Hammers. From the 3 world cup heroes to Alan Devonshire and Trevor Brooking and onto Macavennie and Cottee they have had style. A trip to the Boleyn guaranteed entertainment (not least from the Chicken Run). But Allardyce? Shame on the Director’s of this once classy club. They have become the London Orcs and why? Because the shouting, angry, gum-chewing Chewbacca is the anti-Christ of passing football.
I watched their away win at QPR and they look very strong, we will have to be at our best this afternoon and totally concentrated. Kevin Nolan has been a thorn in our side in the past and although he is close to the free bus pass he still causes problems. Jarvis is tricky and expensive, Carroll expensive and dangerous, and Vaz Te is just tricky (and a diver). Whether CArroll starts ahead of Cole is questionable but perhaps the Walrus will pick them both what with WHU being at home.
The midweek win will have re-assured the Arsenal that they are a quality team. I know many have been very critical of our CB’s display but I thought the Greek goal was very good – a superb cross finished off with a sublime header. Had Giroud scored it we would have been ecstatic. Apart from a little tweaking I think a similar team will start today. Hopefully, BFG has recovered from his E.boue because his height and organizational skills will be important.
My concerns are about the power and strength of our midfield, it is a game which cries out for Diaby’s height and power, instead we have a choice of short people. Ramsey, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ox - all short people. However, they are also clever and pacy and highly motivated.
I really want to see Giroud start – he looks so sharp and needs the chance to show what he is capable of over 90 minutes. Yes, The Swerve is on a run of goals but he can cut inside from either the left or right wings. Problem with this line-up is that it is essentially a 4-4-2 as Podolski drops so deep.
Concentration will be the key today, no silly yellows for daft tackles, no giving away free-kicks just outside the box, closing down the flanks so as few crosses come in as possible and clinical finishing.
My area of concern? Mannone. This is not a game for a GK who doesn’t boss his area. If he plays well we win, if not ……
Our last 5 trips to Upton Park have resulted in 4 wins and a draw.
A difficult game today but one we can win.
Written by Big Raddy (who will be absent today)