West Ham United vs Everton

by | 06/11/2015  63 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Everton head south again this weekend for a second successive away game in the Capital to take on West Ham United under Goodison old boy, Slaven Bilic. The Croatian is off to the kind of start his summer expenditure might have demanded even if his team remains somewhat unpredictable and they will pose a stern test to a Toffees side that is also searching for its own consistency.

This is an intriguing one on a number of levels, not least Everton's record over West Ham which ranks as the Blues' best in the Premier League era, helped by the fact that they have won all of the last six meetings between the two clubs in the Premier League.

Then there's Romelu Lukaku's personal record against the Hammers – the Belgian has scored in all six of the games he has played against them since arriving at Goodison Park, including the two cup matches last season that stand apart from Everton's dominance of the East London side in recent years.

With the addition of the likes of Enner Valencia, Cheikhou Kouyat̩ and Diafra Sakho under Sam Allardyce and now the finesse and quality of Dmitri Payet, West Ham have become a different proposition over the past couple of seasons and made Upton Park a more feared place to visit. That didn't prevent Everton from winning yet again there in the League last season in what was a largely meaningless mid-table end-of-season affair but it they are a dangerous side when they Рand Payet in particular Рare in their groove.

Under Bilic this season they have been curiously erratic, however, beating Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City on the road and despatching Chelsea 3-1 at home while losing to Bournemouth and Watford and drawing with Norwich, all teams they would have expected to be beating. They come into this weekend four points and three places better off than Everton in the table but with neither their fans nor their opposotion quite sure which Hammers team is going to show up.

Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, has the task of prolonging the Toffee's fine record in this fixture and building on the fine 6-2 win over Sunderland. It was a team performance that demonstrated just how lethal Everton can be when firing on all attacking cylinders themselves but there is an air of unpredictability about the Catalan's men, too.

The events of last Sunday should at least make Martinez's team selection a little easier this weekend, however. Bryan Oviedo will be ruled out with the hamstring injury he suffered against the Black Cats and will be replaced by Brendan Galloway (who made his debut in this match back in May) in which could be the only change.

Certainly, hat-trick hero Arouna Kone did enough to warrant another start playing off Lukaku, as will Gerard Deulofeu who continues to be a mercurial but effective provider down the right flank.

Given the height that he possesses in his side – Andy Carroll hasn't been a regular starter so far but has been deployed successfully off the bench and could play this time with Sakho out – Bilic likely won't be averse to testing Everton's vulnerability to crosses and set-pieces so that, combined with keeping Payet quiet, will hopefully be the areas of priority for Martinez's men in this one.

A win would build on what was an impressive away record prior to the defeat at Arsenal, propel the Blues back into the pack chasing the European places and further establish them as a force in that regard.

Kick off: 3pm Saturday
Referee: Paul Tierney
Predicted line-up: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone, Lukaku

Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Report


Reader Comments (63)

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Mark Rankin
1 Posted 06/11/2015 at 06:53:37
First 10 games were tough; we did okay without getting a real run of confidence going.

It was a big result last week and I'd love another one tomorrow going before the international break. Can we keep a clean sheet?

Kunal Desai
2 Posted 06/11/2015 at 06:55:16
Carroll will start this as Sakho is ruled out. The worry is from set-pieces. Can Stones and Funes Mori handle him?
Robert Workman
3 Posted 06/11/2015 at 07:15:44
Last (only) time I saw a 6-2 it was Southampton v Blackpool in the late 60s (I was living near Southampton at the time). That game was all about Terry Paine's crosses to the prolific Ron Davies's head. Next game was against West Ham, a 4-4 draw. What price a repeat Everton-style on Saturday?
Paul Andrews
4 Posted 06/11/2015 at 07:32:52
Anyone know of a decent pub near the ground?
Dan Azzu
5 Posted 06/11/2015 at 08:20:33
These have had good results away but they are not so good at home. If they come out and play, we should have enough space to hurt them if our attackers can repeat their current from.

If we can keep Payet quiet and don't soil ourselves everytime they put a cross in there's, no reason why we can't win this.

First goal will be important: if they score first, they can sit back and counter how they like to... but, if they keep coming at us, that's a game we can defo beat them at.

Its all ifs and buts... It would be a huge boost going into the break. Come on, boys, you're better than these bubble-blowing muppets!

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:12:36
Mark

To answer your question about keeping a clean sheet..

Virtually no chance, I'm now accustomed to the fact that under Roberto Martinez we will never be defensively solid and it's something that will always be a weakness.

I fully expect West Ham to have the same kind of chances that Sunderland had last week; the question is: Can we outscore the Hammers like we did Sunderland? We couldn't quite outscore Arsenal or Manchester United but we needed to score three at West Brom to win, it may need at least a couple of goals to draw or win tomorrow.

Personally, I'm not at all comfortable with the match tomorrow. I am not at ease with our shocking defending and I know we are not capable of scoring three every week... so, unless we learn to tighten up, we will continue to ship chances galore. As I said, Sunderland themselves could have had six last weekend!

I'd take a draw tomorrow provided we take six points off Villa and Bournemouth.

Sadly though I can see West Ham finally turning us over tomorrow. I got a bad feeling for a 2-1 defeat!

David Hallwood
7 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:13:58
I wonder what odds I'd be offered for Lukaku scoring and Carroll scoring a header in the 6-yard box double? Probably not much.

As Lyndon states in his excellent review, the 'Ammers will be a stern test, but one if we've any hope of challenging we'd need to match; and more than match.

Like a lot of Evertonians, I'm becoming increasingly concerned at the Wiganisation of our team. Lots of goals scored and shedloads conceded... I would love a 1-0 or 2-0 than a 4-3, call me old fashioned, but no team won anything with a leaky defence.

The Score? Too difficult to predict, I've got us 3-1 on my Super 6, but then again I never put us down for a draw or a loss, that's why I hate it when we're one of the games on Super 6!

Joe Foster
8 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:21:29
With the roller coaster ride that is Everton, I find difficult to predict any of our scores no matter who we play. I know we can play a good game cause I have seen it a couple of times but we can also play terribly. Flip of a coin this one for me.
Derek Wadeson
10 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:42:21
Jim Bennings #4. Love your confidence.

As regards to clean sheets, we never worried about them in the 80's and that was with Big Nev in goal. We always had the confidence then as in what is starting to grow now under Roberto that if they score two we will score three.

That is not me saying it about scoring three, they are quotes from Peter Reid & Kevin Ratcliffe. Look at our goals-against record in that successful period, we were not clean sheet merchants and we know that defence was one of our most solid with the world's best goalkeeper at the time.

Also, I remember the great Howard Kendall stating that, for every three players you sign, you expect one to be a success and one to flop, you just hope the other does enough to make you a profit to make up for the flop. Both Martinez and David Moyes pass that test.

What Howard built started slowly then exploded, if we have a good period from now to the end of January (including cup progress) it could be the start of a very exciting time for the Blues.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:54:37
Derek

Years of suffering has a negative outcome for a fan's mindset eventually.

I get the point your making but comparing this team with the success of the 80's and even football in general is a bit difficult because everything has changed so much.

We scored six goals last week but if you look back over our results in recent years, we don't normally win many games by scoring four or five goals and I'd be a lot happier knowing our defence is sterner.

What happens if we concede another two tomorrow?
It greatly reduces our chances of winning the match because we can't score so many goals every week!!

I'd be happy tomorrow to see a hard fought 1-0 win.

Danny Broderick
12 Posted 06/11/2015 at 10:56:22
West Ham are not as good a team as they are being made out to be. They have had a great start, but they do not hold any fear. I honestly think we can go toe-to-toe with them, as we have the better team.

I also think our style is sometimes better suited to playing away from home. They will let us play, and we normally do well there anyway. I fancy us tomorrow. Lukaku will hopefully bag a goal or two.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:02:34
As much as attacking and scoring goals is a great refreshing change, defending is also an art that you need to work at to reach something close to solidarity, it's impossible to make a team perfect but solidarity should be achieved if enough work is put in on the training ground.

I just kind of liked the days too when Everton were rigidly hard to break down, notoriously difficult to beat; nowadays you feel like any half-baked cross into the box is going to result in a goal for the opposition.

Don't get me wrong: I want to see us score loads of goals but we definetly need to work more on defending and I think 90% of Evertonians will agree with that.

Derek Wadeson
14 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:12:00
Jim,

My first match was a Liverpool Senior Cup Final in May 1961. It was only way a derby match could be played then with the reds in the old Second Division. So like you I have plenty of helter skelter rides. (Everton won 4-3, with a Harry Catterick defence.)

At the end of January (with my predication) one of us will be right. If I am correct you can buy me a pint with a smile on you face.

Shane Corcoran
15 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:13:58
David, #5 a good bet with Paddy Power is both teams to score and Everton to win at 7/2.

I reckon it'll be 2-3 but could easily be 4-2 to West Ham.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:36:23
Agreed Derek!

If we have as good a spell as you predict between now and January I'll gladly buy you two pints with a gleaming big smile.

Tony Marsh
17 Posted 06/11/2015 at 11:52:36
There is a good chance we could win this one as long as Martinez doesn't baffle us with his team selection. Every time we win a game in style, he chops and changes the side for the next game. It wouldn't suprise me to see Lennon or McGeady play in place of Kone or Deulofeu, Naismith back in, etc.

Martinez is totally clueless in the tactics and set-up department. We can win if we keep the same side as last week.

Si Cooper
18 Posted 06/11/2015 at 12:04:08
How were either of the two goals last week due to 'Wiganisation'?

John Stones chose to gamble on a clearance he could easily have made (and should have given the scoreline and the proximity of the half-time whistle) and Funes Mori was simply 'out-competed' by a striker renowned for his heading prowess. I simply don't believe the manager coaches these things into the players and / or they are not allowed to make a judgement call that might lie outside of the manager's preferred approach.

As others have said, the great team in the mid-eighties was not infallible, but whenever we went behind we (the crowd) just 'knew' we would peg them back in the end, and most of the time we did.

Draw seems most likely result, but that will all depend on how West Ham approach the game. If they play it as a typical home-team opportunity to parade before their home supporters, then we will have loads of chances to play on the break; if we score first then I fancy our chances for the win.

Jon Withey
19 Posted 06/11/2015 at 12:47:59
Very difficult to imagine us managing a clean sheet without Jags at the back. It also looks like they haven't had a match without at least scoring one – 0-0 would be impressive for that reason.

Can we manage to score more than them? Maybe.

It would be a good win, they are above us and have a decent enough first team.

Paul Cherrington
20 Posted 06/11/2015 at 12:53:02
I think the Wiganisation claims come about cos of how similar we are to RMs Wigan team in terms of being fragile and easy to score against.

Can you image Moyes letting Stones miss a simple clearance like that? No way – risky mistakes like that would have been coached out of him in the week and he would have got a good rollicking if he still did it in a game.

Aaron Underwood
21 Posted 06/11/2015 at 13:06:19
We won by 4 goals last week and some people are unhappy cos we didn't keep a clean sheet despite the fact 2 of our back four were missing, one of which is our captain.

With Stones and Funes Mori out there in front of Howard, we need to be lethal with our attacking, and that's what we did last week, and I hope that's what we do again this week. No chance whatsoever of a clean sheet.

I'd say Andy Carroll is on the scoresheet already, pretty much. However, I do think we're a better team, and with Deulofeu and Kone pretty much guaranteed to start, I think there's going to be a lot of goals in this game. I'm gonna say 4-3 Everton, with Lukaku to score as well as Super Kev off the bench.

Ben Jones
22 Posted 06/11/2015 at 13:45:11
I fancy us to get a positive result out of this one actually.

We seem to play well against teams attacking against us, because our counter attacking is immense. West Ham will want to attack, they still love their 80s team and the home fans won't expect anything less. That's why the majority hated Allardyce. Though he did well, their style of football was not to the fans liking. I used to work with a guy who was a West Ham season ticket holder, he refused to go to any games when Allardyce was in charge.

The only thing that could count against us is exactly the way we played against Sunderland happening to us! If West Ham get the early goal, they can then sit back and counter. Our defence isn't good enough at the moment to handle much, so with players like Valencia and Payet, pacy and creative, could be a problem.

Set pieces could also be a problem with Carroll, Koyate, Tomkins, Reid and others.

If we don't concede in the first 30 minutes I still think we have a really good chance. Think our attack is better than theirs and we will have space for Barry and Barkley to dictate the game.

Denis Richardson
23 Posted 06/11/2015 at 13:51:44
After a 6-2 win, I would presume the manager will reward the starting 11 by not changing the team, Oviedo's injury excepted. I would like to see Mirallas given a decent run out though.

West Ham are not great at home at the minute but will be a lot harder test than Sunderland were. Payet is a quality player and they have some decent forwards as well. If Carroll is up for it, our CBs will have their hands full.

Hard to call but I can't see this being 0-0.

Alex Bennett
24 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:12:28
Have we won a 3 o'clock kick-off yet this season? If not, it has to be time we are due one.

After last week, confidence in front of goal should be good. If we cut out the silly mistakes at the back, we should hopefully be onto a winner.

Jay Harris
25 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:30:39
It's funny there was a time when I would love to have Carroll in the opposition side because he is just a blunderbuss but that is our weakness under this manager. Since it was not just Stones and Funes Mori being beaten to the ball last week, it was the fact those balls should never have been allowed to be played in.

Add to that the two that hit the post and you can see how we have become Wiganised. A poor defence means you can't go into any game with confidence despite having good players.

Brian Harrison
26 Posted 06/11/2015 at 14:49:44
The plus side of having Carroll playing is that you can push your back line higher, as they wont be playing balls over the top for him to run onto. Obviously the downside is crosses, corners and free kicks. So its imperative that we make it as hard as possible for them to get crosses into the box.
Harold Matthews
27 Posted 06/11/2015 at 16:28:28
Mr Marsh might well be right with this one. Martinez loves to tinker with his team selection. We'll need to defend corners and stop crosses.and I'm not sure Deulofeu, Kone and Mirallis are up to it.

On the other hand, if we go all out attack with no concern for the defence, we might go with an unchanged side.

Colemasn should be fitter than the other day but Stones remains a worry. No leg speed since his knock against Reading on the 22nd September, he has told Hodgson he'll be available for the end of the month but we need him now. Personally, till Stones is definitely 100%, I would prefer Browning who is better in the air, physically stronger and quicker.

Terry White
28 Posted 06/11/2015 at 16:40:27
Alex, #23, how about Man. U. a couple of weeks ago? That did not turn out too well.
Sam Hoare
29 Posted 06/11/2015 at 17:53:23
Harold, I concur that this is a game for Browning at RB. We will likely have to defend a lot of balls into the box from the gifted feet of Payet (I hope we at least tried to sign him!) so a back line of Browning, Stones, Funes Mori and Galloway should give us some height.

Plus Coleman had a mare vs Sunderland.

Other than that, I hope he sticks with the same team... though that seems unlikely.

Jim Bennings
31 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:11:19
I'm still not convinced fully about Seamus Coleman's defensive abilities.

I think he's only really had one really great season in nearly six years, Martinez's first season 2013-14, before that under Moyes he was always decent to good but last season and so far this, albeit due to injury, he just hadn't pulled up that many tree's.

I think that's one of the downfalls to having attacking fullbacks like Coleman and Baines, neither are too drawer defenders for me, not old school like Tony Hibbert anyway.

Some may question whether Coleman has really even been that outstanding going forward lately.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:15:18
My favourite away ground.

Some fantastic memories, Saha's late double, The Yaks run in, Lukaku's powerful late header, those fantastic free kicks from Baines, We so often have been able to to be able to produce a rabbit from the hat down there. Sad this will be the last time we play there.

One more time, boys.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:15:48
We have little choice but to persevere with Coleman, who continues to makes positional errors, despite gaining more fitness. I don't rate Carroll, and wouldn't be surprised to see him hobble off with another injury.

West Ham are a capable side, but they, like us, are better suited to counter-attack, and have fared better away from home.

For me, a draw would be fine, but our good record against them gives me hope for a win, but I think we may need to score three to take the points!

Colin Glassar
34 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:26:16
We always beat this lot so I'm going for a 1-2 away win. Also, that baldy Welsh fella is suspended and he's been their best defender so far.

WHU have been given loads of accolades because they are everyone's favourite second team in the smoke but they usually start well and then fall away as the season progresses.

Harold Matthews
35 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:54:59
Looking forward to seeing our Brazilian right back with the dodgy knees doing his stuff with Doncaster. This fella flies up the wing like George Best.
Tony Hill
36 Posted 06/11/2015 at 19:58:59
He deserves some luck, Harold. I think the way we've dealt with him shows imagination. Would be great if it worked out.
David Hallwood
37 Posted 06/11/2015 at 20:57:28
"How were either of the two goals last week due to 'Wiganisation'?" Si Cooper (#17), I'm 50/50 on that one; their first was down to brilliant forward play IMO, the second was (surprise, surprise) a header from a cross in the 6-yard box.

But let's talk about the other 18 goals against in 14 games in all competitions this season, and how about the 50 (yes 50) goals conceded in the league last season, from a defence that was the best in 2011-12.

And comparisons between us & Wigan in for and against columns... don't go there.

Tony Hill
38 Posted 06/11/2015 at 21:19:57
I think we've underrated the performance last week actually because Sunderland were so awful. There was an attacking fluidity we've not seen in such a sustained way for a long time and I sense a pivotal moment for us.

I am looking to McCarthy in particular to carry on in the same vein, that man could be an absolute giant for us over the coming years if he develops his game going forward.

I feel that something might have clicked together for our club. Let's keep it going tomorrow.

Jim Lloyd
40 Posted 06/11/2015 at 21:28:08
I agree Tony. I thought James McCarthy had a cracking game; and looked, for the first time in ages to be enjoying himself. It all seemed to start coming together on Sunday, especially when Barry started dropping into the defensive kingpin sort of role. This is going to be one hard game though.
Gavin Johnson
41 Posted 06/11/2015 at 21:32:51
Up until the Man Utd game we had the leagues best defensive record so the Wiganisation comment is an easy but albeit false claim to make. For me, it's more the manner in which we concede that is the problem: usually from crosses and set pieces.

It's our GK who is to blame for much of this IMO. Perhaps Joel Robles isn't the long-term answer but I'm convinced we'd reduce the amount of set-piece goals conceded if the lad was playing because he'll attack crosses. He made three clean sheets last season and was unceremoniously dropped.

Alex Kociuba
42 Posted 06/11/2015 at 21:53:09
I leave a meeting in L16 (Hope University) at 3:30 (which I hope to get an early dart at 3pm) any decent pubs near by? Not really my neck of the woods.
Alex Bennett
43 Posted 06/11/2015 at 21:58:25
Terry (#27),

I know the Utd game didn't turn out well; not too sure what you're getting at.

Ian Bennett
44 Posted 06/11/2015 at 22:12:24
Gareth Barry is going to have to do a good job filling in at centre-back. Funes Mori and Stones are so keen to the win the ball, we can be over exposed when they miss.

Barry brought great maturity last week, and we will need more of the same. Keeping Carroll out will be a big challenge, so the full backs better improve on closing down the crosses.

Same team as last week plus Galloway. Fingers crossed, up the Blues.

Richard Lyons
45 Posted 06/11/2015 at 22:31:09
We have to win this one - my boss and at least two other colleagues who sit close to me in the office are West Ham fans. As I left this evening, I foolishly predicted we'd win... why did I do that? I never do that sort of thing.

So we just have to win. And we will win, and Lukaku will score again. Yes. Definitely.

Robin Gomme
46 Posted 06/11/2015 at 22:56:27
Darren (#30)

I hadn't clicked it would be the last game there. Memories indeed.

Growing up in Kent, Upton Park was the first time I saw the blues 'in the flesh'. 1973 an awful game with an awfully ugly team (I was scarred for life by the sight of Joe Harper).

February '74, I was there for Bob Latchford's debut, when we lost a cracker 3-4. I can still remember George Telfer's screamer.

Finally saw them win early in the 74-75 season, 3-2. I remember a penalty from Joe Royle and possibly one from Colin Harvey. All seems just like yesterday.....

Mike Hughes
47 Posted 06/11/2015 at 23:27:13
First game my Dad took me to was EFC vs WHU at Goodison 1976 (2-0) so I have a (small) soft spot for them. We usually do well against The Hammers. And they did stuff the RS this season with an ex-Blue in charge.
The area around Upton Park reminds me a little of Walton - but without the trees and greenery! 2-3 to EFC (Lukaku hat-trick).

Paul Andrews #4 - the Ruskin Hotel has a large decent sports bar (also serving food) and is only half-a-mile away. I'm pretty sure it'll be a local's place. Mind you, I stayed there a year or so ago when doing some work at the local hospital. Man Utd were playing in Europe midweek and it filled-up with Mancs. After a couple of pints, I went to bed early.

Andy Ellis
48 Posted 07/11/2015 at 00:15:44
I was at Upton Park in November 1984 when Adrian Heath scored the only goal of the game. Not a classic or well remembered game but the points were all important that day.

Even that great team had to grind them out; I would settle for same tomorrow, a clean sheet would be more than welcome. I was in the chicken run that day which restricted celebrations!

Andy Crooks
49 Posted 07/11/2015 at 00:48:03
There are some really good posts on this thread. Danny Broderick and Darren Hind especially. We have better players than them, but in the many years I have supported our club I have never been as confused as to how we will play or what the the result will be. A five-nil win seems to me as likely as a five-nil defeat. We are utterly unpredictable, and I mean that as performance wise rather than tacticly.
Victor Jones
50 Posted 07/11/2015 at 02:40:28
We are useless at defending crosses. So heres a thought.... how about stopping them at the scource. Not bloody rocket science. Stop them playing. Make their big lump of a forward redundant.

Coleman was ball watching last week. He needs to tighten up that side of his game. All our defensive players need to be on their game. No tippy tappy, thank you. That would only play into West Ham's hands.

Play on the front foot. Same team as last week will do for me. I think that WHU can be vunerable at the back. And talking of "big lumps". We have our own version. I sense a blinder from him soon.

Attack, Attack, Attack, that's the best form of defence. See, it's easy, this management lark. Nothing to it. Let's hope Mr. Martinez realises that. No tinkering, please.

Ernie Baywood
51 Posted 07/11/2015 at 03:09:53
West Ham's form is just as baffling.

Flip a coin.

But then I read that Andy Carroll is likely to lead the line and I can't help but think we should be beating a team with options so limited as that.

Matt Traynor
52 Posted 07/11/2015 at 04:38:38
Ernie (#47), trouble is, the way our defence (and GK) are playing, you could see them making a bang average player like Carroll look like a world beater.

Expect lots of crosses and dead balls across our 6-yard box, with our keeper nailed to the goal-line as usual.

Eddie Dunn
54 Posted 07/11/2015 at 08:53:40
Andy 46, I went to that game with a few mates – we were all living in Leytonstone, so not too far away. We all got in the main stand but only allowed ourselves a little grin when we scored, as the stand was full of mutants just waiting to spot some scousers blowing their cover!
Eugene Kearney
55 Posted 07/11/2015 at 08:59:34
Three points today.

WHU 0 - Everton 2.

That'll do nicely!!

Matt Traynor
56 Posted 07/11/2015 at 09:40:59
Sad in a way that this is the last game at the Boleyn. Went many times when I worked in London/SE. Went into the infamous Queens before a match as my mate needed a piss (couldn't wait the 3 minutes it would take to get into the ground), and ended up being bought another beer by locals, who told us to meet them in there after the match. Ended a diplomatic 2-2, so we did (any other result we'd have swerved it). Stayed till closing, and went back most years to see the same crowd.

Was it Hibbo's debut when Pearce was sent off for cutting him down, and we got the penalty and won 2-0?

Also recall a 4-0 there when Barmby scored a Hat-trick and Joe Max Moore got the other. Ended up in the Blind Beggar that night. But that's another story...

Aidy Dews
57 Posted 07/11/2015 at 10:14:30
West Ham are one of our favourite teams we like to play, we've taken a lot of points off of them during our history and I'm hoping we get another 3 today, but it's going to be tough, tougher than ever imo!

They're steadily building a good side, first under Allardyce and now Bilic, who is carrying it on with class signings like Lanzini, Moses and especially Payet. They're a good all-round team for me, even if they are a bit unpredictable at times this season with results. They seem to do better when nothing is expected of them but when, the onus is on them to take the game to teams they're expected to win, they've struggled. The West Ham fans will feel confident they can beat us today; hopefully the team come out and feel that way also as that could play into our hands!

Martinez likes it when teams come on to us and leave themselves a bit open at the back. He likes to hit those teams on the break and exploit the space so hopefully West Ham make this an open game and we're deadly on the break!

There will be goals in this definitely and I don't know why but I get the feeling it could be another ding donger like we had down there in Martinez's first season?! 3-2 to the Blues and Lukaku to keep up his form and record against the Hammers.

Eric Myles
58 Posted 07/11/2015 at 10:43:05
Just what I was thinking Matt #49.

But when with Newcastle, Carroll was a lot better than limited Ernie, he was on fire, it's being badly managed at our neighbours and then his consistent injuries at WHU that have done for him.

John Malone
59 Posted 07/11/2015 at 10:48:58
The best most in-form West Ham team we have faced for years! The fact we and Lukaku have got such a good record there means nothing today!

The fact that a poor Sunderland team created so many good chances and scored two against us regardless of the fact we scored six worries me a lot. We can't go away to West Ham and give Carroll, Payet and Co the same space because we will lose, I have a feeling Martinez will change the shape to a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3 and play counter-attack which suits us fine!

We always concede under Martinez so I'm just hoping Deulofeu and Rom can do the damage up top again and we can get a winning streak going!

Si Turner
60 Posted 07/11/2015 at 11:35:22
We need to be patient in this game because although they don't posses the same counter attacking threat without Sakho, they still have real pace in midfield.

I expect us to control the ball and probe for an opening without pressing too high. Hope he has the courage to play 4 forward players that we had playing last week and I think we will 2-1.

COYB!!!

Tom Bowers
62 Posted 07/11/2015 at 11:46:59
This could be a shootout as both teams are better offensively than defensively. However, I am concerned about Everton's mistake-ridden defence at the moment.

Last week saw some very poor work against a generally poor side in Sunderland where firstly Coleman was frequently caught out and then Stones who let in Defoe to square the game. Funes Mori was then caught with his feet in the mud when Fletcher scored.

Okay, all matches are different but one hopes they will be more solid today and that Kone keeps up his fine work. Kone has been a much better player this season now that he seems to be fully fit.

Deulofeu is another who makes a difference as he is very quick and goes at defenders making space for Lukaku and Kone to exploit.

Come on Blues, let's keep the good record going against the Hammers.

David Torpey
63 Posted 07/11/2015 at 12:10:33
Tight game, probably a draw, but if not then a win for either side. I reckon the winner will take the points today, actually. COYB.
Paul Thompson
65 Posted 07/11/2015 at 12:33:19
Worries about defensive fragility, particularly on crosses, rightly dominate this thread. One neglected aspect of this is the number of corners we concede. I seem to remember from a TV commentary that it's the highest in the league. With our defence and tactics this simply increases the likelihood of someone like Carroll getting scoring chances. Aside from trying to avoid giving away so many, we need to make sure that Lukaku comes back for them.
Harold Matthews
66 Posted 07/11/2015 at 12:36:43
Martinez on the radio saying West Ham are the most impressive team he has seen all season and will definitely finish in the top 5.
Sam Fitzsimmons
67 Posted 07/11/2015 at 12:37:59
Can't agree with any of the criticism being levelled at Coleman. He was totally exposed last week because Del boy doesn't track back. But then again that's the compromise Martinez makes by playing Del boy rather than Lennon and why we were so good on the break. Equally, Stones going AWL on few occasions didn't help Coleman either. When attacking Coleman was constantly drawing defenders and leaving space for Lukaku and Duelofeu. Funny how we see game's and a player performances differently.
Jamie Barlow
69 Posted 07/11/2015 at 14:01:32
Howard, Galloway, Funes Mori, Stones, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Kone, Barkley, Deulofeu, Lukaku.
Jay Harris
70 Posted 07/11/2015 at 14:26:55
Apart from Payet and the new manager this is the same old West Ham.

I just hope RM got the message about the need to improve our defending and slow starts and that he has prepared the squad properly for this game.

This is a six pointer and will go a long way in identifying our credentials.

We are due a clean sheet but I have been thinking that for so long now.

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