Declan Rice officially pledges international future to England

A little under a month after his 20th birthday, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has officially pledged his international future to England. In a post on social media, the youngster announced his decision to “transfer his international registration from Ireland to England”

The news would’ve come as a blow to Irish fans, who would’ve been hoping for Rice not to make the same decision as Jack Grealish. The official FAI Twitter account even wished him on his birthday last month with a message that said “Happy Birthday to Ireland international Declan Rice” [Read more…]

Injury update- Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez and Winston Reid out for the season

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that the injured trio of Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez and Winston Reid will be out for the season. The Chilean gaffer also didn’t appear to be too optimistic over a return for Jack Wilshere either, saying that he had “some doubts if he will be ready”

Wilshere and Sanchez were brought in to strengthen the Hammers midfield, an area identified by Pellegrini at the beginning of the season as one requiring serious reinforcement. Declan Rice’s rise has mitigated the problems caused by their absence, but Pellegrini has been forced to use the youngster and veteran Mark Noble as a pairing in almost every match, with Pedro Obiang off the bench and Robert Snodgrass filling in there from time to time. Rice has grown in stature with every fixture following a tough start on the opening day of the season against Liverpool, and has even earned a nomination for Young Player of the Year at the 2019 London Football Awards. [Read more…]

West Ham nominees at London Football Awards 2019- Declan Rice and Lukasz Fabianski

Two West Ham players could be line for trophies at the 2019 London Football Awards after they earned nominations in their respective categories.

Young Hammers midfielder Declan Rice was nominated in the “Young Player of the Year (U21)” category. Rice will face competition from Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi, Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan Bissaka, Charlton’s Karlan Grant and QPR’s Eberechi Eze.

Rice and Wan-Bissaka will be seen in action against each other when West Ham take on Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

Pole Fabianski, who has been one of the Hammers’ best players all season, has earned a nomination for “Goalkeeper of the Year” alongside Chelsea’s Kepa, Watford’s Ben Foster, QPR’s Joe Lumley and Charlton’s Dillon Phillips. [Read more…]

Lee Mason Hoodoo continues, Lawro gets prediction right & more- Five Talking points from West Ham v Watford

West Ham’s hopes of a fifth straight league win were dashed on Saturday afternoon by Watford, with Javi Gracia’s team emerging with all three points from the London Stadium. In what was a very physical game, the Hornets’ goals came through Troy Deeney (pen) and Gerard Deulofeu. West Ham certainly had their chances, but didn’t take them, unlike last weekend’s game against Fulham. Watford could’ve scored more but for the brilliance of Lukasz Fabianski, who probably didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of a 2-0 scoreline.

West Ham’s recent bad run under Lee Mason continues

When Mason was appointed as the ref for this GW18 clash, we had noted that the Hammers had lost their last four in the league under him. 4 consecutive losses became 5 as the Hornets came away with a 2-0 win.

Mark Lawrenson gets his prediction right!

Among the pre-match pundit predictions for this game, Lawro was the only one who went against the grain and predicted a Watford win. He had tipped Fulham to win last weekend, and again chose to back West Ham’s opponents for this game. Not only did Watford win, they also won by the exact same scoreline that Lawro had predicted- 2-0!

This is Lawro’s second “perfect” score this season (result + correct scoreline) after the Huddersfield game.

West Ham v Watford in the Premier League doesn’t end in a draw when the Hammers are the home side

The 11 previous top flight games at West Ham between the two sides had always produced a victor, and this one was no different.

Five of the last six games (one being a draw at Watford) between the two sides had seen the victor triumph by a two goal margin. This also ended in a two goal victory.

Few would’ve expected Man City (to Palace), Chelsea (to Leicester), and West Ham (to Watford) to lose at home on the same weekend, but GW18 has been full of surprising results.

Defeat for Declan Rice in his 50th Hammers appearance and Chicha misses out on 50 league goals

Declan Rice’s 50th Hammers appearance ended in defeat. He was also perhaps a tad below his usual standards today (but we hold the lad to really high standards given his previous performances!)

Javier Hernandez is still looking for this 50th Premier League goal, and had at least three chances to do so today, including one sitter. However none of them were converted, and Chicharito’s wait continues.

Let’s hope Fabian Balbuena’s injury isn’t too bad

Fabian Balbuena was forced to limp off with a knee injury that he suffered while conceding the first half penalty that Deeney converted. The Paraguayan’s defensive partnership with Issa Diop has been one of the highlights of West Ham’s season and fans must be praying that his injury isn’t serious.

CB is an area where the Hammers lack depth- Angelo Ogbonna can fill in, as he did today, but after him, it looks very thin. Cresswell played as part of a three man defence last season- is he good enough for a role in a two man defence? The other option would be to shift Rice, who has been excellent in midfield, to CB. With a busy and important run of fixtures coming up, West Ham need Balbuena to be fit.

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Crystal Palace?

Two delightful goals from Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson and a well taken poachers’ effort from Javier Hernandez gave West Ham their third straight Premier League win as they beat Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace 3-2 at the London Stadium.

As they had done against Cardiff, the Hammers trailed at the interval, but blew away their opponents in a strong third quarter performance. Interestingly, they have also scored three goals in each of these three wins, triumphing 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.

Manuel Pellegrini chose to restore his defence to full strength, with Fabian Balbuena and veteran Pablo Zabaleta both coming back into the XI after sitting out the Cardiff game. Lucas Perez’s impressive game off the bench against the Bluebirds earned him a starting spot in the absence of the injured Marko Arnautovic. [Read more…]