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…]

9 Points & 9 Goals from 3 Games- Is this actually West Ham? Five Talking points from Crystal Palace game

Even though the pundits had West Ham as firm favourites against Crystal Palace, we, like many fans around us, were not sure of three points! Inconsistency has been such a hallmark of West Ham’s play in recent times- two wins from two games was fantastic, but three from three? Surely not! Palace had been so woeful against Brighton in midweek and were roundly criticised by fans and pundits alike. Roy Hodgson however named the same XI that had done duty against the Seagulls, and one thought they’d be up for this game, wanting to prove a point. Privately we thought a draw would be good enough, and at half time, after McArthur’s goal and Milivojevic hitting the bar with his free kick, most fans would’ve probably taken it. Instead, like they had done against Cardiff, West Ham blew away their opposition in the third quarter. We had suggested post the Cardiff game that Anderson and Snodgrass would be our most creative players in the absence of Arnautovic, and the duo scored fantastic goals that helped the Hammers win 3-2 in front of their biggest league crowd of the season.

Here are some talking points from the game today.

Did Andy Carroll have an impact?

Definitely yes. West Ham started with Lucas Perez and Chicharito upfront, and that combo didn’t seem to offer much on attack together, especially when the Hammers’ first half strategy was to put in cross after cross to Palace’s imposing central defensive pair of Tomkins and Sakho.

Carroll’s introduction allowed West Ham an aerial presence. Even though he didn’t do much with the ball, he always attracted defenders, which provided extra space for the likes of Anderson and Chicharito to operate. The free kick from which West Ham scored their second goal was earned by Carroll. [Read more…]

West Ham’s Anderson named in BBC Team of the Week for GW 11, Rice praised by Redknapp

West Ham’s Felipe Anderson has been named in BBC pundit Garth Crooks’ Premier League Team of the Week for Round 11. The Brazilian scored a brace in the second half on Saturday against Burnley to help his side gain three vital points at the London Stadium.

Both of Anderson’s goals came after the interval- West Ham, prior to the Burnley fixture, had only scored two second half goals across ALL ten of their previous Premier League games this season.

The Brazilian could’ve even had a third but was denied by the woodwork. Not surprisingly, he was also named as the Hammers’ best player on the afternoon across various newspapers.

This is what Crooks had to say about Anderson’s performance against the Clarets.

The Brazilian has looked impressive on the ball this season, however, against Burnley he looked just as impressive in front of goal.

Anderson was the only West Ham player in Crooks’ Team of the Week. The Irons had three representatives the previous week- goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Balbuena. [Read more…]