Peter Anderson ⚽ Yesterday's match between West Ham and Liverpool has made me rethink my three horse race theory for the EPL. 

I've written off the Hammers chances as "just this season's Leicester City", the team that goes close but falls away at the last hurdle. Maybe, just maybe, West Ham are the real deal. Yesterday's match was a very entertaining one, both sides looked like they could win and both went for the win without compromise. West Ham are excellent at set pieces and scored two from corners. Klopp will have some questions to answer in that regard. TA-A is a genius at free kicks and produced another cracker into the top corner. It was also a joy to see Big Virgil return to his best: several times he dealt with West Ham attacks with consummate ease.

It is good to see Moyes doing well too, especially as his mother is from Portrush. I think he was over rated at Everton. Sure, his team was good but they won nothing. They didn't qualify for the ECL, nor did they appear in any finals. I would have expected a team like Everton to go all out for the FA or League cups or the UEFA cup as it was then. His career post-Everton has been a disaster. Failure at Man U, Sunderland and Real Sociedad led him to West Ham where he wasn't given a decent run. The owners were good enough to recognise their mistake and give him a second go. I'm sure they are extremely glad they did! 

West Ham now are in third, above Liverpool by a point and safely through the Europa League group stage. But can they sustain a challenge? I think that all depends on Antonio. The number 9 has been in scintillating form this season. He is big and strong and hard to knock off the ball, a la Lukaku. He has an eye for goal and works hard for the team, but is prone to get injuries. Every season he seems to spend several months on the sidelines and West Ham have no plan B. Yes, they get goals from all over the pitch, Fornal, Bowen, Benrahma and even Declan Rice all regularly chip in with goals but the loss of Antonio would be devastating to their title chances. It will be interesting to see if they are tempted to go big in the January transfer market should they still be in with a chance for the title after Christmas.

Personally, I think, like Leicester City last season, that they will fade in the title run in, if not before. The final stages of the Europa League or an injury to Antonio may stretch the squad further than it can take. But one thing is for sure, that they are currently adding to the quality of the EPL this season and long may it continue!

Peter Anderson is a Unionist with a keen interest in sports.

Hammers Redux

Peter Anderson ⚽ Yesterday's match between West Ham and Liverpool has made me rethink my three horse race theory for the EPL. 

I've written off the Hammers chances as "just this season's Leicester City", the team that goes close but falls away at the last hurdle. Maybe, just maybe, West Ham are the real deal. Yesterday's match was a very entertaining one, both sides looked like they could win and both went for the win without compromise. West Ham are excellent at set pieces and scored two from corners. Klopp will have some questions to answer in that regard. TA-A is a genius at free kicks and produced another cracker into the top corner. It was also a joy to see Big Virgil return to his best: several times he dealt with West Ham attacks with consummate ease.

It is good to see Moyes doing well too, especially as his mother is from Portrush. I think he was over rated at Everton. Sure, his team was good but they won nothing. They didn't qualify for the ECL, nor did they appear in any finals. I would have expected a team like Everton to go all out for the FA or League cups or the UEFA cup as it was then. His career post-Everton has been a disaster. Failure at Man U, Sunderland and Real Sociedad led him to West Ham where he wasn't given a decent run. The owners were good enough to recognise their mistake and give him a second go. I'm sure they are extremely glad they did! 

West Ham now are in third, above Liverpool by a point and safely through the Europa League group stage. But can they sustain a challenge? I think that all depends on Antonio. The number 9 has been in scintillating form this season. He is big and strong and hard to knock off the ball, a la Lukaku. He has an eye for goal and works hard for the team, but is prone to get injuries. Every season he seems to spend several months on the sidelines and West Ham have no plan B. Yes, they get goals from all over the pitch, Fornal, Bowen, Benrahma and even Declan Rice all regularly chip in with goals but the loss of Antonio would be devastating to their title chances. It will be interesting to see if they are tempted to go big in the January transfer market should they still be in with a chance for the title after Christmas.

Personally, I think, like Leicester City last season, that they will fade in the title run in, if not before. The final stages of the Europa League or an injury to Antonio may stretch the squad further than it can take. But one thing is for sure, that they are currently adding to the quality of the EPL this season and long may it continue!

Peter Anderson is a Unionist with a keen interest in sports.

5 comments:

  1. Lfc midfield needs to offload Keita & ๐Ÿ‚ ; sign replacements in January. Allowing the ever reliable Gini to leave was another example of Fenway penny pinching. The Reds midfield has been overrun too easily & regularly.
    Maybe J K has built a side for the ๐Ÿ†‘
    Fourth spot is between M U , Arsenal , Leicester , West Ham . The Gunners will nick it .
    Expect Pochetino to be house hunting in Cheshire next summer .

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    1. Thiago as well. He is not up to the standard required at that level

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  2. Antonio...I can't seem to shake off the impression that he's riding a lot of luck just at the minute. He almost seems like Asprilla (remember him?) in that he plays like he's disjointed and wearing boots 2 sizes too small.

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    1. Nah Steve, Antonio has showed great form on numerous occasions. He just can't sustain it, he's very injury prone.

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  3. Moyes has done a brilliant job with the Hammers. They deserved to win against Liverpool on Sunday because while they did not have bulk of the possession they played to their strengths when they did have it and got their defensive structure in place when they didn't. Liverpool need to defend better against that type of dead ball expertise. I don't blame the keeper as he was not given enough protection by those in front of him who should have been more aggressively attacking the incoming ball.

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