Managing Optimism: What should we expect next from our Hammers?
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 22 October 2020 at 9:18pm
Written by Angus Waters (@anguswaters_)
At the start of the season, you would have expected all points from our first five games to come against Newcastle at home. Yet, we’re currently sitting on seven, none of which were earned against our weakest opponent in Gameweek 1. West Ham doing West Ham things.
After three consecutive mammoth performances against Wolves, Leicester and Tottenham, the unpredictable nature of our club remains well and truly intact. So, what should we expect from our next three games?
This weekend we face a slightly tamed Manchester City, who currently sit on seven points after four games. With Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne listed as current injury doubts, this is perhaps the best time to face Guardiola’s side. It’s also confirmed that Fernandinho will miss our game after he came off in City’s 3-1 win against Porto on Wednesday night. Leicester managed to put five past Ederson a few weeks ago, a performance which the Foxes followed up with a 3-0 loss to us. This is definitely a game for the taking. We’re on form and City’s defence is looking shaky, so Antonio should be licking his lips. Fortunately for our defence, Aguero has a little bit less pace to work with than Son, so our five at the back system should be more effective than it was in North London.
Coincidentally, it’s a similar story when we travel to Anfield. Liverpool have been looking lethal as always in attack, however Villa put 7 goals past them a fortnight ago. With Van Dijk out for the season, we’re yet to see how the Reds handle themselves without their brick wall. The last time VVD was left out of a Liverpool squad, Loris Karius, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Danny Ings were all present. Again, it’s probably the best time to play them, and we’ll all be hoping Adrian attempts a solo run and shot reminicant of Mark Noble’s testimonial, should Alisson not recover in time.
After Liverpool, we finally have a pleasant run of fixtures starting with Fulham. Scott Parker’s men are playing the same way they did when they got relegated two seasons ago, and this fixture should provide us with some handy points. The Cottagers are incredibly reliant on Mitrovic up top, but he’s looking far from his best, managing to both miss a penalty and give away one last weekend. Fulham simply don’t look like a Premier League team.
Overall, I think we should be looking for 5 points from the next three games. It’s definitely an optimistic prediction, but this league is throwing up all sorts of weird results at the moment. Three points against Fulham is a must, and I’m confident we can walk away with a win, or two draws, from the other two games. We put up a real fight against a much stronger Liverpool side at Anfield last season, and City really aren’t looking their best. That being said, Antonio really needs to stay on form and cause absolute chaos, especially against City. Benrahma’s impact is definitely critical too – should he start, he needs to get up to speed quickly as the games against City and Liverpool aren’t ones we can be playing with any bystanders in the side. I’m confident he’ll tear this league up though. COME ON YOU IRONS!