• West Ham United
  • Premiership
  • St James’ Park
  • Sunday 5th July ‘20 @ 2.15pm

 

A weary, but happy United wend their way back North to face another relegation threatened outfit this Sunday. On this occasion, it’s David Moyes and his West Ham cockney boys.

Our visitors received a 0-5 toe-ing at home to Man City on the opening day of the season, in a match that saw the beginning of the VAR soap opera. This day pretty much set the tone for a largely awful campaign in East London. Their support mainly loathe the club’s spivvy looking owners (superbly dubbed, the dildo bros) and ain’t too keen on their dour Scottish manager, either. They currently have only attained victory from a quarter of the 32 played and have a rather ropey looking -18 in the GD column.

That said, they will be at least temporarily lifted by Thursday’s desperately needed (& well deserved) three points against their ‘fancy Dan’ friends from SW6. Having suffered another ‘touch & go’ VAR decision which chalked off their first, they almost immediately went a goal behind (to a Willian pen), before roaring back to take the match 3-2, following Yarmalenko’s late intervention. I’d imagine the Iron’s faithful won’t be getting carried away, but it certainly felt like a pivotal moment as they moved three points clear of the drop zone, especially with their relatively kind looking run in.

Newcastle, of course come into this one flying, having systematically put Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to the sword. I recognise that I’m quick to put the boot in, after non performances, so I shall happily redress that balance now. Whilst it could be argued that the opposition aided in their own downfall, you can only play what is put in front of you, and Bruce set us up well. It was good to see a number of the newer lads having their best games in a Newcastle shirt, also.

Of particular significance was the manager giving Sean Longstaff a more advanced role. He looked reborn up there, linking well with the frontmen and notching our second with aplomb. Bentaleb never put a foot wrong, next to Jonjo in the middle; and Lazaro, in a goal scoring second half cameo, also showed what a talent he is.

Given Danny Rose’s encouraging recent back to back performances, all three loanees have now made a case for a more permanent stay in our North East Riviera. Whether any of these moves come to fruition will, I guess depend on who holds the keys to the Kingdom when the ‘20/‘21 season finally arrives.

On to Sunday, and God how I wish we could all go to St James’. It’s rarer than rocking horse poo that these two sides go into one both actually buoyant, and a day in the sun with your pals, getting slowly oiled would’ve been just the ticket. Bah.

If you briefly ignore our QF surrender, we’re a team in decent form; St Max, being the pick of the bunch. I reckon we’ll be on the front foot and will have too much for the Hammers over the course of ninety minutes. Therefore, I’m going with 3-1, and ‘the curse of the ex’ to play out with a late settler from big Andy.

Make it so, lads…..

Nick Clark

@Clark5Nick