This weekend is another big game for us Hammers fans to enjoy – an away trip across the city to Stamford Bridge where we face a very unusual Chelsea team.
This is quite possibly the worst season the Blues have had during the Roman empire, and is probably the start of a slow decline towards a good few years being a mediocre side.
It hasn’t been a very good week for the Blues as they were convincingly dumped out of the Champions League by a record breaking PSG team and well and truly beaten by ex-player Lukaku.
With mercenary leader John Terry showing his age and expected to leave the club at the end of the season, the side will have to get a manager in who could possibly coach a club win no European Football. European football has been a huge factor to their success and without that how can they attract players of the highest caliber to the club?
The season isn’t finished yet and they have been in a fair bit of good form at home dragging them into the top half after flirting with relegation earlier in the season. We have to contain Gary Chill, a very sound England defender who always manages to get on the score sheet against us, Eden Hazard… well again, when he wants to be can be a huge star but I feel his ego is getting the best of him.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he did have a good game against us but their main threat is Willian. If we can exclude him from the game, not give any free kicks around the box we may have a good chance. William has scored six free kicks this year, twice as many as Dimitri, but they all are from deep positions where the ball is lofted to the far post from a right back position. Naturally left sided, he can whip a ball in. It would be best to have one person in the wall and make sure the posts are covered at all times, if a free kick is awarded against us.
Chelsea’s decline has put a smile on all our faces this season, with the sacking of the female doctor, Jose’s going from the “happy one” to “unhappy one” and also our famous win earlier season with Jose being sent to sit next to Danny Dyer, it has been a season to forget. A fading Chelsea without fiery and (in the sound of Jay from Inbetweeners) “a bit bitey” Diego Costa it is looking like another away day domination by the hammers.
We were very unlucky to come away from Old Trafford having to do battle again to secure a semi-final place back at the Boleyn, but you would think the team would be defeated from such heartache.
As I’ve said before, this isn’t the old West Ham. With away wins at Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and two draws at Man United, we have to be confident, not because of Chelsea’s failure but confident of our ability as a club. We are as good as anyone on our day and we fear no one.
Injuries seem too have been a glitch in our season, however seeing a 70% fit Winston Reid thrown in the deep end against United’s Rashford and seeing Lanzini & Payet back together up top causing havoc to defences, we are starting to see a fully fit squad again.
Sam Byram is chomping at the bit to get back playing after missing three weeks of football through being cup tied and suspended – his return to the back four could see a more attacking Antonio this weekend. We also welcome back James Tomkins this week to training who has been fantastic when playing at the back this year, quite possibly the best football I have seen him play. Enner Valencia had a small cameo at the weekend, not really offering any real threat but when match fit can be very usual in attack.
I have to give a special mention to Andy Carroll, who has been an even bigger threat on his return to injury. Powerful in the air, tracks back, and adds pressure to the centre backs when attacking.
This weekend I feel confident about coming away from the Bridge with at least a point. However, if we win, we go into 4th place and a point above Man City into Champions League spot – effectively clipping the heels of Arsenal for 3rd.
It’s a must win game and Bilic has broken many records this year – it’s time to break another. We haven’t won at Stamford Bridge for 14 years… 14 years! Last time was a 3-2 win in 2002/2003 season thanks to a Di Canio masterclass.
Let’s hope a ‘certain someone’ has a similar stroke of class this weekend and that we don’t just beat Chelsea, but beat then convincingly.
Come on you Irons!