After his Friday press conference, Bilic has stated that he has sympathy for Louis van Gaal during his tenure at Man United. With a big job comes big expectations and LVG is feeling the pressure, though he isn’t helped when some of his major stars are out injured or suspended and relying on a schoolkid who does his homework after games to get goals.
Do I personally feel sorry for van Gaal? Not really. He has been throwing money Gold and Sullivan can only dream of spending on individual players. It works out he has spent £250m in his two years, inclduing £56m on Angel Di Maria to which he sold to PSG 12 months later for £15m less!
No silverware, no champions league football, one foot out of the Europa League after a demoralising display away at Liverpool and now a fight for 4th place with Man City and ourselves. Bilic has been quoted saying Manchester United are a “wounded animal”, surely a flying Hammers have to take advantage of this and get to a FA Cup semi-final for the first time since 2006.
Man Unted’s list of unavailable players is ridiculous! Unfortunate Luke Shaw has missed the entire season from his horror injury in PSV Eindhoven, Wayne Rooney’s injury has led to surgery, but it is Juan Mata’s absence that will hurt them the most after he received a red card for two yellows against West Brom.
We’ve had a bloody good cup run this year, beating Wolves at home with a Jelavic strike, beating Liverpool in extra time in what is our last ever FA Cup game at the Boleyn (unless we draw with United), and an emphatic display against a pretty average Blackburn Rovers.
This Sunday we go back to Old Trafford for the second time this season and it looks set to be a cracking affair. Earlier this season we drew 0-0 with the Red Devils in what was Winston Reid’s best game in a claret and blue shirt, we came away from the game really unlucky with a thin squad and injuries we’re starting to take their toll (leading to “Chadwell Heath Pitch-Gate” and moving to Rush Green for a short duration).
Lanzini didn’t play after picking up a knock in the pre-game warm up and Moses limped off and our game plan changed due to the lack of effective attacking play.
Fast forward a few months and we have ALL of our attacking options available. We’ve seen Carroll and Sakho slowly come back into the team and their contribution is making us more of a threat infront of goal.
“WE’VE GOT PAYET”… (STOP IT!…I’m not going there) We’ve got Moses, we’ve got Antonio, We’ve got Emenike, and YES… wait for it…. “We’ve got ourrrrrrrr……… itsy bitsy teenie weenie little argen-tine LANZINI!” (this HAS to be sung this weekend!).
In addition, we have four fit again players back in contention for this weekend, with Moses, Valencia, Reid and O’Brien all set to travel to Old Trafford. Ginger Pele set to be side-lined for another few weeks, whereas Tonks is days away from returning to full training.
Even though our defence is light, I have complete faith in Reece Oxford and Angelo Ogbonna at the back. It’s a fantastic blend and with Kouyate, Noble and Obiang occupying the options in front of him, he should be well protected.
West Ham seem to be going from strength to strength on and off the pitch in recent months, we’ve picked up 13 points out of our last six games and are currently joint top of the form table with Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham – teams that have all received the plaudits where as little old west ham have not had a good word spoken outside of the pundits on BT Sport.
The main battle of the match in my eyes has to be Kouyate n Felliani. The Belgium international is very unorthodox but is a fiery nuisance against us, but with Kouyate in the middle of the park he is going to expect a tough battle and maybe a flying elbow coming his way, especially if the game is against him, as we saw on Thursday night against Liverpool in the Europa League defeat.
Bilic says the team are confident, not because of Man United’s weakness, but because we are playing very well. If we stick to our game plan, concentrate on us and perform to the best of our ability, we’ll be at Wembley in April.
So I wish all the travelling 9,000 West Ham fans a safe and pleasant journey there and let’s hope we’ll be singing Que Sera Sera all the way back to London… with the Man United fans.
Come on you Irons, Let’s do this!