The loss to Everton a couple of weeks ago look as though it may be the beginning of us crashing back down to earth.
But since then we’ve ground out two wins against Newcastle and West Brom that last season we probably would’ve lost.
Both victories didn’t come with the kind of performances we have grown used to this season, mostly because of lengthy injury list crippling the five best players of our season so far.
And it’s the win at The Hawthorns that should have the rest of the Premier League standing up and noticing just how much we’ve improved since last term. Last season, we would’ve lost three or four nil after going a goal down inside ten minutes. But Sam Allardyce has got the side playing with real confidence and after scoring two goals before half-time to take the lead, it’s clear the players no longer know when they’re beaten.
That’s the most pleasing improvement of all. For years we’ve been used to seeing us instantly put our heads down when we go a goal behind, or fail to make our chances count in a game that’s in the balance, like the win at Newcastle.
The fact we can go third in the Premier League with three points today is the ultimate reward for that. Swansea will provide tough test for us this afternoon, though. They’ve been just as impressive as us this season and have got match winners in the shape of Wilfried Bony and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Bony is arguably our biggest threat today. All the talk in the build up has been about Allardyce’s admittance that he opted to sign Andy Carroll instead of the Ivorian two summers ago.
So this is the perfect opportunity for Carroll to prove everyone wrong and show exactly why Allardyce thought he was worth the punt instead of a guy who has now scored more Premier League goals than anyone else in 2014.
Our home form has been strong so far this season and you get the feeling we’re making a daunting place to go for opposing sides.
Again, we can go third today. Just let thank sink in for a minute.
Prediction: Dare I say it? Ok. Third.
West Ham United (5th, 24 points)
West Ham welcome back Alex Song and Diafra Sakho to the side after respective back and knee injuries.
Mark Noble may face a late fitness test after missing Tuesday’s win with a calf problem.
Swansea City (8th, 22 points)
Defender Neil Taylor is suspending after pciking up his fifth yellow card in their win over QPR in mid-week.
Federico Fernandez’s calf injury keeps him sidelined.
Possible starting XI
Last 10 Meetings
|1 Feb 2014||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 2-0|
|27 Oct 2013||Premier League||Liberty Stadium||D 0-0|
|2 Feb 2013||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 1-0|
|25 Aug 2012||Premier League||Liberty Stadium||L 3-0|
|13 Jan 1999||FA Cup 3rd Round Replay||Vetch Field||L 1-0|
|2 Jan 1999||FA Cup 3rd Round Replay||Boleyn Ground||D 1-1|
|8 Oct 1985||League Cup 2nd Round, 2nd leg||Vetch Field||W 3-2|
|24 Sep 1985||League Cup 2nd Round, 1st leg||Boleyn Ground||W 3-0|
|5 Apr 1983||Division 1||Vetch Field||W 5-1|
|27 Dec 1982||Division 1||Boleyn Ground||W 3-2|
Match in Numbers
1 – Swansea have only won once in 23 league visits to the Boleyn Ground
3 – The Hammers are unbeaten in their last three league meetings with Swansea, keeping a clean sheet in all three
1 – And Allardyce’s side have lost just one of their last eight league matches (W5, D2)
100 – Kevin Nolan is one short of 100 career league goals
756 – Andy Carroll has not scored or assisted a goal in 756 minutes for West Ham
15 – Od Swansea’s 19 league goals this season, Bony and Sigurdsson have been involved in 15
@WestHamWorld going with a 2-1 win
— Anne Bentley (@HammersAnnie) December 7, 2014
— ⚒ ♖ ROB WHU ♖ ⚒ (@whu_rob) December 7, 2014
@WestHamWorld 2-0 Carroll first goalscorer
— Adam Lawrence (@aderz100) December 7, 2014
@WestHamWorld s hopeful 3-1. Just want 3 points to go third! (never thought I would say that)
— Stephen May (@Inkedsjon) December 7, 2014
@WestHamWorld 2-0 West Ham Carroll, Valencia.
— Philip 父 Wilkinson 父 (@PW57WHU) December 7, 2014
Head-to-Head (all competitions)
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||GD +/-||Win %|