Preview with West Ham Till I Die
With a trip to the Olympic Stadium next up for the Potters we sat down and had a chat with Sean Whetstone from West Ham Till I Die.
It’s been a tricky start to the season for West Ham, is there any specific problem you can put this down to?
Where do I start? We moved stadium and training ground over the summer which is a massive change. Both Arsenal and Man City struggled the season after their moves. The pitch is much bigger and much wider than we are used to. That excuse put to one side, we have struggled with some important injuries and we remain the only Premier League not to have have a recognised striker score this season. Three strikers have been injured, two loanee strikers have not made the grade needed for the Premier League and our youngster Ashley Fletcher from Manchester United has not been given a real chance. The team needs to get their confidence back and we will soon be back to our winning ways of last season.
Do you think that this spell is just a blip? Where will you finish this year?
I think our current 17th place is not indicative of where we will finish. I think we over achieved last season with seventh. I think we have the quality to finish in the top ten and I will predict a 8th-10th place finish this season for us.
Where do you think Stoke will finish this year?
Stoke are a good team with no real concern of a relegation battle this season. Like West Ham you should be able to get a mid table finish. I will give a range of 8th-12th for the Potters this season but you never know you could over achieve and get some lucky results like we did last season and find yourself with a Europa League spot.
Is there any player in our side who you are really not looking forward to watching?
Hard to say, however Stoke have a reputation, maybe unfairly for being a dirty team and they don’t come dirtier than Charlie Adam in my opinion. I won’t be looking forward to see him knock lumps out of our already fragile team. Tell me I have got him all wrong and he is a nice bloke really.
Is there anyone in your side who is going under the radar and Stoke should be worried about?
Pedro Obiang does not grab all the headlines but has become an important part in our first team in recent games. His was Bilic’s first signing from Sampdoria but didn’t feature much last season but has come into his own in recent games. Our new young signing Edimilson Ferdnandes is also one to watch after his recent debut goal. A real find from Switzerland for £5m
Are you happy with the work you did in the transfer window?
Not really. We signed Manuel Lanzini permanently which was the real good news. Andre Ayew has potential but the record £20.5m signing got injured on debut and is only coming back now so too early to say. Arthur Masuaku looked a good under study for Aaron Cresswell but again he suffered a long term injury. Nordtveit, Feghouli, Zaza, Arbeloa, Callieri and Tore look a waste of money and not an improvement on what we had.
Bilic looks to have switched to a new system, do you think this will continue at the weekend?
I think we have become too predictable and teams like Everton quickly suss us out like they did last week. I am hoping he mixes up his tactics a bit and keeps the opposition guessing. He can be a one trick pony at times so let’s go 4-4-2 at the weekend… Maybe…
The troubles at the new stadium have been well documented, what are you thoughts?
Well the troubles have been completely over hyped in the media. A small minority of both home and away fans have spoilt the experience for the majority 57,000 supporters who attend these games. Their antics make all the headlines. We are getting used to our new home as are the French Stadium operators who employ the 1,100 stewards who are responsible for crowd management. Many of the stewards have marshalled music concerts in the past and football crowds are a different challenge all together. We are all learning game by game and things are getting better despite the media circus and witch hunt against West Ham and their fans.
Have you ever tried an Oatcake?
No I looked it up on google, looks nice I will try one now you have mentioned it
What’s your score prediction?
A close 1-0 to the Hammers
Trackback from your site.