Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Rival Lines: "Moyes has been there and done it before," says Hugh & Claret

Rival Lines
Match Preview: West Ham United v AFCB
Blogger interview: Claret and Hugh
Twitter: @ClaretandH

I spoke with Hugh at Claret & Hugh over the Christmas week about West Ham United's form. Most of these questions were asked before West Ham's defeat to Leicester City, but then Manuel Pellegrii was sacked shortly afetr and I thought I'd better get back to Hugh for one more question.

CC: Do you agree with Ian Abrahams (West Ham fan & TalkSport broadcaster - The Moose) who has been saying Manuel Pellegrini is a manger can't doesn't inspire his players - and if so who would be best to inspire the Hammers?

C&H: It's always difficult to tell from a distance, but one has to bear in mind the man's calm approach not only to football but life itself. There was no problem last year when we were safe from the usual relegation worries by Christmas playing a brand of football for which we had been crying out for years. He lost key players in Hammer of the Year Fabianski at your place and word is he'll be back for the Bournemouth game. Antonio, has been colossal since his return, and the Chelsea and Saints wins were really all about him.. Non-inspirational Pellegrini? Jury still out on that, but I don't believe it to be the case.


CC: What was West Ham's biggest transfer mistake of last summer - either in or out?

C&H: Absolutely no question about that one. Goalkeeper Roberto was entirely inept and responsible for conceding 14 goals in six PL games and another four against Oxford in the Carabao Cup. At Burnley he came to punch clear and planted in the back of his net. He's been a disaster and probably responsible for the shortage of confidence right through the squad until being replaced.

CC: Where will Bournemouth and West Ham finish this season - are there three worse teams?

C&H: I don't see either team going down and reckon the Hammers have enough quality to be much closer to or within the top 10. The aim was always top seven for us but without some tweaking in January that's a tough call. The Cherries are a tightly knit unit and Eddie Howe will sort the form out. I'd see us alongside each other.


CC: No wins in your last five home games - what's been the main problems in the way you have been conceding goals?

C&H: Well of course we had a comedy goalkeeper between the sticks with Fabianski injured and although he had been replaced by the time Arsenal arrived, we were hurt by a team that looked very poor but had players who could hurt you which they did with three goals in ten minutes. Beyond the Spanish stopper we have been very weak at set pieces.


CC: If you could shoes a Bournemouth player to buy in January, who would it be and why?

C&H: A striker is a top priority in the summer and the club is apparently looking everywhere. Callum Wilson has been regularly linked but not sure he's a £70 million player. I've always liked Josh King - he'd do for me. Quick over the ground, eye for goal. I like the bloke.

CC: Score prediction for WestHam v AFC Bournemouth?

C&H: Hmm... we owe you cos you did the double over us last time so I'm gonna be loyal and go for a 2-0 on the basis that Fab is back along with Lanzini. But Antonio is the man to inspire a win.

The extra question
CC: What are your first thoughts of Pellegrini's sacking and the re-appointment of David Moyes at West Ham United?

C&H: I was a huge Pellegrini fan like most others when the appointment was made but the change unquestionably had to be made. He completely lost his way and the club needed to appoint someone quickly. There was no time for negotiations with employed managers and Moyes has been there and done it before. He knows the club and has a better squad than last time and I believe the right decision has been made. I think the first thing he will do is go three at the back which is where he started last time. I feel more confident now than I did ahead of Leicester City.

CC: I also wrote some answers for Claret & Hugh so do have a look on that website to see my thoughts ahead of the game. They should be up on the site at some point today.

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