Friday, December 18, 2009

West Ham Must Play With Pride In The London Derby Against Chelsea

West Ham faces Chelsea in a Premiership London derby this Sunday, and there is no reason to be optimistic. Therefore the only thing for Zola and the Hammer fans to hope for is that the team plays with pride and fight. If there is anything that Everton's draw has shown, it is that Chelsea's rhythm must be disrupted and its players must not have time on the ball.

Franco has been fantastic in a West Ham shirt. It's a shame that he is not in a better West Ham team other than this current young squad. Diamanti scored his first goal from open play and we can expect him to turn on another energetic display at home. It is clearly a sign of the times when foreign-based players are leading West Ham instead of the likes of Scott Parker and Matthew Upson. Tevez singlehandedly preserved Premiership status for West Ham in 2005...can we expect the Franco-Diamanti partnership to work together and guarantee Premiership survival? It has to, considering that Parker, Upson and Cole are prime targets for the January transfer window.

Chelsea's Petr Cech is still the Barclays Premier League Golden Gloves leader with eight clean sheets, without looking anywhere close to his best. Chelsea have yet to lose in four visits to Boleyn Park, scoring 12 goals and conceding only two. The Blues main weakness is the inability to defend set pieces, having conceded 12 goals out of 14 from such situations.

The losses against Birmingham and Bolton have dropped the Hammers back down to the bottom three and the situation looks bad. West Ham are horrible in defence and toothless in midfield. Mark Noble must start this match in place of the poor Kovac. To win against Chelsea is a tough ask, West Ham cannot even take advantage on Chelsea's poor set piece defending!

Alessandro Diamanti's wife, Silvia Hsieh is said to be enjoying the London lifestyle. Will the Diamanti's stick around to take West Ham back to the Premier League next season?

A short recap of the Week 15 results, stunning result from Everton against Chelsea. I doubt that West Ham can produce the same type of fighting determination and setpiece expertise.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
FT Stoke City 2 - 2 Wigan Athletic
FT Birmingham 1 - 0 West Ham United
FT Bolton Wanderers 3 - 3 Manchester City
FT Burnley 1 - 1 Fulham
FT Chelsea 3 - 3 Everton
FT Hull City 0 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
FT Sunderland 1 - 1 Portsmouth
FT Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
FT Manchester United 0 - 1 Aston Villa
Sunday, December 13, 2009
FT Liverpool 1 - 2 Arsenal
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
FT Sunderland 0 - 2 Aston Villa
FT Birmingham 2 - 1 Blackburn Rovers
FT Bolton Wanderers 3 - 1 West Ham United
FT Manchester United 3 - 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
FT Burnley 1 - 1 Arsenal
FT Chelsea 2 - 1 Portsmouth
FT Liverpool 2 - 1 Wigan Athletic
FT Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 0 Manchester City

Rafa Benitez said that Liverpool's season will start by beating Wigan and the Reds fulfilled it. It was his third or fourth time using the same statement this season. Portsmouth could be tough opponents but if the Reds get the first goal then it would be an second consecutive win for Liverpool. It's an early kick off for Portsmouth v. Liverpool in a match which could set the "right" tone for all the fellow strugglers in the bottom three.

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