Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Will West Ham Beat Chelsea?

After a terrible performance against Bolton, West Ham visit troubled Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We have seen everything from West Ham this season, so much drama on and off the field. Even so, there was never doubting the commitment of the players....until the Bolton game last week.

In reality, there is only one way forward after an uncharacteristically disinterested performance by the Hammers and so we should expect a vastly improved performance this Saturday. Still, I don't think that West Ham can overcome Chelsea simply by displaying a more spirited performance.

Chelsea also have a point to prove after falling to Inter and Manchester City in the Champions League and Premier League respectively. At home, Chelsea have the best record in the Premiership, averaging 2.93 goals per game while conceding 0.86 goals per game. At least, they will not be attacking West Ham from the flanks like Bolton did.

Can West Ham outmuscle and outfight Chelsea in midfield and attack?
No. Chelsea has possibly the biggest and strongest players in the Premiership. Players like Ballack, Obi Mikel, Terry, Carvalho, Alex, Ivanovic, Drogba and Anelka all relish the physical challenge. Intimidation will not work and besides West Ham is not the most physical of teams.

Can the unpredictability of West Ham's strikers get the better of Chelsea's defence?
Maybe. The Egyptian, Mido can be so frighteningly good and so alarmingly bad. Zola must work overtime to mentally prepare Mido for this match. A big time charlie like Mido live for games like these to put himself in the minds of potential suitors. The Brazilian, Ilan has looked promising whenever called upon. He has opened his account in the Premiership already. Perhaps this could be the game to thrust these two on-loan strikers into a "nothing" game, if Zola is bold enough.

Can the erratic goalkeeping of Hilario help West Ham?
Yes. The absence of a quality backup goalkeeper is a real concern for Carlo Ancelotti. Hilario was to blame for that defeat against Manchester City. If West Ham strikers can put pressure on the Portuguese custodian, there could be some rewards at the end of the game.

Can the left foot of Diamanti be the key to a West Ham victory?
Yes. Diamanti remains West Ham's best bet for a win. His freekick and setpiece ability have been superb this season. Coupled with an unerring accuracy from the penalty spot, the mercurial Italian can make a difference in this game. He has scored against Chelsea, in that 1-1 draw at Upton Park. That left foot is LETHAL!

Can Zola prepare the team sufficiently to win at The Bridge?
No. In his 71 games as West Ham boss, he has yet to register a win against the Big Four clubs. In fact, as manager, he has a losing record with 31 losses compared to 20 wins only. He has not been able to channel his tactical ideas to the West Ham players this season. Mark Hughes, on the other hand, has presided over significant wins against Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United during his time as Blackburn and Manchester City manager. Hughes incidentally have a winning record as a manager, having won 118 games, drawing 62 and losing 85. No wonder, he has been touted as a potential replacement for Zola.

I fear a defeat for West Ham, but on a more positive note, regardless of the result at Chelsea, we will still be in 16th place. Our superior goal difference is our saving grace and I believe goal difference will determine our safety in the Premiership.

The thought lingers though, will Alessandro Diamanti's setpiece prowess and Chelsea's erratic goalkeeping be enough to secure an unexpected three points for the Hammers?


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TheFlatBackFour said...

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Anonymous said...

yo what happened to you, west ham keeps losing and you dont even make a new post hah, fucking WH supporter, come on, make a post, asshole

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