Team Sheet for West Ham | The Danny Dyer Edition

dany dyerWest Ham at the Boleyn Ground later and after last night’s annual Luvvies Gong Show what better way to mark the occasion than by taking a look at Hammers’ fan Danny Dyer’s latest celluloid release, Run For Your Wife. Taking no less than several pounds in its opening weekend, this gripping tale of a loveably monogamous cab driver who doesn’t much care for society’s rules, has been cruelly overlooked by The Academy this year; despite managing to nail at least six of the ten most relevant themes of our time; including what happens when you step on a garden rake and whether Christopher Biggins plus Lionel Blair (to the power of Neil Morrisey) really does equal box office gold.

(Hint: it does)

Once you’ve thanked the appropriate higher powers that you weren’t involved in that motorway pile-up, we move on to the soccerball. Tottenham are in the increasingly familiar position of being able to leap-frog Chelsea this evening, should three points land in their possession at the expense of Big Sam’s Hammers.

It’s been a somewhat confusing season for the disciples of West Ham, one in which the only constant is the unpredictably of the performances. Sitting in the relative comfort of 13th (level with La Resurgent Néwcastle) they’ve picked up points in the most improbable of places since breaking free of the Championship, but countered this with several disappointing malfunctions against League dross.

Only last week did they follow their impressive win against Europe’s Swansea City with a horrible performance at Villa Park; a fixture for the most part that football historians will remember as The Game That Was Worse Than Almost Everything. They’ve drawn with City, thumped Chelsea; but also lost to Reading and been schooled by Sunderland. To misquote Milhouse, you never know which way this crazy team’s going to go!

Statistic-hater, Andre Villas-Boas, has one or two selection dilemmas ahead of tonight’s trip across town. At centre-back there’s the choice to involve Michael Dawson, whom might be best suited to negate the aerial and physical prowess of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan. Although Caulker and Vertonghen is the technically superior combination, they were a certified mess against the bigger boys of Leeds in the Cup and you’d imagine AVB would like to avoid a repeat of that.

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28 Responses to Team Sheet for West Ham | The Danny Dyer Edition

  1. avatar spurstough says:

    both fullbacks have been looking a bit shaky of late, perhaps the either Kyle could have a go!

    • avatar NickYid says:

      The guy’s a liability and of nowhere near the same quality as Benny or Walker. They just need to hit form and dropping them won’t achieve this. They just need confidence, game time and a stable squad around them.

      • avatar Linkre says:

        Liability? The guy’s a rightback who has had to play most of his football for Spurs at leftback, which is a difficult way for a player to try to work his way into a team. That said, he covered well for Benny and showed enough about himself to at least warrant consideration for the rightback slot. Calling him a liability is hyperbolic to put it politely.

        I like Walker. I think he’s a good right back with the potential to improve. Being as fast as he is helps, too. But he has not hit the heights this year that he did last year and that has nothing to do with needing a bit more game time. Maybe it’s high time Naughton got a run out and Walker realised he needs to keep working on his game to be as good as we know he can be.

  2. avatar spurstough says:

    Oops! Obviously that should read, ‘other Kyle’ !

  3. avatar Conor says:

    I would bench Ade and put Bale up front as he’s always out of position anyways, hanging around the centre and is one of the only players scoring goals right now. Put Dempsey or Sig on the left preferrably Sig. I don’t really rate Dempsey tbh.

  4. avatar alee says:

    Not a bad idea spurstough. I would like Sigurtsson get at least 30 mins in place of dembele, but that will never happen.

  5. avatar Coys! says:

    drop BAE and play caulker with dawson in the middle, Verts’s switching to left back….

  6. avatar Billy says:

    Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, BAE, Parker, Dembele, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Ade.

    Dempsey over Holtby as he’ll have more space if he comes on after 60 mins or so and Dempsey is stronger in the air at set pie e’s. against the Stoke of the south this may be important.

  7. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    Against a Fat Sam team of longballers (i.e. the West Ham Way 2.0), Daws needs to be at C- back along with Super Jan. Hugo, Crazy Benny and Kyle W round out the back line. BAE and Kyle have got some abuse lately but Benny just needs games to knock off the rust and Kyle looked much better against Lyon

    For the middies, Moose and Parker in CM, with Scotty being instructed to nick the ball and immediately give it to someone who can do something with it and knock off this running/shooting crap. I’ve been thinking that Scotty is looking his age lately, so have Jake ready on 70 minutes. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Boas gives Jake a start here.

    The attack is Sir Gareth. Nuff said. And Azza Blud on right and Lewis in the hole. Ade up top. He gives us a focal point that Clint does not, and he actually worked a lot harder against Lyon.

    So, third is on. Let’s hope the boys are up for it.

  8. avatar Aran says:

    I’m getting a good feeling.

  9. avatar AT says:

    Bale 2012-2013 = RVP 2011-2012… thoughts?

    • avatar Aran says:

      I’m just glad he’s on a long contract. He’s our most important player and, yes, he will move on one day, but unlike Arsenal we haven’t let our top player’s contracts run down to nothing. If someone wants Bale this closed season we can demand what he’s worth.

  10. avatar Aran says:

    I loved the way Bale ran to AVB to celebrate. Any lingering doubts about AVB’s man management must be dispelled by now. It’s clear the squad is with him and he’s fully invested in the club.

    • avatar Longwell says:

      It some ways, it makes me marvel at Ancelotti and Mourinho’s amazing ability to get the most out of those massive dickheads at Chelsea.

      It could be that AVB’s grown and become a different man than he was then. It could also be that he’s now got a team that’s willing to be coached.

      • avatar Aran says:

        It’s about matching cultures and ideas. It’s about beliefs. Clearly Levy and AVB work together and the culture of the club, as developed by Levy, Sherwood and co. fits with how AVB thinks.

        You can’t fake chemistry. A very skillful operator can find a way to work in almost any environment but that will only work for so long because the connection will be faked. In the end the cracks you’re papering over will show through.

        In hiring, there’s a maxim I find helpful – hire people who believe what you believe. You can learn skills and you can gain experience, but if someone doesn’t believe what you believe then they will never be fully committed. They’ll always be faking it. Surround yourself with true believers and you could build something that lasts. I think, in AVB, Levy has found someone who he believes and and in Spurs AVB has found a club he clicks with. It’s all about beliefs.

  11. avatar Aran says:

    This article is excellent. Brings some perspective to the whole story by focusing on how the system AVB plays has helped Bale to find this amazing form. Also the comments section is pretty good. Not as good as here, of course, but pretty good all the same.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2013/feb/26/gareth-bale-sensation-tottenham-style

    • avatar Longwell says:

      Wilson has written about the profound effect Lloris has had on Spurs’ shape and tactics at least three or four times now. I think it’s fair to say he thinks it’s a big deal. I also think he’s right.

      • avatar Aran says:

        Agreed.

        I think this is where a proper understanding of how football works sets a manager apart from a fan. AVB sees the team as a unit, each part impacting the others. It’s so easy to see an individual doing something great but it takes real effort to understand how a goalkeeper can impact the way a winger plays, or how the way you set up your defensive mid can free up your strikers.

        The whole high-line thing isn’t just about defending. It’s a complete system. AVB is building a team to play a certain way and for that you need the right players in the right positions, not just the best individuals but the best choices.

  12. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    A great stat I saw yesterday: After 27 PL games at Chelsea AVB was sacked, after 27 PL games for Spurs, AVB’s Tottenham leapfrog Chelsea into 3rd place.

  13. avatar seattlespursguy says:

    Wow, Rafa is cracking and laying into the chav fans and saying the board dicked him over by calling him the interim manager.

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