THE ROAR – West Ham affecting title race from the outside

There’s a scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the original Gene Wilder classic, not the Johnny Depp abomination – where a gang of children rush suddenly into Bill’s Candy Shop. As Bill, the owner, shovels sweeties liberally from glass canisters into a sea of tiny hands, a forlorn Charlie Bucket looks in […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

West Ham outshine and outrun title-chasers Spurs, 1-0 at the Boleyn. Spurs had the opportunity, following Leicester City’s draw yesterday, to go top of the league with a win. They have been the best defensive side in the division, but conceded here to a neatly converted corner, delivered by Dimitri Payet and nodded home by […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham United 1 Sunderland 0

A terse, simmering match was played out here, as West Ham outlasted Sunderland 1-0. Sam Allardyce was late getting to the pitch for this match, and as such his reception was muted, with the contest already in swing. He wouldn’t have missed much; just as the Hammers supportership have been unrestrained in expressing their relief […]

O90 – Michail Antonio’s story a testament to hard work

As far as rags-to-riches stories go, it’s difficult to top Jamie Vardy’s. The Leicester City scurrier has naturally dominated the column inches this season, and with good reason, sitting as he is atop the league scoring charts. As he smashed in his wondergoal against Liverpool, there was a screenwriter sitting in his personal box, probably […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham United 2 Aston Villa 0

West Ham tore down 10-man Villa, after Ayew’s idiotic dismissal. Villa, having had their already low confidence further deflated by a transfer window devoid of signings, were determined to prove their wroth in the opening stages of this match. West Ham, who have been so complacent against lower sides this term, allowed Villa to dominate […]

O90 – Dele Alli shines for England, as West Ham await.

Wayne Rooney led out, as captain, the youngest England team since 1959 to face a France side wracked with an acute sense of sorrow. The attacks in Paris had, so we thought, meant the end for this friendly match, but a decision to stage the tie was made amid the mourning, as a showing of […]

Mourinho unraveling along with his team

Of course, for Chelsea, the red alert has been sounding for a while now, if only in response to a number of startling micro-crises; the form, or utter lack thereof, of Branislav Ivanovic, the dropping of John Terry, the continued antics, and subsequent fallout, of Diega Costa. There are more, too. But now, as Chelsea […]

O90– What We Learned – Sunderland 2 West Ham United 2

Sunderland and West Ham played out a frenetic match, where poor decisions all round forged a haphazard 2-2 draw. Sunderland were piping Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights around the Stadium of Light before kick off. It is their usual pre-match accompaniment, but, at the moment, it was the perfect aural illustration of the booming, tar-black […]

O90 – Match Preview – West Ham United vs Norwich City

With the Hammers hoping to extend a four game winning streak in the league, Norwich arrive at Upton Park, buoyed by a dominant Capital One Cup victory, and with a firm mind to upset their hosts. After scoring a grand total of six goals in three-and-a-bit Premier League seasons for West Ham, Matt Jarvis has […]

O90 – What We Learned – Manchester City 1 West Ham United 2

Manchester City fielded nearly £300 million in talented personnel – the most expensive line up in Premier League history – and while David Silva was injured in the warm up, they were still heavy favourites to beat their giant-killing opponents. Yes, West Ham were on a remarkable away run, but they were to face a […]

Will West Ham benefit from Manchester City’s European schedule?

Manchester City were halted, with a heaving shudder, by Juventus in Europe this week. The Italian giant had yet to win in Serie A, but were oozing with exactly the sort of aristocratic nous that wins you these heavyweight, ding-dong European affairs. Manchester City’s feathers, which were standing at full height thanks to their perfect […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham United 2 Newcastle United 0

West Ham earned their first home win of the season, with Dimitri Payet single-handedly shredding Newcastle at Upton Park. Newcastle remain winless, and toothless. A concrete mixer dropped its load on a highway adjacent to Upton Park, meaning Newcastle’s players had to walk a few hundred yards to make it to the stadium in time […]

O90 – West Ham United – First month review

We are only a month into this Premier League season and already West Ham have established some stellar landmarks. To open their campaign with a raucous victory over Arsenal at the Emirates was resplendent enough, but to break a 52-year losing record at Anfield, well, that was even more unexpected. These away wins, historic as […]

West Ham complete a stunning deadline day flurry

David Gold and David Sullivan aren’t taking any chances this season. On transfer deadline day, that breathless last-gasp scramble, the West Ham co-owners have orchestrated a stunning flurry of deals, all completed before the final gong rang. Whether it was signings that had lingered uncompleted for weeks or surprise transactions that emerged from the deadline […]

Tactical Breakdown – West Ham’s Away Plan

With four games played, two at home and two away, this is West Ham’s record: Home matches: Played – 2, Lost – 2, Aggregate score – 4-6. Away Matches: Played – 2, Won – 2, Aggregate score – 5-0. The discrepancy becomes even more astonishing when you factor in the standard of the opposition; with […]

O90 – What We Learned – Liverpool 0 – 3 West Ham United

West Ham bounced back from last week’s home defeat by hammering a tepid Liverpool side 3-0 at Anfield overnight. The Reds were utterly toothless in attack, and Slaven Bilic’s men decimated their tentative defensive line on the counter. Kouyate’s swinging role was vital. The Senegalese certainly is a boisterous, leggy force to be reckoned with. […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth earned their first ever Premier League win away at Upton park, as they punished a shambolic defensive display from West Ham. Thanks to a calamitous pair of errors from Aaron Cresswell, West Ham were two goals down early in this home tie. They departed the pitch at half time amid a furious, caustic chorus […]

O90 – Match Preview – West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth

West Ham and Bournemouth meet at Upton Park on matchday three. The Cherries, still finding their feet in the Premier League, will fancy their chances against an injury-hit Hammers side. Bournemouth are yet to even register a goal – let alone a victory – in the Premier League yet, and were relegation favourites long before […]

Barton’s septic reputation, and the likeability lesson it teaches.

Football is full of acutely dislikeable gents. There are biters, adulterers, racists, sexists, homophobes, thugs, cheats and rapists. Joey Barton, modestly talented a footballer that he is, couldn’t truthfully be placed in any of the above categories (well, thug maybe). No, his recent crimes are mostly social in nature, a litany of obnoxious annoyances rather […]

O90 – Tactical Analysis – West Ham 1 – 2 Leicester City

West Ham hosted Leicester City overnight, a week after both teams registered highly impressive opening week victories. A frenzied battle followed, with the Foxes just edging a 2-1 victory, though some questionable refereeing was also the cause for much hand-wringing around East London. With the Hammers allowed the space and possession to control the match […]