Opposition view: West Ham United

By Ric Turner, Wed 16 October 2013 14:04

Opposition view: West Ham UnitedBobby from westhamunitedblog.co.uk gives us the lowdown on the opposition

What are your expectations for this season?

Last season we finished 10th which was fantastic as we had just been promoted, this season it's all about Premier League survival again and solidifying our place in the league. Anything above 12th would be good for me.

A nice cup run would be good as well, I think with Swansea and Wigan's success last year the smaller teams have now realised it is possible to win a one off game against the big guns and I think there will be more shocks this year because of last year!

Are you happy with the manager?

Yes I am, I know the football is sometimes not the best but I have seen us play some lovely stuff at The Boleyn, but because our manager is Allardyce it will not be reported that way.

He was given a remit of winning promotion and keeping us in the Premier League and has done just that so it's hard to argue with that at the moment.

Who are your key players?

I don't usually like saying the Goalkeeper but Jussi has been outstanding for West Ham along with central defender Winston Reid.

Attack wise it's difficult to have a key player this season as Carroll, J Cole and Downing etc have all been injured and I think it's a little early to have Ravel Morrison as a key player so I will say Diame who is a real driving force in our midfield.

Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?

I was very happy to start with as we brought in experienced players like Stewart Downing and Razvan Rat along with the permanent signing of Andy Carroll.

Unfortunately we got towards the end of the transfer window and had not signed another striker after Carroll.

This put the club in an awful position of scratching around for a striker on deadline day and only managing to pick up Petric who was at Fulham on a free and also just yesterday re-signing Carlton Cole for 3 months, both of whom were not fit.

The problem when you are known to play one up front and your key man is Andy Carroll is that no other striker wants to play second fiddle.

Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?

Well I dare say you would have heard of him, but I think the name on everyone's lips down our way at the moment is Ravel Morrrison who we got from the Red side of your town. He came with bags of talent and the poorest attitude you could get, but after a year on loan to Birmingham he has come back looking a classy player. His goal against Tottenham showed his outstanding ability and capped off a wonderful start to the season for him.

Your Achilles heel?

Scoring goals has been a big problem for us this season, especially away from home, well that was until the floodgates opened at Tottenham!

If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?

Wow! So many to choose from! It's between YaYa and Aguero but I love a good striker so would have Aguero as I love his movement and he always looks likely to score!

What is your perception of City as a club?

I like City, I think there have always been similarities in us as clubs until you got uber wealthy and then went to another stratosphere. I think your fans are the most down to earth of all the top clubs as it wasn't a long time ago you was just happy to be in the Premier League, unlike some of the other big guns who's fans seem to feel entitled to win everything and crush clubs like West Ham every time without there ever being an upset!

Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?

Allardyce likes to keep a winning line up so I think he may just give the 4-6-0 another whirl with the same line up barring injuries so I will go for:

Jaaskelainen, Rat, Reid, Tomkins, Demel, Noble, Nolan, Morrison, Diame, Downing, Vaz Te.

Scoreline 1-1

I think we will be up for this game and I have seen plenty of City this season and sometimes you blow teams away and others you look like you're going to let a few goals in so I am going for an entertaining draw!