West Ham United have tried various systems during this less than remarkable season, some to good effect others not. It appears Slaven Billic will be forced in to playing three at the back due to the recurrence of a hamstring injury picked up by Sam Byram during the dreadful home defeat by Manchester City, a week ago this would have been very bad news indeed, however Cheik Kouyate having returned from the africa cup of nations is available, and not a moment too soon!
Sofiane Feghouli had a mare of a game midweek, his place in the starting line up will surely go to new signing from Hull Robert Snodgrass, although some fans are saying in hushed tones that perhaps Mr West Ham Mark Noble should be replaced in midfield given his recent performances, he really does look a shadow of the player he was last season, perhaps he might have ridden on the shirt tales of a certain spoiled 'fat boy' more than it seemed at the time.
We assume that the team to face Southampton at St Mary's today will probably be : Randolph, Reid, Kayoute, Cresswell, Fonte, Noble, Snodgrass, Obiang, Antonio, Lanzini and Carroll.
With two new signings and Andy Carroll on the pitch you never know what will happen, especially given Hammers appalling history of their new players picking up injuries, Fonte will get a 'graphic' reception from the Southampton faithful who adored him when he was their captain before his joining up West Ham in the transfer window, this might push him either way, he will be wanting to forget his debut at the London Stadium that is for sure! You might fancy a punt on Hammers bouncing back from their midweek blues against a Saints side shorn of their two main central defenders , if you do, try using a betting accumulator to get more 'bang for your pound' We've had a read of a few reviews and this one is the best. Slaven Billic could pick the ginger pele in his starting line up but Collins has been woeful of late and his ball distribution out of defence is quite terrifying. The wisdom of selling James Tomkins was a question that would inevitably arise if there were problems at the back, and sure enough there are, but also the sending Reece Oxford to Reading on loan looks a little strange given the bare bones of 'quality' players available to Slaven Billic and his staff. The sooner West Ham United ensure their Barclays Premier League survival the better, the re-building and planning can be put in place to avoid a repeat of this season, maybe without claret & blue tinted specs on, and maybe without 'billy big bollocks' promises of 'marquee' signings who don't arrive at the club.
A little pragmatic honesty can go a long way, perhaps the board should try it, it is amazing how understanding West Ham fans can be, why not ditch the spin and say it as it is? It's worth a try isn't it? - Ed