Everton FC v West Ham United Crucial To Win For All Parties

At the beginning of the season few supporters of either West Ham or Everton would have forseen tonight's televised match as a relegation battle 'six-pointer', never the less that is exactly what it is! The thought of relegation would probably have been further from the mind for Toffees fans who welcomed a new owner and new manager and plenty of money to the fold than for Hammers' fans, unfortunately for the former they sold big but brought even bigger in terms of finance but not of final product. Similarly West Ham fans were quite content with their new arrivals, although amazingly the club's owners managed to lose any kudos connected with their new signings because of the 'dildo gate' Carvaliho Sporting impasse that unfolded just before the transfer window closed.

Poor performance piled upon poor performance for both Ronald Koeman and Slaven Billic before the Everton hierarchy finally pulled the plug on the dutch man's tenure, a prompt action that many Hammers' fans viewed enviously, they assumed the Everton board had a 'cunning plan' in place and that things would stabilise quickly, how wrong could they be?

While Everton pontificated with a spread shot of managerial targets the West Ham board kept faith with 'under fire' Slaven Billic until the two devastating home defeats against Brighton and Liverpool forced their hands, they acted quickly and tonight's match will be David Moyes' third match in charge as he seeks to register his first win as 'temporary' manager. Everton on the other hand are still seeking a managerial replacement, ex-hammer David Unsworth was placed in temporary command but the shift up from being the U-23 manager to the first team has proved too much for him, Everton have endured a really poor run of results under his guidance culminating in two recent drubbings in the Europa League and away to Southampton in the Premier League.

With Crystal Palace, West Brom and Bournemouth all showing signs of improvement it is absolutely vital that West Ham get points on the board especially given the fixtures ahead, the visit to Goodison is closely followed by the away match against runaway league leaders Manchester City at the Etihad! Add in matches against 'Le'arse and Tottingham' and the reason is clear! There are so many teams who could be dragged in to the relegation struggle, in fact any team from 9th downwards could easily find themselves sucked in to the mire by the time the Christmas decorations come down so there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, equally it would be very easy for West Ham to be cut adrift at the wrong end of the table if Moyes is unable to galvanise his troops, betting sites will give you good odds on either West Ham or Everton going down.

On the fitness front it is clearly obvious that Moyes and Pearce are no shrinking violets when it comes to their demands on players in training, the fact that the team ran over 20% more in the game against Leicester than in any previous fixture is indicative of the players desire to put a shift in, it is also a sad indictment of how slack things had become under Slaven Billic. Chicarito and Mikael Antonio are both still recovering from ham string injuries, the latter also has been put on a 'special' fitness program in order to prevent him from looking like he is breathing out his back side! Ironically his new regime involves learning how to breathe properly during matches, very simple actually, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, basic but 'simples'.

Ahead of this evening's match which will be broadcast on BT sports 1HD David Moyes will have to decide on whether to include captain Mark Noble, one advantage the new manager has having just arrived is that he owes no allegiance to any player and is therefore able to make 'unpopular' decisions for the greater good of the team, Moyes will also have to 'deal' with Jose Fonte when he has recovered from his ankle injury.

With so many matches to be played in such a short space of time it is very likely that the fringe players who have been chomping at the bit to play will finally get their chance to impress, the younger players in particular are fitter than their senior counterparts on account of the fact that they have had the benefit of training under the guidance of Terry Westley, he is renowned for being a hard task master! David Moyes and his management team are not stupid and will be looking to the youth and fringe players to come to the fore, could you ever imagine David Moyes having sanctioned the loan move for Reece Oxford away from the club? The kid is one of the hottest properties around and yet is languishing in Germany where he hardly gets a sniff of a game, hopefully he can be re-called in January, it would be like buying a £40 Million import player without having to pay for him!

Batten down the hatches, the next six weeks will be era defining for West Ham both as a club and as an entity - Ed



Dicks is the man's picture

we need to put Noble in for Obiang. Noble has had a rest, should be ready to go and alongside workhorse Kouyate it should be interesting. Obiang has been pants, said it before too, he's pants. he's an ok squad player coming off the bench but week in week out he's not up to it. One thing we need to do is be positive, run at that everton defence because to be frank it buckles at the slightest hint of an attack.

76 users have voted.

My worry is Rooney, he always scores against us. I'd maybe look at dropping ogbonna, but give obiang a couple more games.

65 users have voted.

Thats put the tin hat on it then!!

74 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

the way moyes keeps talking about not talking about everton he'll probably sit in the wrong dug out.

67 users have voted.

Dont mention the "E" word!

66 users have voted.

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