Hugely-respected in press boxes across London, Ken Dyer, Football Correspondent for the London Evening Standard, has written about West Ham since starting his career at local papers in Essex and East London in 1970. Here are his thought’s on Saturday’s Premier League clash in our latest ‘Preview from the Press Box’.
Ken: “They’ve only won one out of the last six and that was against Huddersfield, who they managed to sneak past 4-3. The problem is they are leaking an average of just over two goals a game in their last six. That’s been their Achilles heel in recent weeks. However, their form is slightly better than the results. They’ve been on the wrong end of a few decisions against Leicester (2-2 draw) and Manchester United (lost 2-1). Two went against them at Old Trafford, a penalty and a goal disallowed for offside that wasn’t. The form will still be a worry because a few weeks ago they were thinking about challenging for seventh place and now they’ve dropped to 11th and if they don’t pick up points in their last three games they could drop even further.”
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Ken: “West Ham fans have taken to Manuel Pellegrini because he’s quite adventurous as a coach, quite positive. Let’s just say it will be a more open game than Spurs fans saw against Brighton! They’ll have a go, West Ham. Interestingly, West Ham were the first team to beat Arsenal at the Emirates back in 2007 (April, 2007) so they’ll think ‘we can do that again’. They usually go 4-4-1-1 and Pellegrini likes his full-backs to get forward. That’s probably why they’ve leaked a few goals, sometimes they’re a bit gung-ho.”
Ken: “That’s probably between the goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski and Felipe Anderson, who technically is a terrific player. If he’s on form, he certainly is the key player going forward. Fabianski has been very good as well, but I’d say Anderson.”
Ken: “I can’t see West Ham keeping a clean sheet, the past few games indicate that, but I can see them scoring, so I’ll sit firmly on the fence and go for a score draw!”
West Ham’s key man – Felipe Anderson