Chelsea Preview & Open Discussion

The Sunday papers do not make happy reading for Hammers fans. Zola says in the News of the World that if the club break their promises to him he would conside rhis position. The club doctor Ges Steinbergs is also set to quit and move across town to Arsenal as he thinks he is being frozen out. And there are continued rumours that Bellamy, Green and Upson may be on their way in January. But in case you hadn’t noticed, we have a game today!

No doubt Zola and Clarke will get a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge, and deservedly so. But once the game starts, that’s where the season of good will should end. I would hope Zola will ring a few changes today. If he is fit, I’d like to see Etherington brought in to provide some width, which we were sorely lacking against Spurs. I’d also like to see Noble or Collison come in for Faubert. Personally I’d put both of them in and rest Mullins. I can’t see the front two being changed, although I’d expect Freddie Sears to come on at some point after his brace of goals in the week in the reserves. Defensively, I can’t see any changes being made.

So I expect the side to be: Green, Ilunga, Neill, Upson, Collins, Etherington, Noble, Parker, Mullins, Cole, Bellamy

And what do I expect the score to be? To be honest, I expect us to get spanked.

UPDATE: Unaccountably, I left out Behrami. Shame on me!


27 Responses to Chelsea Preview & Open Discussion

  1. the headmaster says:

    The sight of Zola on TV yesterday saying that he has been assured by the board that we have no need to sell off any of our better players has a horribly familiar pre transfer window sound to it. History shows us that the current board are untruthful so I listend to Zola’s words with a pinch of the proverbial.
    We were woeful against the spuds on Monday but, in true West Ham style, I actually expect a markedly different and battling performance today which I reckon will end in a 1-0 or 2-0 reverse.
    Welcome back from Russia, Iain.

  2. the headmaster says:

    nb – it’s a while since I got the first post in, eh?

  3. pjd says:

    must admit the siuation at the club worries me.zola needs time anyone with a football brain knows that but we lack any creativity from midfield,cole will never get enough goals,bellemy seems to have a great work ethic but little else.i just cant see where the goals are coming from for the transfer window if u listen to the so call press boys in the know,bellemy and upson are gone with possibly green as well.if that is so then i can see us going down.sorry to sound so gloomy at this festive time but i am begining to get a bit worried,any body else?

  4. maestro says:

    So sure am i of a major defeat i have already made alternative plans, so i won’t be watching this game thankfully.
    4-0 to Chelsea, with the goals shared between Lampard and Cole just to rub it in.
    Zola’s changed his tune somewhat, the only reason he was offered the job (over higher calibre candidates) was because he was willing to be the yes man and oversee a clearout. His first utterance at his first press conference as manager was how delighted he was to be working ALONGSIDE Nani, now he expects us to believe he has only just realised what a Director of Football actually means when it comes to transfers. Looks to me like damage limitation from someone who is well aware they are way out of their depth and who senses his time may well be up. Don’t worry Zola, i’m sure Chelsea will reserve a job for you…as a ball boy.

  5. CHRIS says:


  6. man of kent says:

    less of the doom and gloom guys, i know its not looking good at the mo, and im not looking forward to the chelsea game today, but i wont beleive anything in the papers because there normally way off the mark & full of sh*te ! All i say is wait and see, we might just be suprised what happens in jan, i beleive we will sell a few players, and rightly so, many of them just are not good enough at this level !
    i would like to see Tristan sitting just behind Bellamy and Sears today, as i beleive even a 50% fit Tristan is better than a 100 % cole ! and agree with Iain on the midfield, however instead of noble i would play collison ! maybe a piont today if we are lucky ! COYI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. man of kent says:

    oh and berhami instead of mullins !

  8. Dr Feelgood says:

    Would be a blow to lose the long serving Doctor Ges.
    He seems to be more than just a Doc, with his rapport and support of the players. Speaks several languages too including Italian which has helped, but clearly not now for some reason.

  9. StainesWestHam says:

    Let’s be honest here when we lose to Chelsea today it will end yet another very miserable week for West Ham. First, we have Harry Redknapps spurs come and beat us 2-0 at Upton Park (I don’t know how you feel, but some of the comments after the game from our players were crazy to suggest that a draw would have been a fair result)!! Then we go to Stamford Bridge, with our manager their most flamboyant player of all time (beginning to look a broken man in the Upton Park hotseat I feel) and get absolutely tonked! We will also have to probably witness two ex-players in Cole and Lampard running the show in midfield – no one could argue they haven’t gone on to greater things since leaving Upton Park! I really hope we don’t get embaressed tday and would take a 1-0 loss now without any doubt. Most worrying of all are some of the comments in the press this week about our players. Upson, Bellamy, Ashton Green all on the move apparently. Zola says no, but no smoke without fire I say! Unfortunately for him the manager no longer calls the shots at West Ham anymore. The mood in the camp is still strong says Lucas Neill in his captains blog, but yet we’re hearing that, he too, is on his way out the door after the club have failed to agree a new deal. Yet it’s the fans of our crazy club, not Sheffield Utd, Lucas Neill, Zola or anyone else that get the worst deal of all.

  10. colin say's says:

    I read the article in today’s news of the World, and l am so wound up!! They say that West Ham needs a british manager, some one like Sam Allardyce, wasn’t he the same Sam Allardyce that got the sack at Newcastle? he’s a photo copy of Alan Curbishley!! ( boring football ) how about Mark Hughes, he’s british, but he’s at Man City, & they’ve got the same amount of points as Weat Ham have!! but they never say that they are 3 points above religation!! and they’ve got Robinho & Right-Philips!! & Benjani & Co, and millions of pounds to spend!! and how about the old master himself Alex Fergison? even with Ryan Giggs & Ronaldo they couldn’t get one past Spurs!!! so are things really that bad?

    l know that West Ham are not playing that well, but they are not that bad either!! another 5 points, and it would take them to 7th place.

    Also in the news of the world, Redknapp wants Owen & Joe Cole, so what with Green & Upson that must be about 35 million, then there’s the 100 odd million that they are reportably in debt plus all the wages that they have to pay em!! How much money have they really got!!!!!!!!!! Truth beknown, they are probably worse off than West Ham!!!!

  11. SJ Chandos says:

    Well how depressing are the posts on here! For gods sake show some bottle! We are one of a number of teams on 18-21 points, we are not cut adrift, nor are we under any financial pressure for the remainder of this season. Two back to back wins sees us shooting up the table.

    Ignore the tabloid speculation, the likes of Sportsmail have a clear agenda to undermine our club. According to them we are in financial meldown, yet say nothing about Liverpool’s 350m loan replayment in January, the 750m and rising debt of Man U or the massive financial hit taken by the Chelsea owner. In comparison the Hammers are debt free and self-sustaining.

    I think we will see the Davenports and Boa Morte’s go in January, plus one or two of the more regular first teamers such as Cole and Etherington, to free up funds. The current set up needs to be shook up and if they have to sell to buy then so be it. But the likes of Green, Upson, Noble, Berham, Parker and Ashton will not be sold. I would also like to to see the likes of Collison, Tomkins, Sears and Stanislaus integrated in to the first team. We have Dyer back and Ashton doing well, that is good news.

    As for the Chelsea match, I reckon we will grind out a draw and turn the corner with a good victory over Villa next week.

  12. Goatygav says:

    COME ON UUUU IRONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the biggest one of the season for me. Really LOVE it when we beat that lot from West London. Doesn’t happen often in recent times but I really hope we’re able to frustrate them for 90 mins then nick one in injury time.

    Cole should be an option from the bench if we’re desperate. Start with: –





    Whether we win, lose or draw I’ll always want to watch the mighty Hammers.


  13. colin say's says:

    I agree with you Chandos. even if West Ham have to pay Sheffeild United any money, it would be over a period of time, and not in one lump sum, and l can’t see it being anything like 30 million, Didn’t Sheffeild United get a golden hand shake when they got religated?

  14. simo says:

    call me hopeful but i think were get something today, it’s the west ham way, whenever it looks like we don’t stand a chance in hell we tend to pull the rabbit out of the hat, this is when steve clarkes assistance should bare fruit, he’s been there for years, knows there players inside and out.
    I just hope that we can bloody score, bellamy is gonna start banging them in soon, carlton cole still looks hopeless but surely this is calling out to give freddie sears a run out for the last half hour, we really haven’t got any pressure, if chelsea lose it i’ll be catastrophic, if we lose it would be expected, come on you irons, we can do this and kick on and give us a good footing again, plus,chelsea have been a bit dodgy at home this season,

  15. D&G says:

    Changes HAVE TO BE MADE doe this game. The usual suspects Neill, Faubert and Cole have to be replaced for this game so we can at least show some fight.

    Personally Cole would make a great midfielder, I cant understand why no manager has ever tried it.

    I think Tristan, Sears and Collison need to start, why is Zola so scared to make changes to a losing team?

  16. Lee says:

    I will as always be watchin today…however i cannot see us getting out of stamford bridge with anything less than a 4 or 5 nil defeat. I really do fear for us now… newcastle have just turned pompey over and after sunderland boosting their goal difference yesterday we will be in the bottom 3 tonight… with 3 of our next 4 games being villa at home who are flying, pompey away which is always a bogey fixture and newcastle away where we never get much and they appeared to have turned the corner… i think relegation is a real possibilty now. but never the less .COYI

  17. Hammer says:

    Not at all confident about this one. After watching us get turned over by spurs where we lacked in every department and then seeing chelsea look very good mid-week it looks like a long miserable day ahead. As for selling players, I would be dissapointed if upson or/and green were to go. Them, Bellamy, Behrami and Parker are all good quality that should be built on. With good young players coming through and a couple of decent buys we really could change things at WH for the better. Alas, we seem to always think small and never quite grasp the nettle. Hope it’s only a clear out of the fringe players but we’ll see. Forget reading the rags, that’s exactly what they are, they have no more knowledge of what’s going on or what might happen than we have.
    Would like to see Collison get a run out today, just seen he is in and so is Davenport. Well time to get down the bozzer, at least the beers good.

  18. jpt says:

    That’s it then, Newcastle have beaten Portsmouth so if we lose by two goals today we’re in the bottom three.
    BUT, if we win we’re eleventh – and if we win by ten we’re tenth!

  19. Graybo says:

    JPT… yep, it’s a long season and teams will always have iffy spells and then have a good run which takes them up many positions. Let’s all be patient and have some faith.

    Early minutes, and I’m encouraged that it sounds as though there’s a plan, with Noble sitting behind the front two.

    I know we’re going to get spanked, too, but I don’t share the gloom and doom of others.

  20. jpt says:

    Half Time – here we go!

  21. Graybo says:

    Music to my ears hearing the S Bridge boos… but I still don’t hold out much hope… wait til Drogba gets on with a point to prove. COYI.

  22. SwedeHammer says:

    What a game!! what a performance…where was this team last week???? Cole alone in the last minute….oh how close we where getting all three…..

  23. MOORO says:

    A fantastic result….if only Cole had made better contact with his chance in injury time justice would have been done. We out played Chelsea at t imes today, making them look very ordinary, a pity we didn’t play like that on Monday.

    One or two of you seem a tad doom laden, don’t believe every rumour you hear, I don’t expect any key players to leave in January. Yes it’s uncertain times financially, but I think we’ll have a better second half to the season.

  24. SwedeHammer says:

    SJ Chandos…I just read your comment…spot on!! Villa next, right?

  25. Graybo says:

    Yes, well done, boys… far better than we could have possibly hoped for.

  26. SJ Chandos says:

    yeah, SwedeHammer Villa next. Stop Ashley Young and you stop Villa. Larsson is dangerous from set peices but we should be able to counter that with the strength of Upson and Collins/Davenport at CB. It’s winnerable and I think that we have reached a positive turning point in our season.

    Well done to Davenport for stepping in so effectively. Parker was fanastic and Berhami works so hard for the team covering, tackling back and pushing the them forward. Collison and Noble must stay in, they are ready for 1st team football and they give us energy and class in midfield. I would also like to see Tomkins, Stanislaus and Sears in and around the 1st team. Stanislaus could be our Ashley Young, he has real potential.

    The tactics were spot on today, narrowing play and restricting Chelsea’s passing and movement. They did not carve out a single chance in the first half and only really got through our defence once, when Anelka scored. We played some great stuff at times and you could see the confidence and belief returning to the team. I thought Terry struggled at times to deal with Cole and Bellamy and showed his limitations, particularly when up against Bellamy’s pace. Bobby Moore he ain’t, what are you on Tony Cascarino!!!! Lol.

    There is not too much wrong with a team that can go to Chelsea and play like that. I am glad to say that the Hammers fans at the match were brilliant yet again, out singing the Chelski muppets! If the West Ham team was as good as it’s support, they would be Champions League, no problem.

    Keep the faith! Zola and Clarke will get it right.

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