Barnsley Preview/Open Thread

Seeing as I shall be out delivering Conservative propaganda important information to the voters of Dagenham & Rainham on Saturday morning, I thought I had better do the Barnsley preview now 🙂

I think there might well me quite a few changes in our line-up tomorrow. Scott Parker is banned so I imagine that means a start for Mark Noble. I expect Behrami, Boa Morte and Collison to join him in midfield. There is some speculation that James Tomkins will figure in the defence. I suppose resting Matthew Upson will be read as an indication he is on his way, as he wouldn’t then be cup tied. Jonathan Spector may get a runout at right back, although I think Julien Faubert might well retain his place. Shop windows, and all that.

Up front, if Craig Bellamy isn’t in the starting eleven, I think we will all know what that may mean, although Zola could quite truthfully say he wants to give Tristan or Sears a full match. I’d like to see Freddie Sears matched with Craig Bellamy, especially as we are playing ball to feet nowadays as we have very little width.

The exciting news is that Kieron Dyer is expected to play some part tomorrow. Ideally he would start on the right wing, but I suspect a place on the bench awaits him.

So this is how I expect us to start…

Green, Ilunga, Upson, Tomkins, Faubert, Noble, Behrami, Boa Morte, Collison, Cole, Bellamy.

Barnsley are under strength as loan striker Jamie Cureton has been refused permission to play by Norwich and they have three key players our injured. Let’s hope this could be the start of a good cup run. If we can score early on, I think we’d all hope to win by two or three clear goals.


25 Responses to Barnsley Preview/Open Thread

  1. Kiwi Hammer says:

    Dyer will definitely come off the bench. Zola has been quoted as saying that it would be difficult to see him start after 17 months out.

    It’s weird – after 17 months I still find it hard to get my head around the fact that Dyer plays for us. (Someone told me that Dean Ashton is a Hammer too – who would’ve thought??).

    Also, I would have thought Mullins is a logical replacement for Parker but would be great for Noble to have a decent run. I also think Sears and Bellamy are too similar and perhaps thats what is holding him back. I reckon Tristan and Bellamy to start with Sears on the bench.

    Good luck with the paper run.

  2. marco says:

    i think tomorrows line up will be very interesting reading. i’m sure zola wants to have a good cup run,therefore he wont be risking resting any players as we have always been prone to a giantkilling!!!! Therefore if their are any senior players missing,i don’t thing we will be seeing them in a west ham shirt again!!! Having said that i truely hope to see the likes of Green,Upson,Noble and Bellamy tomorrow!!?
    Just a quick note,i now live in Italy so follow their league,and if we can replace Bellamy with Pazzini it would be a great bit of business

  3. HAMMER TIME says:

    Looking forward to this match immensely, would be nice to see a youthful side with enough quality to win the match.
    The team i would personally wish to see play would be as follows:

    GK – Robert Green

    RB – Jonathan Spector
    CB – James Tomkins
    CB – James Collins
    LB – Walter Lopez

    RM – Valon Behrami
    CM – Mark Noble
    CM – Jack Collison
    LM – Luis Boa Morte

    CF – Craig Bellamy
    CF – Diego Tristan

    Subs: Gk Lastuvka, CB N’gala, LB Ilunga, LM Etherington, RM Dyer, CM Mullins, CF Sears

  4. D&G says:

    I wont be so worried if Bellers doesn’t start but if he doesn’t even make the bench I will be…..

  5. FrannyZola says:

    Many fans who DO NOT want Bellamy to leave would accept, in my opinion, a £15 million bid for the 29 year old. Therefore, making him cup tied would be silly because bidders will use this as a reason to bring down any possible fee. Same with Upson.

    I don’t want Bellamy to go but for £15 million I would think about it. With that in mind, coupled with the fact that we have adequate replacements up front for THIS cup game against a lowly side, Bellamy should not be in the squad.

    If we would accept a very good price for Craig Bellamy, then we should not do anything to hinder this. If he does not feature tomorrow and is still with us after the window then I will still be happy.

  6. SJ Chandos says:

    I like the under erasure introduction to the blog. Iain is obviously an Heideggerian!

    Well, the press have really surpassed themselves since I last posted (I did not think that was possible!). They have completely distorted the contents of Duxbury’s interview and reharshed and spun old information to create yet more wild and wacky headlines. Thus, Duxbury’s quite reasonable statement that the Board will consider all major offers and refer them to Zola for decision, becomes ‘West Ham put whole squad up for sale.’ Sock, horror, pathetic more like it! Then we have the Guardian, an admirable paper in many ways, but totally off the pace in it’s football coverage (they seem to think that rugger, cricket and golf are more important to our sporting nation!), suddenly waking up to the old story about the Icelandic court’s decision to delay the Hansa dissolution order until 6 March 2009.

    This was published months ago and was discussed on numerous Hammers websites and blogs. At the time it was confirmed that West Ham Utd PLC was the affiliate of PL and that the winding up of Hansa Holdings would not lead to administration for the Hammers or a 9 point deduction. Yet, some less than bright spark on the Guardian stumbles across it and decides to resusitate the speculation by stating it as fact! Laughable! Then it spreads through the press like wild fire, with the Sportsmail, et al, all jumping on it.

    Prior to the new year, the Hammers press coverage made me angery, now I just think that it is totally pathetic. We truly do have the worst, most unethical and uneducated popular press of any country in Europe.

  7. SJ Chandos says:

    Talking of the Duxbury interview, I know that many fans have a deep distrust of our CE, but I thought that it was a reasonable exposition of the board’s position and confirmed many of the things I have been saying in my posts. The club want to keep their best players; they will refer any massive bids to Zola to see whether the funds would open up other player options; they want to create a quality 22/23 player first team squad and augment and replenish it via a shadow youth squad. Most significant was the statement that no player will be sold without a better one being acquired and that their future transfer targets were already identified.

    I may be wrong and this is some kind of Machiavellian gambit, but I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Time will tell!

    On the Barnsley match, I hope that Zola uses the match to give playing time to some of the younger players and squad members. I like Hammer Time’s overall selection, although I doubt Zola and Clark will be that bold in their team selection. I would like to see Upson play alongside Tomkins at centre back and would prefer a 4-3-3. I would play Berhami, Noble and Collison in midfield and Bellamy, Sears and Tristian up front. I like the idea of playing Spector and Lopez, but again I am not sure whether Zola and Clarke will go for it? I am looking forward to seeing Dyer back playing for 30-45 minutes as a substitute.

    I think that Barnsley will give us a hard fought match, but we will win through 2 or 3-1. It will also be interesting to see how Stanislaus performs for Southend Utd in the tie against Chelski. I think this kid is definitely one for the future and a good performance will further underline his massive potential.

  8. David King says:

    Whats so exciting about Dyer? Come on, you KNOW he ain’t gonna last a season. Lets hope he plays a blinder and some mug buys him.
    I want to see Tristan start up front, preferably with Bellamy so that we can see fully in a competitive match how they get on. Can’t see Cole getting many more goals this season. He’s had his little purple patch.
    Glad Parker is out. Now we can show the little mercenary that he is not indispensable to this club so maybe playe Collison ,Mullins (or Bowyer),Behrami and Noble.
    And give Lastuvka another crack so that we can stop picking on that one little cock up at Watford. he had a good game overall.

  9. DevoDevo says:

    Dyer’s a class player who was unfortunate to have his leg broken in a game that he shouldn’t have played in.

    I for one, look forward to seeing him get his West Ham career underway. I would give him 20 minutes at the end, whether we are winning, drawing or losing.

    This is the FA Cup, so I don’t think Zola will do much tinkering with the team, certainly not as much as suggested on here. Parker is banned, so that gives him the opportunity to play Behrami, Noble, Collison & LBM across MF.

    Defence will be the interesting part of the side. Will Neill play? Will Tomkins come in for Collins or will Davenport get recalled?

    I wouldn’t read too much into the forward line, whoever he picks, My gut feeling is that he will start with Cole & Bellamy with Sears & Tristan on the bench.

    I don’t see an easy game today what ever the line up. Barnsley are no mugs and reached the semis last season, but with the steady improvement in the league recently, a good cup run could really lift the club AND make it more attractive to buyers.

  10. djclipz says:

    i hoping to see a few more of the squad today such as lopez and tristan given some more time, and maybe even sears again, he def needs some playing time now if he is going to improve otherwise surely he should be loaned out rather than sit in the dugout and play reserve games!!

    Also wouldnt mind seeing lbm go out and have a good game, would do him good!! With parker being banned i can see him sliding in mullins but u never know, maybe noble will get more time again!!

    Watever the team is id like to see a comfortable 3-0 victory, however this is my beloved west ham and a cup game and comfortable never really is the case!! However i think we do do better in this cup than carling cup!!!


  11. chris says:

    Hope we rest all our major players,not bothered about any cups this season,just wanna stay in the prem.
    prediction.Dyer gets injured.

  12. Terry says:

    Hi Ian,

    I read your blog most days and did take part in your survey. I just thought I’d bring your attention to this article on the FA’s website. They are meant to be impartial but the part reading ‘with the club’s financial situation likely to result in the squad being broken up in the coming month’ is outrageous that the governing body of the game is writing rubbish like this ( I am absolutely fed up with the lazy journalist’s who turn around statements like the one from Duxbery ‘everybody is for sale at a price depending on age, length of contract remaining, commitment to the club etc’ is translated as ‘West Ham fire sale every player is for sale’. I agree that every player at every club is available at the right time & price. If Ronaldo has 18 months of his contract left, is refusing to sign a new one and Real Madrid bid £50 million then he is also ‘for sale’. Utter rubbish is written every day about our club and I have just about had enough. I send emails to Sky, Setanta, newspapers etc and nothing gets read out or published because they will not print the truth. Anyway I’ve had my moan for the day let’s hope we get a good run going in the Cup. Cheers.

  13. Tony says:

    I think they (the fa)have changed the article.

  14. Mike Slough says:


  15. 4737 CarlinSir says:

    Team is/was as follows:

    * 01 Green
    * 20 Faubert
    * 19 Collins
    * 30 Tomkins
    * 03 Ilunga
    * 31 Collison
    * 16 Noble
    * 17 Mullins
    * 13 Boa Morte
    * 10 Bellamy
    * 12 Cole


    * 24 Lastuvka,
    * 07 Dyer,
    * 11 Etherington,
    * 18 Spector,
    * 25 Tristan,
    * 29 Bowyer,
    * 32 Di Michele

    Good to see Dyer on the bench as expected, and Etherington for that matter. Looks as though Upson is off then, and there stands a good chance Parker is too (notwithstanding the fact he’s suspended). Although, given the fact Man City are 2-0 down at half time and that is where Bellamy is being heavily linked, it might not matter that he’s played in the cup this season.

    On a positive note, it looks like we might benefit from a £75k windfall if the score stays in our favour, which should cover Lucas Niell’s wages for almost another week.

  16. eleeNYC says:

    Will Man City get any stick for going scoreless against Forest?

  17. Goatygav says:

    Well pleased to see Kieron Dyer come through his 20+ mins. Hope he’s brought back gently and managed well. Would love to see him fulfil his massive potential at West Ham in the future.

    Unlike so many I LOVE the FA Cup. It’s the only major trophy that I’ve witnessed West Ham win and, quite frankly, compared to just surviving in the top tier of English football I’d prefer to win this major trophy and qualify for europe. We’ve been relegated before and it’s not something that holds any fear for me at all.

    COYI!!!! Let’s get through the next round and start us all “Dreaming of a Claret & Blue Wembley.”

    Good news that Carlton Cole’s hit his third in 3 too. Hopefully his confidence levels will remain high and he’ll continue to find the back of the net for the rest of the season.

  18. Terry says:

    I just checked the FA website and they have changed the article, I wish I’d copied and pasted the whole thing. Unbelievable. Perhaps they should have changed the decision to award the northern monkeys another hearing as quickly.

  19. colin say's says:

    well impressed with kieron almost scored with first touch just over the bar. got a bit puffed near the end,but did do very well.

  20. claire says:

    Blimey, Iain, your starting line-up was almost spot on except for Mullins for Upson.
    Lovely to see Dyer come through OK and also the Matty substitution. It wasn’t pretty, but we’re through to the next round.

  21. Graybo says:

    SJChandos says:

    “We truly do have the worst, most unethical and uneducated popular press of any country in Europe.”

    Hear-hear to all that… but what really saddens me is that we put up with it. What blinkered, uneducated people we are, to allow this rubbish — not just about football — to be trotted out on TV, Radio and in the printed media.

    I am appalled at the standards but isn’t it just that fact that the consumer lets them get away with it by not demanding better standards.

  22. colney says:

    clarke getting fed up 2,sooner they change this window idea the better,perhaps the clubs should all boycott it one year and get it changed back to what it was?
    great result today,good to see mullins get the arm band,zola does seem to rate him which is good news.

  23. SJ Chandos says:

    The team selection was quite conservative as I suspected. Apparently Upson has flu and Berhami a slight muscle problem, so otherwise they would have played. But it was a very good, professional performance against a team that looked far more fluent and proficient than Stoke City. However, they did not really threaten us in the last third, their only worthwhile goal attempts coming from long range efforts.

    To be honest I expected a more hard fought contest, but I was pleasantly suprised with the ease of the victory. Dyer came on and looked sharp and inventive, giving a glimpse of the creative spark that we have been missing during his absence. The Bellamy-Dyer link up is something to really look forward to in the coming months. Tomkins looked very solid, mobile and comfortable on the ball and Noble and Collison both performed well in midfield. Up front Cole looked a different player, but he was up against a Championship side and perhaps that tells us something about him! However, fairs fair, he did well on the day, adding another goal to his tally.

    Thank god for Man City and Mark Hughes. Surely that debacle will give us some respite from more damaging headlines in the Sunday papers? It should, but with some of these hacks and their rags one gets the distinct impression that the ongoing campaign against the Hammers is personal! Did you see the aggressive questioning of Clarke in the post-match press conferences about Bellamy Parker, they are relentless. Although I thought he handled it quite well. Oh well We shall see tomorrow I suppose.

    Lets hope for a decent home draw in the 4th round. A non or lower league opponent would be nice, but knowing our luck ……

  24. SJ Chandos says:

    Also, I have just re-read Duxbury’s Q&A post on the Hammers website. In response to the question on the proposed sale, Duxbury talks about atteacting ‘new investment.’ Could it be that BG will sell a % of his current 100% ownership to raise finance for the club, rather than just selling it? I have no hard evidence for this, it just occurred to me and I thought I would share it with you.

    I try to have a positive perspective, even during difficult times such as the home defeat to Spurs. However, I am genuinely optimistic about the direction of the club under Zola and Clarke, things seem to be coming together. I hope the board do not destablise things by selling Green, Upson, Berhami or Bellamy. If Faubert and/or Parker go then I will accept it, as long as they follow through on their promise to bring players in with the proceeds that improve the squad. Bringing in quality additions really is the only way to counter the negativity that will evitably follow such a move.

  25. Goatygav says:

    Graybo – nail on the head mate! What amazes me is that people still buy the rags. Point in case – The Silver Diana Special the Sun ran after her death – most probably purchased by all those who were up in arms at the “Despicable” behavior of the press photographers who hounded her.

    I vote with my feet – haven’t bought a newspaper for years.

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