Man Utd Preview

I guess this is probably the home fixture we all look forward to most of all. At least in part because we regularly seem to get a point or two out of it. I have to be honest and say that we will do well to get a point. Man U haven’t let in a goal for eleven matches now. That’s not something our players should dwell on, but they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t find that statistic slightly intimidating. But our defence isn’t exactly very porous at the moment.

Rooney may be back for Man U, but I expect Zola to put out an unchanged side. There’s no reason at all to change it. I would keep Di Michele in as he is used to big match atmospheres and may revel in it. But I’d expect Nsereko to appear sometime in the second half.

It’s a crucial game for Carlton Cole. Fabio Capello will be watching. What a tribute it would be to Cole if he got an England callup tomorrow evening. No one can deny that he would fully deserve it. And let’s hope for an outstanding performance from Robert Green. I suspect he made need one…

The Man Utd24 blog has an interesting article on us. Rather perceptive, but I am not sure where they get the idea that we are playing a more direct style of football.


36 Responses to Man Utd Preview

  1. the headmaster says:

    Interesting post, Iain.
    I feel that, although you are right inasmuch as we will do well to get anything from the game, we are actually more than capable of so doing. Make no mistake about it, ManU will not fancy coming to our place and that goals against record is set to go tomorrow in my view.
    Agree with the unchanged side bit and the cameo from Savvio.
    I am afraid I actually would take issue with this nonsense about Cole and an England call up. I actually feel that England have made a lot of progress under Capello, as indeed has Cole under Zola, but I cannot accept that Cole is good enough to grace the England set up.

  2. Shropshire Hammer says:

    Agree with ‘the headmaster’ CC has not done enough to warrant an England call up. In my opinon Scott Parker has though. As for tomorrow’s game, I have a feeling it will end in a draw, which I for one will be more than happy with. I will wander into Shrewsbury and find somewhere to watch the game, anyone else in the area doing the same?

  3. the headmaster says:

    Oh God. Chelski drop more points and the crowd are giving it the old ‘you don’t know what yer doin’ bit. Am I paranoid, or is my fear about a summer knock up for Zola and Clarke well founded?

  4. hammeredCalv says:

    ferguson picked up the poison challace award !! 2 nil to the hammers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    agree, no need to change the team, i hope savio gets the full second half, i think he will panic there defence with his pace and running with the ball skills !

  5. Stelios J says:

    Armchair stuff, tomorrow, sadly, For those going, give it large!

    I reckon we’ll score, and that record of theirs is incentive enough, but am worried about Lucas Neill against Giggs and/or Ronaldo (I’d worry against his pace against Scholes!), which may mean Behrami or Collison being asked to play far deeper. Can we have Glen Johnson back, please?

    Agree with the Headmaster (again!): been saying this for weeks: if Chelski don’t go for Zola and Clarke sometime in the next six months, I’d be amazed! Compensation, however, would be huge; hopefully enough to lure Slaven from foreign fields, so not all’s lost!

  6. SwedeHammer says:

    I see another 0-0 coming. Two superb defensive lineups .

  7. SwedeHammer says:

    Only 53 people showed up for the presentation of Faubert at Real Madrid. Their sport director Predrag Mijatovic wants nothing to do with it, saying Faubert does not have R.M. quality….I could have told him that.

  8. Sactown Hammer says:

    Iain, here’s a side note. Over here in the state, ESPN’s website is reporting Carlos Tevez was pulled over by the police Friday driveing his Bently. Apprently his car was seized for not having a UK drivers license. Perhaps Kia should be driving him around Manchester.

  9. martin keech says:

    Teves, Rooney, Ronaldo and berbatov all in the same side, this must be the best united team in years if not ever. A win tomorrow would be fantastic reward for the great work by Zola and the boys. Ive got butterflies just thinking about it. Ninety minutes of hell.Come on you Irons!

  10. Tony says:

    2-1 to us tomorrow. And I don’t see Zola or Clarkie leaving of their own free will until they’ve accomplished whatever it is they set out to do at Upton Park first – I’m pleased to say they both have too much integrity for that. Let’s have a few chorus’ of “Franco Zola’s Claret and Blue Army” tomorrow, just to ket them know how much we think of them.


  11. Hammer Ray says:

    I agree with many of you about Zola and Clarke. My normal emotions of delight when Chelsea don’t win are being slightly spoiled currently with a fear that they’ll try to lure our leaders before they’ve had a chance to show what they can really do here. It would be a great shame. I am clinging to the hope that they have un-finished business here, and the fact the GZ is such a gent, that he couldn’t leave us just yet. They are building something to be proud of so I’m sure we’d all love to see it continue. As for tomorrow… bring them on. I hope we go for the jugular. The Mancs are very good, but we can be too on our day, and have stood up very well to all the top teams recently. Villa have just overtaken Chelsea and we should have done them as well!! I too will be in the armchair sadly, but am looking forward to those lucky enough to be there. Sing up chaps, especially for GZ! (Cornetto song springs to mind!) COYI

  12. Roshi says:

    If we win…Fantastic, if we draw…Great and if we lose, it’s not so bad because M Utd take all points off most of our rivals anyway, so in a way it’s a sort of irrelevant game.
    What an idiot, I here you shouting at your screen, I know, but it sort of allows you to sit back and enjoy the game with out the constant fear of a heart attack!

    For the record I think we will get a result, probably a draw, tomorrow.

  13. chris says:

    This will be a hard game,a point would be a good result,hope rooney dont play,Tevez wont fancy it,collins and upson have what it takes to keep Berbatov
    quite so fingers crossed ronaldo has a stinker! predition 1-1

  14. the headmaster says:

    Having just watched Calamity put in a pretty average performance at Pompey, what I will say to Mr Capello is ‘forget Cole – if Rob Green isn’t a better ‘keeper on current form than old James, I’ll eat my shirt’.
    whatever Greenie’s alleged differences with Mr Clemence, it is a travesty that he continues to be overlooked. Furthermore, persisting with James will in my view come back to haunt Capello large at some stage.

  15. redkipper says:

    To Shropshire Hammer; I used to play right half for Tenbury Wells (those were the days!) do you know it?

  16. jpt says:

    Hills are offering 5/1 for a Hammers win.
    Worth a punt me thinks.

  17. Frankie D says:

    Have to disagree with those who think CC should not be in the England squad.

    We should be happy about it. At last we have an England manager who picks players on form rather than reputation, it is the main reason England are making progress because the camp is full of players high on confidence which is taken onto the field. It is basic football psychology, something previous England managers find difficult to understand.

    Well done to CC for getting picked.

  18. My only concern is the movement of ManYoo. My mind goes back to the Owen goal at St James’s when Collins (I think it was him) was marking Owen, following him into quite a deep position, but he then decided to retreat back into his position in the penalty area without ‘passing him on’ to Behrami.

    Result was that Owen picked the ball up and was free to go on and score. I hope that, in the intervening weeks, and with more coaching from Steve Clarke, we’ve sorted out that sort of thing, otherwise the ManYoo movement will be our undoing.

    Also, do you think ManYoo will have sussed out that we don’t have any left-sided players?

    Finally… going off on a bit of a tangent here and totally off topic… imagine this scenario…

    David Cameron and co pick our man Iain as a candidate for some sure-fire Tory constituency. Cameron and co win election, our man Iain rockets to the front bench in the new set-up. A few months later everybody on the front bench (except Iain) is implicated in some awful scandal and are forced to resign, leaving our man in Number 10.

    Result? Obama in the White House, our man in Number 10… ergo, West Ham rule the world. Imagine the security implications when they both visit the Boleyn Ground 😮

  19. the headmaster says:

    Jeez Graybo, that is sure one heck of a leap of faith.
    Don’t forget, olas tomorrow. A big up for the Dale blog and a name drop for the greyboguesmeister (or whatever it is we’re calling ourselves this week!)

  20. the headmaster says:

    Point taken Frankie. He’s just not good enough though, mate. If he was any sort of a striker he’d have had 14 goals in the last 7 games – that’s how well we’ve been playing.
    Oh, and by the bye, he’s not actually been picked yet!

  21. graybomeister says:

    Yeah, sorry HeadMaster… stabilised my psychological problems now.

  22. Frankie D says:


    No striker would have more goals in the same scenario. Not even Torres. It’s just the way it is. For example, Michael Owen misses more chances than any striker I have seen yet the so called pundits say “At least he is there to miss them”. That is a load of rubbish as Owen is everyones favourite, but the point Im trying to make is players need to be picked when they are full of confidence and Cole is.

    He was picked actually. I read it off Sky before I posted.

  23. the headmaster says:

    I stand corrected, Frankie. Amazed, but corrected nonetheless.
    Actually seeing his name there in black and white does feel quite good, eh! I’m still gobsmacked.

  24. supernumbersix says:

    Let’s give CC a break people. I for one am glad to see that Capello is giving players a go ( although the goalkeeper situation still mystifies me ). Coley getting a boost tomorrow as a result of this call up is fine by me.
    As usual though, I am nervous about tomorrow.

  25. Frankie D says:


    The more Hammers in the squad the better chance we’ll have of winning the cup!

    Lets get behind our boys!

  26. redkipper says:

    Carlton Cole is in the England squad and so is Green, WOW.

  27. Hammer Ray says:

    Well pleased for CC and especially pleased for Rob Green who IS Englands number 1 on current form, but disappointed for the excellent Scotty Parker, who must feel robbed. Prove em wrong tomorrow son.On a brighter note, at least we wont be last on MOTD tonight! One of the few times this season that will happen!

  28. HammersWest says:

    Good to see Green in the squad and happy for CC, can’t wait for tomorrow, I have a good feeling about this one.
    ready to cheer our boys on COYI

  29. Stelios J says:

    Hate to say this, but the awful news is that, along with Scottie, Rooney hasn’t been beamed up! Ferguson can play him for as long as he wishes without incurring the collective wrath of the FA. Damn!
    St. J

  30. Hammer Ray says:

    Too right Stelios. Fergie, Wenger etc can do whatever they like. After all, has Man Yoo ever actually signed Tevez, or is he on loan via a third party as he was allegedly with us??? How can Arsenal ignore the transfer deadline and sign Arshavin a day later and get away with it?? It stinks to high heaven, but I apologise as I don’t want to moan and groan when we Hammers have so much to be positive about. Hope we continue to show how much we have improved against the current Champions. On your guard Lucas!! COYI

  31. Stelios J says:

    Right Ray. Thing is, Man U didn’t break any of the FA’s silly rules. They did precisely what we did (as did Liverpool), but were more open about it. That’s the crux.

    If I had a penny for every dingbat supporter of other teams who reckon we fielded and ineligible player, I’d have at least three pounds 93p by now. Ask them what rules U18 and B13 are, they are totally clueless.


  32. SJ Chandos says:

    I said that a point a peice from Arsenal and Man Utd would be a good return and I stick by that. However, you can never under-estimate West Ham’s chances against Man U at Upton Park, the victories are there in the record books, in black and white!

    I also knew the Zola/Clarke for Chelski bandwagon would start in the papers as soon as Scolari had a few dodgy results! I do not think that West Ham fans should under-estimate Zola’ loyalty and commitment to the project at West Ham. Similarly, Clarke cannot be too happy about the way in which the Chelski hierarchy dealt with him when Scolari took over and West Ham subsequently came in for him.

    However, the bottom line is that West Ham need to demonstrate forward movement to ensure that we keep our best assets, both managerial and playing staff! That means starting this season, with a top 7 finish and a place in the EUFA cup. Not next season, or the season after that, this May!! We have a great opportunity and we need to take it!

    Congratulations to Carlton Cole, he deserves his England call-up based his recent improvement. Three Hammers in an England Squad, things are moving in the right direction at long last!

  33. SJ Chandos says:

    Yes, I agree that Scott Parker should have been included in the squad. But, four Hammers in an England squad, the FA/PL would launch another of their investigations!!!!

  34. The Gaffer says:

    You don’t think the Hammers are direct?
    It must be me then….

  35. graybomeister says:

    Headmaster, do you have a link to that story, please?

  36. The Gaffer says:

    Well judging by the Hammers perfomance today, it was direct!

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