August 17, 2012 by FKB - GFC
The start of the season has finally arrived. Aston Villa travel to Upton Park to kick off our Premier League campaign, and the mood amongst West Ham fans can be summed up in a word… Optimistic.
The confident attitude towards the opening fixture is very refreshing as a West Ham fan. The numerous signings make us an unpredictable package. It is very difficult to judge how good we will be at the moment and this game will set down a marker of how we well we will compete this season.
The only concern amongst our fans comes from a rather disappointing pre-season. However, as many managers have continuously said, friendlies are there to help the team gain fitness.
Everyone is trying to second guess Allardyce’s side with so many new players certain questions have risen.
Who will play in central midfield?
With both Diame and Diarra arriving this summer it is no longer a certainty who will play in the centre. I can’t imagine that Big Sam would drop Nolan and believe that the weak link, out of the four most likely battling for the positions, is Mark Noble.
At Upton Park, Allardyce might well play Nolan and Noble with one of the two defensive midfielders, particularly at the start of the season, but I personally think as time goes on Diarra, Diame and Nolan will be the three looking to control the middle of the park.
Who will play up front?
Our front three will probably be determined by who plays behind. If you ensure that the three behind are secure enough (which Diame and Diarra would provide) then the likes of Vaz Te and Maiga might both start out wide with Cole through the middle.
I personally would like to see West Ham Starting XI to be (assuming Collins isn’t fit):
DF: Spence, Reid, Tomkins, McCartney
MF: Diarra, Diame, Nolan
FWD: Vaz Te, Maiga, Cole
Perosnally i think that the three up front could cause Aston Villa serious problems at the back, and we need to start quick with a relatively easy start to the season. If both Diarra and Diame play this would help to cover the more attack minded players out wide.
Fans have shown their frustrations over failings in the transfer window but we must stop worrying what other clubs are doing and worry about ourselves. We need to support our side whatever business we do. Let’s not judge until they’ve played a couple of games at least.
West Ham vs Aston Villa Score Prediction: I am confident we will get three points against Villa but we must go at them from the first minute… 2-1
Oh and also it has been banded about since the play-final but it’s true… Nothing beats being back! COYI