Date:Monday November 19 2012
I must confess that Monday night games are not my cup of tea!
Sitting around all weekend, twiddling the thumbs, is a bane and something, in all honesty, I could do without.
However, the television companies rule the roost and we jump, nowadays, to their particular tune.
But, still carping on, does a fixture involving Stoke City stand much chance of enticing viewers to tune in?
As a Hammer I`d reckon it could but think of it from a neutral`s point of view, especially those poor souls who are tormented, courtesy of their wives, with an abundance of soap operas on a Monday evening.
Nevertheless, whilst the two teams who got automatically promoted from the Championship (Southampton and Reading) continue to struggle in the relegation zone, we`re in the wonderful position of knowing that a win, against Tony Pulis` side, will catapult us to 5th in the Premier League, who`d have thought that back in the days when it really was do-or-die against Blackpool, at Wembley, in May.
There`s no doubting that Big Sam has done well, his unique style of management has served us well and with an offer of a new contract, supposedly, on the table, in January Sam is honest enough to admit that his style doesn`t convince everybody, remarking ahead of the clash,
"I don`t suppose you ever win over all the fans, I`ve never won over every fan I`ve worked for. What really matters is we`re selling out. People are enjoying watching us."
"The fans stayed with us against City because they understood we couldn`t be quite as adventurous as we might have been against Fulham and Sunderland."
Our form going into this fixture is good, a 0-0 draw at home to the current champions (Manchester City) followed by a win up at Newcastle would suggest that we shouldn`t fear a physical Stoke City side described as 'jolly green giants` by Sir Alex Ferguson recently.
But to dismiss Stoke would be foolish, they`re a tough, uncompromising side that give very little away and have some strong characters, in the side, that could provide us with a few problems,
Amongst their ranks are two ex-Hammers in Matthew Upson (remember him?) and Matthew Etherington, although we doubt if both will actually feature; up front they have Peter Crouch (always fancied his wife) who is always capable of the unexpected and a decent keeper in Begovic.
But form, on the road, doesn`t bode well for Stoke. The Potteries side haven`t won away from home since January 2nd, a run of 16 matches whilst The Hammers have only lost 2 in 18 this year at home.
Therefore, I`m going for a home win with the roof being lifted clear-off when Andy Carroll nets the winner; remember where you read it first.
Date:Monday November 19 2012
Is the Pressure Already Building on Sam? (Saturday July 26 2014)
Hammers Beaten Again (By Sydney FC) (Saturday July 26 2014)
Hammers Linked with Portuguese Striker (Saturday July 26 2014)
Ex-Hammer in Indian Super League Interest (Saturday July 26 2014)
Not Singing from the same Hymn Book! (Saturday July 26 2014)
Another Striker (or Two) Needed! (Friday July 25 2014)
Good News on Kouyate (Friday July 25 2014)
Zarate`s Chance! (Friday July 25 2014)
Carroll Out for Four Months Shock! (Friday July 25 2014)
Morrison - On the Way Out? (Thursday July 24 2014)
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