It’s been a good week! Huddersfield were despatched very impressively on Saturday in a way I didn’t see coming and Shrewsbury were beaten (just!) in the FA Cup replay on Tuesday. I think it is only right and fair that the manager takes great credit for the turn around in fortunes, he as not only made us more resilient but has improved players no-end, Arnautovic looks like becoming a real talisman for the club, Ogbonna looks like a top-class defender and Mark Noble looks rejuvenated in midfield. I know we hear some grumbles about the style of play and perceived negativity against the bigger teams, but we were wide open under Billic, look at what Liverpool did to West Ham this season and what Arsenal did last season. Moyes is pragmatic and he obviously has the respect of the players, at times we have been set up in defensive fashion but to come away from the Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea games unbeaten having conceded only one goal is testament to Moyes and his team’s methods.
Bournemouth come to London on a high having added to Arsene Wenger’s woes last week by defeating Arsenal last Sunday. The Cherries play a certain way, a refuse to deviate from their plan, it’s a stark contrast to Moyes’s pragmatism. Games between the two sides have been high scoring entertaining events, the most recent ending in a controversial equalising goal for Bournemouth being allowed to stand by the referee despite it being both offside and handball, Callum Wilson can expect a warm welcome this Saturday!
The back three really allows Masuaku the freedom to attack the opposition with the added insurance of Cresswell covering, Masuaku is not a left back, he has great attacking talent but defensively he gets exposed in a back 4 and while Cresswell lacks Masuaku’s pace he is the better defender. Zabaleta has been a steadying influence on the right, my main area of concern is the form of Kouyate and Obiang. Kouyate looks woefully short of form at the moment and has come in for some criticism from the fans and Obiang has been wildly inconsistent. I have been impressed with the form of Josh Cullen since his return from Bolton Wanderers, he has the happy knack of doing the simple things well and while he may not have the athletic attributes of Kouyate his ability to keep the ball efficiently should not be overlooked.
West Ham should go into this game expecting to win, they need to keep this run going and with Arnautovic and Lanzini in rampant form I am hoping West Ham’s attacking intent will prove too much for Bournemouth.