I returned from holiday bitterly disappointed to find that we had failed to secure the services of any new players of deadline day, leaving us desperately short up front should Carroll become injured. Alas, another foot injury could set him back until 2014. Typical.
On top of that I quickly scanned to weekend results to find that we had recorded a 0-1 loss to Stoke at home. Sigh. Jermaine Pennant’s brilliant free-kick eight minutes from time gave Stoke the win against a lacklustre West Ham. The substitute’s curled effort was enough to give Mark Hughes’s side their second consecutive Premier League win.
In more positive news, this was our first defeat of the season and the first goal we had conceded in the Premier League. Put it down to a bad day at the office. More positives; In comes Mladen Petric on a short term deal. Not a bad deal given the circumstances but I fear he will be a few weeks away from match fitness yet. This leaves an unhappy Vaz Te who clearly expressed a desire to leave the club and struggling Maiga who I still prey will turn good.
Hopefully the International break came at the right time and we can come back refreshed as a squad and in good confidence following the 1-0 friendly win against Espanyol.
After what I hear was an appalling home defeat where we were outplayed by Stoke on our own ground, yes Stoke; we have a difficult away trip to Southampton. Difficult but winnable.
Both clubs were promoted to the top flight two seasons ago and they held their own to retain their Premier League status last campaign. Its hard to believe these two clubs were promoted finishing below Reading.
Both sides endured frustrating afternoons in their last Premier League outings. The Saints also couldn’t find the net at Carrow Road, going down 1-0 to Norwich. Both teams will be after blood this Sunday looking to put things right.
Southampton will welcome back the nations new sweetheart, Rickie Lambert (just wait till Carroll is back). And Lambert will be looking to continue his good luck with another goal this weekend. The Saints have no other injury worries.
West Ham’s unwelcome Carroll news leaves them with a potentially long lay-off on their hands – and has the potential to rock an already goal-shy team. The signing of Mladen Petric might help a bit, but injuries to both Joe Cole and Stewart Downing might mean that Ravel Morrison could have a bigger impact on this game.
West Ham struggled for away form last season and all in all it doesn’t add up for a fun afternoon, I remain optimistic however and always believe we can nick a result nowadays.
I predict 1-1.
Get behind the team as always everyone.