Opposition Q & A
NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Manchester City on Saturday is now open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 10am on Saturday.
Wow! All West Ham fans will still be buzzing after the final 15 minutes or so against Spurs. Our current short unbeaten run faces a stiff challenge this weekend, when our beloved team welcome the footballing powerhouse that is Manchester City. The last time we got any change from them was a draw back in January 2016. Ahead of the weekend I spoke to lifelong Manchester City fan John Ratledge to discuss the game and the season.
Hi John. It’s a rare occasion when West Ham sit above Manchester City in the table (albeit having played one more game) – very early days yet, but how would you sum up the season so far?
I would firstly point out that the corona pandemic is most certainly going to be the biggest factor for everyone this season and the relentless schedule of matches for City caused by our involvement in all competitions will, I feel have a detrimental effect on our performances. Together with our injury problems at the end of the last season adversely affecting those earlier game, having players missing through isolation didn’t help. We are gradually getting players back now and so performances have improved.
The drawback of being so successful means you have to play more games of course: are you going to be able to sustain the joint battles of an attempt to regain the Premier League title, with another for at the Champions League?
Which would be your priority?
The Premier League will always be the one to win as far as I am concerned. I am not a fan of the Champions League and even more so the morons at Uefa.
Of the recent crazy results, which gave you the most pleasure: your city rivals losing 1-6 to Spurs, of Liverpool’s thrashing by Aston Villa?
Man United’s loss to Spurs and Liverpool’s defeat at Villa were both immensely amusing to all Blues supporters.
Your own beating by Leicester showed up your defensive frailties (I can’t remember the last time I saw a team give away a hat-trick of penalties). Pep has spent a lot of money on your defense, has he spent wisely?
I think that the Leicester game was an aberration, as you said how can you give away 3 penalties in one game, basically inexperience and Kyle Walker having no brain. We now have Ruben Dias and he’s looking good, I think we’ll be fine. Pep is definitely the man for us, spending wisely depends on your perspective, you never really know how a player will perform until he’s playing in the team.
Talking off transfers, is Ferran Torres going to be able to replace David Silva?
No one can replace David Silva.
Is Pep still held in high regards by the Man City faithful?
Pep – Absolutely adored by the fans.
Manchester City fans have been spoilt with the parade of great players turning out for you over the past few years. Who have been your top 3 picks, and why?
Top Picks. Kevin de Bruyne (nuff said). Sergio of course (world class). And the above named El Mago.
I’m assuming that’s David Silva. Would any of your stars from the late 60’s through to late 70’s got in the teams of this current era?
No – the game has changed so much over the years, the players of yesteryear had their time and the game has moved on.
As I said, it’s early days yet, but who are your picks for the top 4 places at the end of the season, in order? Are Liverpool going to retain the title?
Top Four: City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton (wild card)
Similarly who are your early picks for the drop?
I think it will be: Brighton, West Brom and Fulham
Your ‘quiet’ city neighbours are currently a point behind us both, or as I prefer to say 15th. Any comments on their fortunes?
United? Couldn’t care less!
Given your midweek game against Porto how do you think Manchester City will turn out against us this Saturday? Players/formation please.
4 3 3
Walker Laporte Dias Ake
Mahrez Fernandino Foden
Sterling Aguero Torres (De Bruyne if fit)
Finally, If the algebra of football scores computed properly, your defeat against Leicester 2-5, combined with our 3-0 beating of them should see West Ham comfortably beating you by about 5 or 6 goals. Should I go down the bookies? Prediction for score please?
Do I need to remind you about our recent visits to your gaff, all I will say is that if you score before we do you’ll maybe have a chance of a point – but don’t count on it!!!
Thanks to John for his time and thoughts. I think I’d be as confident as him if I were in his shoes, but I’m hoping that they may feel the strains of their midweek game against Porto, allied with the turbo-charge that Lanzini’s goal should give us, I’m going to get down the bookies and put a tenner on us winning 3 – 1. COYI