Opposition Q & A
This weekend West Ham travel to Huddersfield where we hope to follow last week’s victory with another. However they broke their season’s duck with a win against Fulham last Monday, so will be equally hoping to capitalise on their most recent performance. Ahead of the game I spoke to John McNamarra of Huddersfield fanzine Terrierblog to discuss how he views their season has gone so far, and the game.
Hi John, you must be delighted to have finally got your first win of the season against Fulham on Monday night? You’ll be expecting that every game now.
Haha I doubt that! It was nice to get the first win of the season, our performances so far this term have definitely deserved a couple more wins. Our next run of games looks a lot kinder than our start to the season though, so I will be expecting a couple more wins before Christmas.
Regardless of all that, I expect you are pleased to be in the Premier League still, as well as ‘top dogs’ in Yorkshire.
I wouldn’t particularly say so, from a personal perspective I don’t really like the Premier League. It’s a boring league full of haves and have nots. When you see a corrupt regime backing an average sized club like Manchester City to European domination, what’s left for the rest of us?
Yes it can be a bit annoying but Leicester’s improbable win of two seasons ago surely allows us to dream a little bit more. What were the highlights of last season?
My favourite moment from last season was Tom Ince’s last minute winner against Watford that all but secured our survival. The Manchester United win was good and made our promotion to the Premier League worth it. Other than that, not a great lot!
What now are your priorities for the current season?
As a club the priority is to capitalise on the win over Fulham and ensure that we aren’t one of the three worst teams in the league come May. For me the priority is to see some exciting football from my team.
You spent quite a bit of money on a few players during the close season, have any of those yet cemented themselves into your lineup?
In short, absolutely not. David Wagner seems to have lost a bit of faith in the new signings and they rarely seem to play. From the brief glimpses we’ve had of them so far it’s easy to see why, Mbenza and Diakhaby look like competition winners.
Which other players will be crucial to your efforts to pull yourselves up the table?
It’s all about Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre. As a side we create a decent amount of chances but thus far, those two have proved utterly incapable of converting any of them. If they up their game then we should be fine.
Which West Ham player(s) if any would you like to see wearing a Huddersfield shirt?
It has to be Arnautovic. Not only is he a terrific player but he’s a complete shithouse too and I love that! His antics against Mark Hughes when West Ham returned to Stoke were hilarious and I loved how he mugged off James Tarkowski last weekend too.
I presume most of the fans will be behind Dave Wagner whatever happens this season?
The majority of what I call the ‘proper fans’ are fully behind Wagner, and by that I mean the fans that have been to Sincil Bank, Saltergate and The Bescot supporting Town. Not the new breed who have popped their Liverpool shirts back into the wardrobe in the last 18 months.
What did you think about West Ham appointing Manuel Pelligrini as our manager? I remember you were an early advocate of the sacking of Slaven Bilic.
I felt like it was a brave move on Pellegrini’s part, from the outside his reputation and history as a manager probably demanded not a better club, but a more stable club.
He seems to have got the fans on board which has been vital and it appears that you’re playing much better football as well. Exciting times for Hammers fans I think.
Which three teams do you think will suffer relegation and who will lift the title this season?
The United Arab Emirates of Manchester will win the title this season without doubt, how can’t they? Then it will be Cardiff, Fulham and ourselves that exit the division.
How do you expect Huddersfield to setup against West Ham on Saturday: Team/formation prediction?
We’ll go with three at the back with Hadergjonaj and Lowe as wing-backs, Mooy, Hogg and Williams will play in the centre with Depoitre up top on his own.
Expect a carbon copy of the tactics employed against Fulham earlier in the week.
Are you confident you can win this game? Prediction for score?
No I’m not at all confident, I think that you have players in almost every attacking position capable of punishing us. Felipe Anderson will most probably get the better of Hadergjonaj and I expect Arnautovic to have a field day. I’m going 3-0 West Ham.
Many thanks to a not very happy sounding John for his time. He’s more confident of our victory than I am. I quite hope Huddersfield stay up as l like to see the smaller clubs prosper, but of course not tomorrow. I am going for a 3 – 1 away win, which will mean two wins on the bounce for the first time since Kingdom come! COYI