The Mighty ‘ammers get plonked under my microscope today. They have essentially pulled a QPR, and signed a bunch of dudes upon entry into the PL. Who will get the spots though? Welcome…
I’m guessing Big Sam will stick to his 4-3-3 with the game style last year revolving around booting long balls to Cole to deal with.
I don’t normally assess the goalkeepers, but here I’m getting slightly worried. Here’s the scenario. They have Jaask, who is a 37 year old veteran with PL experience, but who lost his spot to Bogdan last year in a side that ended up getting relegated. Then there’s Henderson, a young kid who has buckets of potential and talent but is unproved in the PL. As a West Ham supporter you’d hope Hendo played the majority of games, but I think Jaask will start but be phased out towards the end of the year (similar to what happened to him last year at Bolton.) But if Hendo gets the gig, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Only three real options for the CB slots, with Tomkins a shoe in for one, and Villa old boy Collins looking likely to get the other. Reid should be third choice. At RB, Demel looks like getting the gig after having an extended run in the pre-season, and having the right physicality for the PL (although he is currently untried.) O’Brien however is a little more comfortable with the ball, but lacks the pace to go with some of the quicker wingers, which is why I think Demel will get the spot. On the left, McCartney looks a lock to get the gig over Potts.
Lots of competition here. The two central midfield spots look to be Nolan and Noble‘s to lose, while the defensive slot should go to new signing Diarra from Marseille. Diame will provide competition for this spot, but he didn’t normally crack the XI at Wigan last year so I don’t hold out much hope. Collison is an option, but prefers to be utilised out wide, as is the case with Taylor.
Vaz Te looks set to play on the right, and that spot is his to lose to Collison or Maynard. Cole should start the year, until his old creaky bones give way (my money’s on his knee) and will be replaced with Maiga. Maiga should start on the left however, as the dude has clinical finishing skills. Taylor could alternatively slot in on the left if Maiga wants to be eased in to the PL campaign though.
So there it goes. 1 more projected XI to go, then we get into the FPLaddicts’ writers teams and then it’s GW1! Approach carefully with Jaask , but Noble and Vaz Te should be locked into your teams with the confidence in their spot. Any questions, ask me as always!