West Ham – Villa; Another where I don’t know what to think

I’ve left it late for a couple of reasons. One, I’m either a terrible manager of my time or I just have too many things to do and two, because I just can’t see how this game is going to go.
The problem is we’re just so inconsistent lately as demonstrated by last weeks shoeing, but then, so are West Ham who could only draw at home to Burnley last weekend.
There is one thing that makes me feel not very confident though, as I’ll come on to.

Squad news and Ollie Watkins will be assessed after sustaining a cut on the knee in the Thursday game. You would think it’s just a case of putting a dab of superglue on and job done, but I guess with it being where it is, there’s a chance of the cut opening up again. Duran has looked pretty useful lately though and perhaps having our no 1 striker out may not be quite the loss it would have been a couple of months ago. That said, I hope Ollie does play, as I rate him very highly.
Diego Carlos is out and I’m not sure what to think about him. He’s either just having a really poor season or he’s injury-prone. Let’s hope it’s the former. Another who hasn’t had a great season is Jacob Ramsey. He may be available but everything I’ve read is a bit vague. I’m assuming he won’t be ready.
And then we have John McGinn suspended for the next three games, which is why I don’t have a good feeling about this game. He’s by far our most physical midfielder and without him or even Ramsey, I just don’t feel we’re going to be able to match West Ham in that part of the pitch. Which might call for some interesting longer ball tactics, as were employed in the Ajax game. It’s interesting that long ball now looks very uncultured, but I wonder if Thursday was a bit of a practice for how we might play games without McGinn?
The better news is that Ezri Konsa and Nicolo Zaniolo are both back after missing out on Thursday.

As for West Ham, Lucas Paqueta picked up a knock in their midweek game, but it might not be too serious. I assume that means he will be assessed too. Emerson will also be assessed and Maxwel Cornet is out.

So, I’m afraid I don’t see us winning this for that midfield reason and I’m predicting a loss. Then again, my daughter asked me what I thought about the Ajax game and I refused to predict, but said I would like to think we’d win. I certainly didn’t see a 4-0 win coming.
So let’s hope my poor run of predicting continues.

A 1-2 loss it is then.



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  1. Sidforever
    Sidforever March 17, 2024 at 6:32 pm . Reply

    Plus point for Emery today. First half set up was not working and he made changes at the start of the second half and another set of changes with half an hour to go. We became a better team.

    Based on today’s showing I wonder if Emery will dispense with playing Konsa at right back and two left footed centre halves. Cash gave us a better way out down the right, rather than the laboured Lenglet passing to the opposition.

    Roger’s is definitely showing promise. I really think there is something about him. However, he is a work in progress.

    Well done Villa on the point.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand March 17, 2024 at 6:55 pm . Reply

      Sorry but whatever you see in Chesty is totally lost on me.
      Middlesbrough fans thought he was overpriced at the £1m they paid and more than a few eyebrows were raised when we offered £13m.
      Don’t get this signing at all.

  2. Sidforever
    Sidforever March 18, 2024 at 6:34 am . Reply

    I guess it depends on which Boro fans you talk to. One of my oldest friends is a Boro season ticket holder. He is of the view that Rogers will become in time a £50m player.

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand March 18, 2024 at 11:27 am . Reply

      I hope you are right Sid but at the moment he’s light years away from the finished article.

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