With the storyline focused around Watford captain Troy Deeney’s availability for this match, West Ham have an uphill battle welcoming the Hornets to the London Stadium. Coming off of a 4-1 shellacking of reigning champions Chelsea, Watford are invigorated under their new manager Javi Garcia, and new attacker Gerard Deulofeu.
Deeney, who netted a penalty in the Chelsea match, celebrated his goal by throwing up double middle fingers, a proverbial “fuck you” to his doubters and to the people saying that Watford were going to move on from him in the transfer window. First choice on penalties for the Hornets and team captain, Deeney is a mix of clinical and physical, with an attitude to boot. His size and surprising speed in the area will make him more than a handful for the ‘best-guess’ backline of West Ham.
Despite Deeney’s goalscoring abilities, West Ham will need to focus more heavily on the new man in town, loanee Gerard Deulofeu. Coming from Barcelona, Deulofeu has a pedigree that would make him a viable option for the La Liga giants. Falling out of favour with new recruit. More than just a handful to spell, Deulofeu will challenge the wingbacks at West Ham for the entirety of the match.
He made the Chelsea defenders look silly at times, and invited the play of fullback Daryl Jaanmat to follow him up, creating a beautiful goal for the Dutchman. Who ever plays against Deulofeu will need to be sharp and ready to move. Aaron Cresswell should get the go, but newcomer Patrice Evra could also see a start or a switch to provide relief from the bench.
For West Ham they need to take up the fight Deeney did previously; show the world why you belong. Admittedly I am not confident in West Ham securing three points, not for lack of skill and ability, but due to the shallow squad, injuries, and off field antics. It is obvious the unrest at the club due to another disappointing transfer window and subsequent fan unrest has caused the play on the field to drop.
This should be a wake up call for the clubs supporters – once kick off happens get behind the team on the pitch and support those players. The London Stadium, while not a spiritual home is the home of West Ham, and it needs to be a fortress to help secure these precious points at home.
The team also needs a “fuck you” performance from their stars. Chicharito has been more than good for West Ham since the Marko Arnautovic injury, and with Arnie back in training the two could be a devastating dynamic duo up top. Jordan Hugill, West Ham’s new striker also needs to make a statement in the Premier League. Maybe most under the gun to perform is Michail Antonio. Only introduced for a few minutes against Brighton, the once squad ace needs to get back on form and start popping home goals.
So, will West Ham win? Sure they can. There is no lacking of skill, the only question is if this squad can bend and not break under pressure. With points at a premium, the matches against midtable teams like Watford need to be taken seriously. This matchup allows West Ham the precious ability to pop the new manger/player bubble Watford are currently floating into East London on. Silly hornets, Bubbles are for hammers.
Come On You Irons!