Manchester City will be looking to get their season back on track with a win against West Ham United this weekend. The Citizens have won just two of their last five matches, but will face David Moyes’s team shortly after the Hammers threw away a strong lead against Brighton. With both teams needing all three points, it’s bound to be a fascinating tie.
Ahead of Sunday’s match, we caught up with fan site The West Ham Way, to get their take on Manuel Pellegrini, Pablo Zabaleta and much more!
Thanks for joining us! Let’s start with a man who will be familiar to both City and West Ham fans. Where did it go wrong for Manuel Pellegrini at the London Stadium?
There was a number of factors that counted against him but I think it was ultimately the recruitment of players that he and his Director of Football Marios Husillos brought in. Unfortunately, I think he bought the wrong players for the club. Many of his signings turned out to be big mistakes; Jack Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez and Roberto are the more obvious examples of this, but others including our big money signings Anderson and Haller haven’t delivered consistently either.
Someone who’s still at West Ham, and scored his first goal for the club last month, is City legend Pablo Zabaleta. How do your fans feel about the Argentine?
He’s the model pro and has provided us with reliability and solid defending at right-back, but I think most fans now feel that his lack of pace now massively exposes him at full-back. He will be remembered fondly by the fans but I imagine his contract will not be renewed in the summer.
Sticking with West Ham players, you’ve added Jarrod Bowen and Tomáš Souček to your squad this weekend. What impact do you see them having?
I think both of them are good signings. I can’t claim to have known much about Soucek before, but I am told he played very well for the Czech Republic against England this year. He also made an impressive debut for us against Brighton. He was the one position we were really lacking in so his signing is very welcomed.
I am excited about Bowen. I have wanted us to sign him for a season or so now as he always looks impressive when I’ve seen him for Hull. I hope he can transfer this form to the Premier League and give us a lot more attacking threat!
West Ham fans are always passionate and vocal about the issues facing their club – particularly the owners, stadium and transfer decisions. What single change would you welcome most to the way your club is run?
I think we need a consistent and strategic transfer policy. We need to develop our scouting network and not rely so heavily on players that certain agents can get us and ones that not only have the ability but the right mentality to push us on. That said I would welcome changes in the other areas too.
This is a bleak question, but you’ve been unfortunate enough to find yourself in a relegation battle this season. Will David Moyes be able to keep the side up?
I think we will scrape staying up because the teams around us have hard fixtures to. I don’t feel overly confident on this but I pray that it is true. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him but the impact Bowen has could be crucial.
Finally, what’s your predicted West Ham XI and final score for the match on Sunday?
I think it is hard to predict the team this week and Moyes leaves it very late before naming it. Those that follow me know I get the team before it is announced but this comes a lot later nowadays. I would guess at this point that the team will be; Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble Soucek, Antonio, Snodgrass and Haller.
Unfortunately I think we will lose 3-1.
You can follow our guests here: @WestHamWaycouk