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Moyes know his goalkeepers

 

Moyes know his goalkeepers

David Moyes has been accused of many things by us and others over the last few weeks but credit where it’s due he knows about goalkeepers.

There was much debate early in the season when Alphonse Areola was told he would be taking over as the first team keeper, none more so than from Fab who believed he had not been told in the proper way.

Moyes know his goalkeepers

Be that as it may Moyes got it spot on as the Frenchman has been in extraordinary form all through the season.

It’s not far fetched to say that some of his saves have been world class and I love the way he gets rid of the ball quickly – something with which I always had a problem with Lukas.

Areola’s performance at Everton was pretty typical of what we have seen for most of the season and without him we would surely have lost the game.

So well doNe Mr Moyes – there are many things in your game plans over the past months which have caused a lot of grief but you can count Alphonse Areola as a top choice.

And well done too to Lukas who has kept it firmly zipped in the meantime as teh No 1 has gone from strength to strength.

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Benrahma delighted to have escaped

Benrahma delighted to put Hammers nightmare behind him

Saïd Benrahma, now plying his trade at Lyon, has shed some light on his departure from West Ham United, citing a lack of connection with manager David Moyes as a factor.

After garnering interest from various Ligue 1 clubs, including Lyon and Marseille, Benrahma opted for a move to Lyon on loan until the end of the season, with a potential permanent deal in the cards. His decision was influenced by Lyon’s genuine interest and the support he felt from the city.

Since joining Lyon, Benrahma has hit the ground running, quickly establishing himself as a key player and notching his debut goal in a victory over Metz. Reflecting on his goal-scoring moment, he expressed his joy and relief, feeling a newfound calmness on the pitch.

Speaking about his move the Algerian winger said: “Lyon showed a real interest in me. There was no hesitation about that. Afterwards, I can really feel the support”.

Benrahma delighted to have left West Ham

Benrahma delighted to have left West Ham

Before leaving West Ham, Benrahma seemed burdened, with doubts lingering about Moyes’ role in his signing. However, his move to Lyon appears to have lifted that weight off his shoulders, evident in his return to form on the pitch.

Benrahma’s resurgence underscores a player rediscovering his mojo after a challenging spell.

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Alvarez puts in complete midfield performance

Complete midfield performance from Mexican maestro

Yesterday I was so impressed with Edson Alvarez, the silent workhorse in midfield who orchestrated much of West Ham’s triumph against Everton. Alvarez was everywhere on the pitch, pulling off moves even when West Ham struggled early in the game.

He made the most sublime pass of the game, lofting the ball over to Mohammed Kudus with pinpoint accuracy. And let’s not forget that dribble – a thing of beauty, unfairly cut short by an overlooked foul. Speaking of which, the referee’s performance at Goodison Park was far from stellar, but that’s a story for another day.

Alvarez didn’t just show off his passing and dribbling skills; he found the back of the net with finesse. His goal might have been overshadowed by Thomas Soucek’s thunderous strike, but it was the cherry on top of a fine performance.

What struck me most was Alvarez’s transformation from a defensive midfielder to an attacking threat. His goal was proof of his evolving role on the pitch. His English may not be perfect yet, but his on-field communication speaks volumes. He’s becoming a leader in his own right, perhaps even a future captain.

Alvarez is un-droppable for West Ham and put in a complete midfield performance

A complete midfield performance from Edson Alvarez

Whilst Soucek rightfully grabs headlines for his game-winning goal and Areola shone as man of the match, Alvarez’s contributions should not be overlooked. His all-around performance, from tackling to heading to passing, held the midfield together.

Sure, there were shaky moments, especially in the first half. But Alvarez’s resilience and adaptability were evident throughout the game. He didn’t let early setbacks deter him; instead, he stepped up when it mattered most.

James Ward Prowse and Soucek were pretty poor in the first half. Yet Alvarez never let his standards slip, even when those around him were struggling.

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Hammers leave it late

Match report from Goodison Park as Hammers leave it late 

West Ham United secured a dramatic last-gasp 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, climbing to seventh in the Premier League table. The Hammers left it late, scoring twice in stoppage time through Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez, after Everton took the lead through Beto in the 56th minute.

Despite starting brightly with Beto forcing saves from Alphonse Areola, it was Everton who broke the deadlock. Beto rose highest to head home James Garner’s cross just past the hour mark. However, the Toffees’ joy was short-lived as West Ham equalized through Kurt Zouma, who headed in from a James Ward-Prowse corner just six minutes later.

The second half became a tense affair, with Everton pushing for the lead but being thwarted by Areola, who made several crucial saves. West Ham remained resilient, and their persistence paid off in dramatic fashion. In the 91st minute, Soucek found the net from close range after connecting with Mohammed Kudus’ cross.

Not content with just the winner, West Ham added another goal in stoppage time through Alvarez. The Mexican midfielder received the ball inside the box and chipped it expertly over Jordan Pickford to seal a dramatic comeback victory for the Hammers.

Kurt Zouma concedes a penalty with a handball in the Everton v West Ham Premier League fixture

Everton West Ham: Zouma concedes a penalty

With this win, West Ham climb two places to seventh, just two points behind Manchester United in sixth. They will now turn their attention to the Europa League, where they face Freiburg in the first leg of the last-16 on Thursday.

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Steidten’s first pick for next summer?

Steidten’s first pick from new scouting department 

Reports from Holland and Belgium have surfaced indicating that West Ham are eyeing Antwerp’s central midfielder, Mandela Keita. The 21-year-old caught the attention of Blackburn last summer but opted to stay put in Belgium.

Keita had a successful loan spell at Antwerp from OH Leuven last season, contributing to their first top-flight title victory since 1957. This season, he has made 20 appearances for Antwerp, tallying one assist. Keita has also earned caps for the senior Belgian national team.

Antwerp's central midfielder, Mandela Keita has caught the eye of Tim Steidten

Steidten’s first pick? Antwerp’s central midfielder, Mandela Keita has caught the eye.

Antwerp recently parted ways with another promising midfielder, Arthur Vermeeren, who joined Atletico Madrid in La Liga. Keita is valued at €11m. Antwerp is obligated to make Keita’s loan move permanent at the end of the season. Therefore, they are likely to seek a fee higher than what they owe Keita’s parent club.

This potential transfer target marks one of the first ventures for Tim Steidten’s newly established scouting department. Steidten has bolstered the team with data analysts and international scouts, signalling a proactive approach to identifying talent.

West Ham’s director of football’s brother Moritz Steidten joined West Ham United as head of international scouting and recruitment from Werder Bremen. He was a scout at Werder Bremen from July 2015 to February 2024. Max Hahn has also joined West Ham United as their new Head of Technical Recruitment and Analysis

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Moyes masterclass or Lucky Lucky Hammers?

Moyes masterclass or world class goalkeeper? 

What a rollercoaster of emotions that game was? I mean, who would’ve thought we’d walk away with a win after the way things were looking in the first half? Moyesball at its finest, indeed!

Let’s be honest though. For a good chunk of that match, I was feeling more frustrated than the 10 year old version of myself with a Rubiks Cube. Our defence was shaky, sure, but relying on Areola to play superhero between the sticks wasn’t exactly part of the game plan. . . or maybe it was? It felt a bit like daylight robbery.

First half, it seemed like we were just hanging on by a thread. Everton had us on the ropes, and if it wasn’t for Areola’s heroics, we could’ve been staring down the barrel of defeat. That penalty save? However, that worldie from Thomas Souček really hit Everton hard. Talk about turning the tables!

But let’s give credit where credit’s due. Moyes may have had us scratching our heads with his tactics at times, but in the end, it’s all about the result. Somehow we sit seventh in the Premier League table? I’ll take that any day of the week.

Soucek scored a world class goal against Everton to help Moyes deliver his masterclass

Moyes masterclass or rescue act from the players?

Despite us being under immense pressure for much of the game, I thought our goals were excellent. That flick-on header from Zouma was incredibly well placed. And Souček’s thunderbolt? Talk about a strike worthy of the highlight reel. And let’s not forget about Alvarez, stepping up and putting the game to bed with a clinical finish. He was magnificent throughout the game and has become Mr Reliable.

 

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Moyes verdict

David Moyes watched the Irons grab their second win on the trot and handed down his verdict explaining: “We’ve tried to show everybody how much we care and how much we want to win.”

Moyes verdict

The Hammers came from behind to win 3-1 through goals from  captain Kurt Zouma, Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez during the injury time extra time of the second half.

But it was keeper Alphonse Areola who was the hero with a string of magnificent saves – one from the penalty spot.

And in fairness to Moyes he has responded well to the pressure he’s suffered as the team clicked into gear in a big way during the closing minutes.

And those who have busy to knock Soucek were made to eat their words as the Czech put in another great shift, clearing off the line at 1-0 and scoring a magnificent goal.

And Moyes was more than happy to add his personal tribute to the midfielder declaring: “Tomáš Souček took his goal brilliantly well from when it comes down and he scored a goal here late in the game during lockdown when we won one-nil and my memories came flooding back of that the minute we scored it. Then the breakaway for the third one was great.

We had some moments when things went for us today and it’s probably a harsh result on Everton, but a great result for us.

Over the years, I think what we’ve probably had was a bit of resilience and we’ve tried to show everybody how much we care and how much we want to win.

I think the players went about it well [after falling behind]. We made one or two changes with our formation and tried to see if we could make it a bit better.

Some of them worked and we got a win out of it.”

And on Areola he added: “You could hear the crowd here chanting his name here today and quite rightly so. He deserves all the plaudits he’s been given.

He played brilliantly well, saved a good penalty kick and we move onto European football again in midweek with a bit of confidence again.

We’ve won away from home, that’s back-to-back wins in the Premier League and we’ve come through a bit of a sticky patch in January and the start of February.

Hopefully we’re beginning to see the light a little bit, so let’s keep the form up.

 

 

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Hammers stage late late show to beat Everton

Everton 1 Hammers 3

 

Hammers stage late late show to beat Everton

West Ham put on a late late show with goals from Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez to take the points but Alphonse Areola was probably the hero with a saved penalty and string of magnificent saves.

To quote the oldest cliche in football it really was a game of two halves with the Hammers at their best after the interval but were grateful to the magnificent Hammers keeper and came from behind to win their second successive game.

A shot shy first half which saw the Hammers abandon the attacking game that had served them well against Brentford sparked into life when Alphonse Areola save a penalty in the 43rd minute.

Hammers stage late late show to beat Everton

The ball had struck Zouma’s arm but VAR over-ruled the ref’s decision not to award a spot kick and diving well to his left the Hammers keeper produced a fine save from Beto.

The Everton striker had been responsible for the first shot of the game in the sixth minute when his shot sailed wide before Alvarez saw a shot from distance beaten away by Pickford

Mavropanos was the next to miss out heading wide from James Ward-Prowse’s good ball into the box,

But halfway through the first half a fine Everton move through the middle saw Beto again thwarted by Areola from close range.

Everything changed in the second half when after 10 minutes The Toffees took the lead when a superb cross from Garner was headed home by the central striker.

It might have been two within minutes but Areola saved brilliantly from  McNeil six-yards out but the Hammers keeper scrambled to get in the way and somehow kept it out!

But the Hammers were level in the 62nd minute when  Zouma rose to nod home a fabulous James Ward-Prowse corner.

Areola had to be his best he clawed away a deflected shot before Soucek was on hand to clear off the line from Doucoure. Areola was in top form again saving well from Calvert Lewin who had appeared as a second half sub.

But there was one almighty twist in the tale when Kudus fired in an overhit cross and Soucek – adjusting himself and position  fired a brilliant angled shot past Pickford.

And in the final minute the Hammers counter attacked from a poor corner and Bowen broke to feedd Alvarez who finished well.

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Everton 1 West Ham 3: Player Ratings

Everton 1 West Ham 3

Areola:10 Saved from Beto on 24 mins but West Ham were lucky the shot was a poor one. Saved a penalty from the same player just before half time. Excellent save from McNeil on 48 mins. No chance with Everton’s opener and made another great save shortly after. Pulled of another world class save from a deflected shot. Ridiculous how many times we needed him to save us.

Coufal:6 Heavily involved in the early exchanges.

Mavropanos:5 Headed wide from a corner. Should have been closer to Beto as Everton opened the scoring.

Zouma:6 Conceded a penalty for handball reviewed on VAR but rescued by Areola’s heroics. Scored West Ham’s equaliser with a glancing header.

Kurt Zouma concedes a penalty with a handball in the Everton v West Ham Premier League fixture

Everton 1 West Ham 3: Zouma concedes a penalty

Emerson:6 Usual good link-up play with Paqueta.

Alvarez:9 Had West Ham’s first shot of the game. Impressive display of authority. Played the best pass of the match to Kudus. Scored West Ham’s third.

Soucek:7 Clumsy in possession. He was back to his best against Brentford but the first half saw him at his worst. Redeemed himself by clearing off the line then scored an incredible winner in injury time.

Ward Prowse:4 Played as a number 10 which unfortunately did not suit him. Only seems to take corners from the left side now but managed to supply the ball for Zouma’s goal.

Paqueta:3 His radar was malfunctioning at the beginning of the game. Poor tracking for Everton’s first goal.

Kudus:6 Battled away and showed real intent but it’s hard for attacking players to thrive in a Moyes/Dyche derby. Had half a chance following a long ball from Alvarez.

Bowen:6 Not involved but had no service. Did try and make something happen himself with a solo run. Assisted Alvarez

Substitutes

Antonio: 79th min sub for Paqueta. Made an impact.

Phillips: 65th min sub for Ward Prowse

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Moyes names the same team

Unsurprisingly, manager David Moyes has named the same team for the start at Everton as proved victorious over Brentford. Easy decision to make if course! We will be looking for successive wins following the 4-2 win.

Jarrod Bowen got a hat-trick against the Bees taking him to 14 Premier League goals for the season . Another goal today would be his eighth away from home in the Premier League, setting a new record and breaking one set by Trevor Morley in 1993/94 and Paulo Wanchope in 1999/00.

 

West Ham starting XI at Everton

Lucas Paquetá will hope to extend his winning run to five Premier League matches which he has started. The Brazilian playmaker has only experienced defeat  in his previous nine top-flight appearances either side of the calf injury.

Moyes names the same team

Alphonse Areola starts in goal behind a back four of Vladimír Coufal, Dinos Mavropanos, captain Kurt Zouma and Emerson. The midfield will be anchored by Edson Álvarez, with Tomáš Souček and James Ward-Prowse playing further forward. Paquetá will support Bowen from the left, with Ghana international Mohammed Kudus providing width on the right.

Kalvin Phillips is on the substitutes bench after  a one-match suspension and missed the Brentford game. Liverpool-born Aaron Cresswell returns after missing the same match with a sore Achilles tendon, but Maxwel Cornet remains sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered in training.

Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Branthwaite, Tarkowski ©, Mykolenko, Harrison, Onana, Garner, McNeil, Doucouré, Beto
Subs: Virgínia (GK), Patterson, Keane, Young, Coleman, Gomes, Dobbin, Chermiti, Calvert-Lewin

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma ©, Emerson, Souček, Álvarez, Ward-Prowse, Paquetá, Kudus, Bowen
Subs: Fabiański (GK), Johnson, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Cresswell, Phillips, Mubama, Ings, Antonio

Referee: Craig Pawson