Leroy: Happy Hammers on a roll for Watford


I was down at the London Stadium for the club’s Family Fun Day with my Premier League hat on when we did some interviews and got to talk to the manager.

I saw a squad of players and manager who are in a very good place indeed.

They were relaxed and happy and ready for a trip to Dubai which will have given them even more time to bond and if – as I expect – they bring that to the Vicarage Road tomorrow I see a win on the cards.

The turnaround since Dimi Payet left has been remarkable to some but as a former manager myself I know what can happen when you have a a ‘bad apple’ in the dressing room. It affects everything.

Now he’s gone Manu Lanzini in particular has really stepped up and is producing some great stuff and whilst it looks likely Andy Carroll will be on the bench at best tomorrow I now trust this team.

With both teams positioned as they are, it’s a game each side will see themselves as having a big opportunity of winning.

Should the Irons do so they will reach 35 points and from there you will see another brand of football from them  as they relax into games.

The new Irons signings have settled in well and although Watford are strong at home I believe they are beatable by a Hammers side which is itself looking strong away from home and is well set up to play that counter attacking game which really suits them.

The London Stadium factor – an underlying feeling that there is a problem – may have fed into players’ minds. It’s not a theory I have ever bought into and we saw them growing into the place big time with a great performance against West Brom.

Everything looks set fair to me for a big performance  and result tomorrow and I believe it will be an exciting game from which the Irons will run out 2-1 winners.

Leroy’s autobiography – It’s Only Banter – will be published by Pitch Publishers on Tuesday, February 28. It tells the story of his career and the racism he and his father experienced. It tells to of his son Liam’s experiences in the game. It is available to pre-order from Amazon at £16.99.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • John says:

    You’ve changed your tune since the Man City match Leroy 😂

    They were playing well and on a run before the City match and have resumed that since the City match suggesting the City match was a bad day at the office I’d have to say. You went well over the top man lol.

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