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Leroy’s verdict: ‘Write nothing in our out at Etihad!’


LEROY (1)On the face of it – having seen everything we think we need to see – you would have to be utterly crazy to back the Irons to get anything at Manchester City tomorrow.

We have been poor – very poor – lethargic, injury hit and unable to pass our way into anything but quick trouble. The defeat in the Europa League match however will certainly have sharpened minds.

And as a winner,Β Slaven Bilic will be demanding a response because nothing we have seen so far is anywhere near good enough.

City have had two League wins and look the strongest possible bet to beat us… but!

Should, as is being speculated, we have both Dimi Payet and Manu Lanzini back – for starters – that could make a difference.

But whether they are or aren’t we will be out of possession for long periods and will need to be 100 per cent well organised in midfield and at the back.

Sometimes – and I am trying to make a case for the team here – it is easier to play in these games because it’s all about being strong and simply adopting a ‘you shall not pass mindset.’

With either Payet or Lanzini around we have outlets to relieve pressure at periods in the game.

Ok, I’m not confident of a result. How can you be given everything but I’m an not writing it off altogether because I’ve been around football far too long to do so.

Slaven will have been after the squad in a big big way. He and they have all been stung in the most horrible way by what happened in midweek.

They will be hurting like hell… and any team or person in those circumstances have to be treated with great caution so I’ll write nothing in or OUT!

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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


  • Michael Miller says:

    Almost spot on – it has been a terrible week – playing rubbish against Bournemouth (but getting a lucky win – thank God!) and then a disaster against Astra, the punters booing the Team off, fighting in the Stands, transfers dragging on interminably, no attack, Valencia still around…..

    Quick, get rid of all those kitchen knives I feel like ending it all…

    If I get Leroy’s prediction right, it is a bit obscure, he’s going for a 0-0, I on the other hand predict a Cricket score – in City’s favour – I hope I’m wrong but can’t see beyond an easy City win!

  • bubs says:

    We all ways play well against the top teams,the problem is you have to out score City because the defence is rubbish,
    If Calleri had put away some of the easy chances he has missed I would predict we could do it,
    But even if Payet and Lanzini play we will be banking on them and Antonio scoring the goals,
    If we play Payet Calleri or Fletcher Lanzini and Antonio along the top we will have the firepower to bear them,
    But we must get the ball to the quick,no more passing the ball along the back waiting for holes that are not there,
    I don’t mean orbit the ball like Hippo wanted,
    I mean movement straight passing to feet,players shielding the ball well with their bodies and either going forward or picking up the free kicks for the tackles from behind,
    My only other problem is playing Reid or Collins RCH
    We need to give a natural Right sided player Burke or Oxford
    There,to,play natural football,
    Reid and Collins never have any success against Aguero any way so what’s to loose,
    The main thing for me was our manager never showed fear or made silly tactical mistakes last year and we need him to stop playing the nutty Professor no more experimental position changes,
    I think if we get a fair break with the officials we can win I go
    2-3 to us with Calleri coming good and Payet getting the plaudits again,

  • IronHammer says:

    What our setup will be? Reid Oggy Byram Masuaku – Noble Kouyate Antonio Payet Lanzini – Calieri? Then we might have a chance. But Bilic will play Nordtveid and Collins – and dear, they will rip us apart.

  • Eddie says:

    That’s it guys stay positive lol.I thought the other site was depressing don’t drag me down on here too πŸ™‚

  • johnboy says:

    Calling INTERNTIONL RESCUE !! Ffs pick the phone up ?? Were in a bit of bovva ?

    • johnboy says:

      Hello !!! TFFT ! Mr Tracy we are in need of some help ! Is it possible you could get in touch with planet zaza and ask if he could come and save us , only he ain’t picking up lol.
      (Smiley )
      Plus Bilic is thinking of not playing payet and lanzi , is it possible Scott and Virgil can step in and do a job ! Just leave TB2 in front of goal ,???

  • bubs says:

    Eddie I gave us a victory how is that depressing,
    But just can’t put Reid in my team,yes every 5th game he has a cracker and maybe tomorrow it could be the one,
    But he is looking more suspect these days when he should be stepping up and giving the youngsters leadership,
    We look better in the full back spots and Oggy looks class every time he plays,
    I am upbeat,
    But I yearn to be entertained,
    Smile Eddie the world is good

  • GW says:

    Eddie we ain’t all doom and gloom merchants! I’ll be there belting out bubbles alongside 3k Irons fans just like last year when all the slug worshippers were already sticking there knives into Slav’s back and saying we had no hope of beating them from behind their keyboards. Let’s have some ****ing positivity we did them last year why not this year? And if we don’t so be it let’s just support the club not knock it like some football manager wannabee intellectuals that don’t there ****ing ass from there elbow.

  • Eddie says:

    I know bubs I was joking about Michaels kitchen knife comment,thats all πŸ˜‰

    • Eddie says:

      You are right GW.The keyboard managers & owners of the club have been in fine form this week lol.Wait till the bloodbath if we lose tomorrow.

      • GW says:

        Eddie there’s a new breed of fan out there unfortunately playing football manager and Fifa and thinking there the big I AM. Ripping players players to bits after 20 mins and then defending the China doll because he’s been unlucky with injuries while he’s raked in millions for doing **** all. Ripping Slav to bits after a season but defending the slug for 3 even though he called us deluded and served up a shower of ****e every other week! There are those out there that have been royally shafted by the club that have been going for years that maybe have a right to moan but half these ****ing whingers sit behind there keyboards watching an Internet stream thinking there they know it all..

        • Stan The Man says:

          I ain’t having it mate.You go across the board on all sites & the problems highlighted are there but no massive gnashing of teeth from 50% of the site.Is it only that sites users who have been unfortunate enough to have so many problems in the London Stadium.Nope,just a bunch of sheep,its the domino effect,someone complains & it brings mass hysteria.Read the other sites ffs,they dont have mass hysteria about everything.Only one site mate,only one site.

          • GW says:

            Stan I know pal but if I mention that site the thought police descend on me to give me a ticking off and remind me that we’re all #westhamfamily πŸ™‚

          • Stan The Man says:

            I didn’t mention any particular site,youre safe.Funny how all the melodrama plays out only on there though.I suppose the rest of the users on other sites must have just been born with a four leaf clover in their hands.

        • Michael Miller says:

          Sorry, I only use this site and KUMB, I presume the ‘slug’ is BFS but I’ve no idea who the ‘china doll’ is?

          All these nicknames are difficult to keep up with for an Old Duffer like me!

          • Stan The Man says:

            China Doll – Carroll πŸ™‚
            But now I dont know what a duffer is lmao I better Google it πŸ˜‰

          • Michael Miller says:

            Right, obvious really – ok then, just so I understand what you lot are on about :
            ‘Biggins’ I presume is Valencia
            ‘Calamari’ must be Calleri
            but what about ‘Lemon’ and ‘Bambi’ no idea?

          • Eddie says:

            Bambi on ice is Carroll as well I think.Lemon not a clue,Biggins,yeah Valencia because someone said they would rather have Christopher Biggins play lol calleri yeah correct.Oh & Jenks is bubs donkey.all very confusing if you don’t keep up with it,it changes daily lol.But I like the lads on here,they are light hearted & that is good amongst all the other deep,depressing stuff hehe

          • johnboy says:

            Haahaahaaa ! Poor Michael ? Lol.lemon is Valencia before he had a sex change into BIGGINS , after he was dead ? Confused , ? Then I won’t mention Katie price who rads preferred to the lemon and could only play with 2 up top ? But once juggled into position worked very well ??( SMILEY )
            And a duffer is Stan ? Hahaha couldn’t resist that one Stan ?? ( smiley )
            And zaza is the invisible man lol. ??

          • Michael Miller says:

            Right, I think I’m up to speed now – just to be clear Bambi/China Doll are Carroll, Biggins/Lemon are Valencia, Calamari is Calleri – I appreciate the updates.

  • Stan The Man says:

    Well there’s one massive positive,its an away game so we don’t have to read people droning on about standing/sitting on the oasis of sensible debate.

  • Jackie Boy says:

    Hand on heart I see us getting zilch.But we are West Ham & pull rabbits out of the hat when we least expect it.Positive vibes all round.Lets sing out hearts out,stood up of course.Now that’s why away games are the best.

  • hammersmiff says:

    Hadn’t we just lost at home to Bournemouth last year before we beat MC at their place? I don’t see the need for despair, we can’t underestimate the difference it makes with Lanzini and Payet in the side (obviously they may not both play tomorrow) and that always brings out the best in Nobes having some real quality about for the one and two touch stuff.
    There are clearly some concerns such as RB whether it be Mikey or Sam, neither are that convincing but Arthur’s done well and I’m sure there’s a lot more to come from Tore, I’ll trust Slav on that one. Calleri’s f*cked up a few chances but he’ll only get better. The only real negative for me this season was the time it took Valencia to leave the pitch when he was reeled in against Bournemouth. That looked a real sulky attitude and not the action of a team player, I would have put him straight in the reserves after that and replaced him with Fletcher. COYI

  • Ironworker says:

    Cricket Score – I have been a Hammer too long Eddie !!

  • Ironworker says:

    Is that Eddie the Eagle ??

  • Eddie says:

    Hehe ironworker.Yes my friend I am back on the slopes in October then look out for my new film in 2018 lol

  • firefigterx says:

    Good article as usual Leroy…Oh has anyone got an email addy For the Daves or the Barones ? Cant seem to find one anywhere..

  • sage says:

    As a keen follower and first time comment contributor, I understand and live the frustration as much as anyone but bloody hell, seriously, some people need to get a grip! I used to look at WHTID but serious bouts of depression used to follow me for hours after reading the doom and gloom. The cyberspace equivalent of the hairy arsed brigade. The post made by Leroy is bang on, the players and staff will be hurting after Thursday’s debacle, mainly inflicted by a referee more interested in theatre than football it seemed. But in all honesty, I’m not disappointed we were knocked out because for the second year running we qualified by default rather than entitlement. And if the standard of the refereeing is as consistent as those games I’ve watched during both campaigns, you can keep the Europa League. The priority this season for me is to consolidate our position and try to improve on the great work over recent years by everyone at the club. It would be fantastic if some so called fans could be given a dose of expectation reducer and a shot of realism, allowing feet to get under the table a little more before talking of winning championships because Leicester was a one off! Get behind the team! But get rid of Valencia cos he pl5535 me off

    • Radai Lama says:

      We have all suffered those serious bouts of depression from reading Wet Pants.A bit of counseling & a few beers does the trick though πŸ˜‰

    • Michael Miller says:

      Good point – the Europa Cup is a two-bob Competition and a major diversion from thr Premiership and more importantly our Squad is not really strong enough to manage the constant Thursday-Sunday Thursday-Sunday repetition for interminable rounds of this dull Competition. Only for a team to come in from tye losers of tge first round of the Champions League and clean up.

      A further advantage will be a few less games on Sundays which is my own personal bugbear!

      • Tone says:

        Dull is right Michael & as you say,what a joke when the CL failures then come in to get them another bite at the cherry!
        The only advantage going for it was to give the squad & younger players experience.Which could have been good.
        I hate Sunday matches with a passion as well Lol

  • essexclarets says:

    The players should be ashamed of themselves for thursday night. The team was strong enough to beat that lot. There seems to be no passion so far in any game it’s like they are in a trance. We have the players to do the job so lets hope that tomorrow is the start of our season proper. Nobby needs to grab the team by the balls & show the way., if we can grab an early goal or two πŸ™‚ the belief will flow back & watch us fly.
    No point being all doom & gloom as at the end of the day it’s only us that will be getting pssed off. we can’t be doing the players any good if they read the comments on every site ripping the shte out of them everyday.

  • Tone says:

    Hairy arse brigade lol.You will get shot saying that Sage.Very funny though.You must have taken in some match threads I can only assume.Pitchforks & flaming torches heading over the hill to deal with the chairmen

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