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Fan v Fan: West Ham and Bournemouth supporters debate Saturday’s game

21 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Fan v Fan: West Ham and Bournemouth supporters debate Saturday’s game

Current form, the transfer window and who will triumph this weekend all feature in this discussion between the Hammers and the Cherries

In celebration of the final year at the Boleyn Ground, we’ll be chatting to fans – home and away – ahead of every Premier League match played at the famous East London stadium this season.

In the second of our ‘Fan v Fan’ series, Matt (@Forever_WestHam) from foreverwestham.com and Peter (@PeterBell19) from Cherry Chimes share their thoughts on Saturday’s encounter between their clubs…

It’s still early days, of course, but what do you make to your side’s start to the new season?

Matt: The performance against Arsenal was one of the best team displays I have ever seen from a West Ham side, but we conceded two poor goals against Leicester City which ultimately cost us the points.

The team just need to get that first home win of the season and then we should get a decent amount of momentum going forward. Slaven Bilic wants to play attractive football and, although the result against Leicester wasn’t great, the team still saw a lot of the ball and played some good stuff.

There’s definitely more positives than negatives to take from our start and our fans should be relatively happy with what we’ve seen so far.

Peter: It has been difficult as we knew it would be.

The first fixture against Aston Villa I was a little disappointed with as the Cherries had their chances to win and fluffed the lot. We know they have to be clinical but on the big stage it just didn’t happen for them. It was annoying to concede from a free header at a corner from Rudy Gestede – a player who scored against us in the Championship last season.

But the performance against Liverpool was much improved and really the team deserved at least a draw. It looked like they had become accustomed to playing in the Premier League and I am optimistic for the match against West Ham.

Which players have impressed so far?

Matt: Dimitri Payet is exactly the type of player West Ham needed and he looks a real talent at the tip of the diamond. His delivery is exceptional and his goal against Leicester was brilliantly executed.

The Hammers must keep him fit this season if the team is to fulfil its potential – he is certainly an exciting player to have at the club.PayetElsewhere, Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna look to be forming a solid partnership. The pair were faultless in their display at the Emirates and it looks as if the Italian likes to get the ball down and play which is definitely encouraging.

Peter: Matt Ritchie has been the star man for me even though he has not scored yet. He looks really quick on his feet and has looked to get forward all the time. His accuracy just needs to tighten up a bit and I’m sure he’ll get off the mark soon.

And who needs to improve?

Matt: Although he scored against Arsenal, Mauro Zarate still needs to work on his link-up play. On too many occasions he tries to beat a defender when there is another option available and you always get the feeling he’s trying to produce the spectacular a little too often.

But he’s still a very talented player and if he is given more game time this season, he’ll only get better.

Peter: Two players really and sadly for us it’s our two main strikers. Callum Wilson had a great opportunity against Villa but hit his shot against Brad Guzan’s legs when he was through one on one.

There have been even fewer clear-cut chances for Josh King, which is worrying as the alternatives are Yann Kermorgant, who looks slow, and Lee Tomlin, who has not really had enough time with the squad yet.
 
Any significant transfer business expected before the window shuts?

Matt: Everyone connected with the club knows that a striker is the priority. David Sullivan has stated that Charlie Austin is too expensive at £15million and I can see where he’s coming from. However, we do need another striker who guarantees goals and they’re often available in that price bracket.

Having said that, the owners proved with the singing of Diafra Sakho last summer that talent can be found abroad for a minimal fee. I hope the club can bring in at least one more quality striker and if we can boost the midfield by signing Alex Song that has to be another successful summer window for the club.

Peter: We will sign another striker, I believe. The odds on that being Glenn Murray are fairly short now. Whether he is what the team needs remains to be seen, but we certainly need a little more fire-power and Murray is not like any other strikers we have.

He can finish anywhere in the penalty box and we just need that cutting-edge at the moment. Our fans would love to have Austin, but the wage demands are said to be too high.

Who’s the danger-man?

Matt: I’ve watched both Bournemouth games this season and they’ve been unlucky so far.

One player that looks dangerous is Matt Ritchie. There were a couple of moments against Liverpool where he went for goal and they were good efforts. He’s a determined character who has good technique and he will pose a threat this weekend.RitchiePeter: I expect Sakho will be the man our centre-backs will have to be very careful with. His pace is something that will worry our back four, but they have shown that they can step up and have not made too many mistakes yet.

There haven’t been too many meetings between the two clubs in the past. Any memories?

Matt: I don’t. The fact that we haven’t played them for a long time probably works in their favour as they’re a bit of an unknown quantity at this level. It looks as if they will approach games with the attacking-minded vigour that worked so well for them in the Championship last season.

Sure, they’ve lost both their games so far but they look organised and the Hammers should not underestimate them, especially after the Leicester performance.

Peter: I went to Stephen Purches’ testimonial a couple of seasons ago, but haven’t seen the Hammers play a league match against the Cherries for understandable reasons with them being so far apart in divisions in recent seasons.

What I do remember is West Ham coming in for Ian Bishop after he had a spell at Manchester City. He was my favourite Bournemouth player in the 1980s and it wasn’t long before Harry Redknapp snapped him up for the Hammers knowing how good he had been for us.

We’ve always liked wingers down at Dean Court and I still consider Bishop to have been one of the best.BishopPeter, it’s the last season for West Ham at the Boleyn Ground. What are your thoughts on the stadium and your side playing there in its farewell campaign?

Peter: I’m just really pleased to be visiting the Boleyn ground for the first time and with my two sons. It has a fantastic history and it is sad that it is going, but you move with the times and West Ham will have a fantastic new stadium to move into next season.

For Bournemouth, it will be great this season to play in so many big grounds and it will certainly be in fans’ minds that this is the last time to visit the stadium – unless we draw you in the cup. Hopefully, the Cherries will visit the Olympic Stadium next season.

Which opposition player, from any era, would you have most wanted to play for your club?

Matt: This is another difficult one as, with all due respect to Bournemouth, they haven’t been much of a force in my lifetime.

As mentioned earlier, Ritchie looks like a decent footballer and Wilson really impressed me last season. These two are certainly talented and would definitely improve the West Ham squad.

Peter: Paolo Di Canio. Those sort of special players don’t come around very often, but as a fan you can’t be anything but amazed with how he finished that scissor-kick volley against Wimbledon with the outside of his right foot, having seen the ball drift to him from some 30 or more yards.

It was just magnificent and one of my favourite Premier League goals of all time.Di CanioNow back to the present. If you could combine both squads, what would be your starting XI?

Matt: I’d probably play a 4-2-3-1 with Junior Stanislas on the bench for old times’ sake. Max Gradel has a lot of pace and can get goals from midfield, while Ritchie also offers that threat out wide.

I’ll go for: Adrian; Jenkinson, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell Noble, Kouyate; Gradel, Payet, Ritchie; Sakho.

Peter: You really want me to pull my team apart! I’d pick all Bournemouth players because their team spirit and togetherness is unequalled in my opinion. I don’t care that you have Payet, Ogbonna or Manuel Lanzini – I’m sure they’re are all good signings and I hope they excite the West Ham fans this season.

But you have to remember that many of our players like Harry Arter, Eunan O’Kane, Marc Pugh, Matt Ritchie and others have experienced League Two and some even non-league and it is a privilege to see how they have improved and risen through the leagues with the Cherries.

They are living the dream and as fans we are living it with them.

Finally, predictions for Saturday’s match?

Matt: I’m expecting West Ham to come out of the blocks and perform well, hopefully taking the game to them. It would be good to see Sakho get off the mark as he hasn’t really had much of an opportunity to score so far.

I think Bournemouth will get their first Premier League goal as they haven’t got what they’ve deserved in other matches. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended with a draw, but if West Ham are in the mood, they’ll win this game. I’m going to go for West Ham to win 3-1.

Peter: My head tells me 2-2. West Ham are sometimes brilliant and sometimes the players look like they don’t know each other. I’m hoping that Bournemouth get a bit of luck, of course, and pinch a win. Up the Cherries!

16/1 – West Ham to beat Bournemouth 3-1

12/1 – West Ham and Bournemouth to draw 2-2

West Ham v Bournemouth betting

READ: Fan v Fan: West Ham and Leicester

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