Written by northstandmark
As we saw Sunday, Liverpool took West Ham apart. We’ll have to see what that means for us in terms of sparking a backlash in what’ll be West Ham’s first home game of this season.
What struck me was the speed at which Liverpool stormed through midfield. West Ham’s side may have been technically competent when allowed possession, but every time a Liverpool player showed a turn of pace, West Ham could not hack it. Particularly the central due Mark Noble, and of course Jack Wilshere.
They also had Rice sat in front of the back 4 as a defensive midfielder, they may not employ that shield at home to us, but Noble and Wilshere as a pair is a fair bet I’d say. Even if they do start with Rice as a holding man again, he also isn’t known for pace.
This makes me think about our own potential lineup. Whilst obviously we do not have quite the same class of player as Liverpool, we do have some pace.
4-5-1 / 4-3-3 – a midfield central 3 to try and snuff out the passing range of Wilshere and Noble, get on the top of them and get in their face, could really help us. I wasn’t happy with the exclusion of Lewis Cook Saturday but he makes a lot of sense for this game, because he loves a turn and run, he can beat a man in midfield happily. For god’s sake play him next week Eddie. Gosling will run and run and was one of our best players Saturday.
The choice in my head is whether Surman starts, leaving Gosling and Cook further forward. Then we bring Brooks into the middle 3 later (dropping Gosling back). Or whether we start Brooks with Gosling and Cook.
I think Eddie would go for the former, it would, after all, be a big ask for Brooks. And Surman did fine first half Saturday, although lost control of the midfield and indeed slightly lost the plot second half. So I’d hope if and when we do go with Surman and his experience in there, we don’t leave it too long to bring Brook’s fresh legs on. Brooks looked very comfortable and tidy as a number 10 link man against Cardiff when given the chance to come in from the wing into central areas.
That central area is key. Then just put a pacey counter attacking front 3 together, and we’ll create chances no question. West Ham will come at us, their crowd will expect an open and attacking West Ham performance. Our speedy men like Fraser and King would enjoy that.
Tinpot Club wrote…
I like us playing the 4-3-3 with a pacy front 3 of King, Wilson and Fraser. Realistically, Eddie hasn’t played that way for a long time and we didn’t try it in pre-season either.
The most likely way of seeing a front 3 like that is also by playing a back 3. Since one of Surman or Francis will start (Captain and Vice Captain), going 3-4-3, allows Francis to start with Lewis Cook replacing Surman.
Francis Cook Aké
Smith Cook Gosling Daniels
Fraser Wilson King
*I personally don’t necessarily think one of Francis or Surman should play by the way, but I just know that’s what will happen* – Join the conversation, click here.