Sunday, November 18, 2007

Season Summaries--10. West Ham

10. West Ham (My preseason prediction: 12th)

You have to be impressed with the job manager Alan Curbishley has done with West Ham this season, especially considering the fact that the lineups he's had to put on the field essentially consist of second-stringers due to all the injuries suffered by the players who would normally be starting or playing significant minutes (Kieron Dyer, Scott Parker, Julien Faubert, Calum Davenport, Bobby Zamora, Freddie Ljungberg, Nolberto Solano, etc.).

West Ham are one of only 7 Premiership teams to have a winning record away from home (3 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses), although to be fair, the wins came against Derby, Birmingham, and Reading, none of which are in the top half of the table. The Hammers have also advanced to the Round of 8 in the Carling Cup, but again, none of their previous three wins in that competition came against Premiership clubs (Bristol Rovers, Plymouth, Coventry City). All of this being said, you can only do well against the schedule that's in front of you, and it's not West Ham's fault they've been drawn against lower league sides in the Carling Cup or had a particularly difficult road schedule to this point. Trips to Chelsea and Blackburn make up their first two games of December, followed by their quarterfinal Carling Cup match against Everton (at Upton Park). The East London club have had a pretty nice start to their season and will look to keep it going into December, where the packed holiday schedule brings 6 league games and the aforementioned Carling Cup match. Will West Ham's paper-thin depth be exposed? We'll see.

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