Filed: Wednesday, 22nd August 2012
By: Dan Ordidge
We're delighted to welcome new boy Dan Ordidge to our team of contributors. Please join us in extending a warm virtual welcome to Dan, who opens his KUMB account with a look back at the Villa game and ahead to this weekend's trip abroad...
Last Saturday, as we all got ready for the start of the Villa game and the start of a new season, we had a host of mixed emotions boiling in our stomachs. Excitement, nerves, optimism and, of course, quite a few units of beer! But we got the three points.
It may not have been pretty at times and not our beloved ‘West Ham way’ but we achieved big milestones. I always feel it’s important to get your first three points, first clean sheet and first home win early on to settle the nerves, and that’s exactly what we achieved.
People around the club branded Villa as a no hope this season, a club which will be down in the depths of the dog-eat-dog relegation zone, which made it even more vital the we secured the points.
It was a funny old first weekend at that; West Brom shocking Liverpool (aided by some curious refereeing) and Southampton almost causing an upset against Man City - not to mention the drumming QPR received. However the Hammers prevailed. I know Kevin Nolan’s goal wasn’t picturesque but if we get results and points on the table then I will gladly take that all season!
With the first game out of the way we look toward a first appearance at the Liberty Stadium. There is a lot going on around the club at the minute, as the transfer deadline edges into injury time we still need players. Although I was extremely impressed with Mo Diame and James Collins, players are still needed.
Although Big Sam appears to have a love affair with midfielders at the minute (echoes of Spain at the Euros come to mind), if no new additions were made I still believe that the squad will be good enough to survive. But we want more than that!
The Davids have talked about the club's future and seem to have lured us into a fantasy of future European football with a brand new stadium (a lot like when they were at Birmingham). However I will be keeping my feet firmly on the ground; we have all dreamed before and come crashing to the ground with a bump.
Whether we buy these new players that we are linked with and whether or not we are given the keys to the stadium I will just be concentrating on the football, because at the end of the day that is more important.
Swansea away is the opportunity for the side to face a big test. They played very well last season and played a very effective game against QPR. Their style last season was a joy to watch and they control the ball with confidence.
I believe the biggest factors in our team that can influence the result will be Diame and Collins, but also Alou Diarra. I am excited about Diarra; he has experience, good vision and isn’t afraid to get involved in the game.
Furthermore the performance of Carlton Cole could be a game decider. With Big Sam’s current style of play the chances we get on goal will be based on whether or not Cole can hold up the ball for players to get up the field, or knock a cheeky pass to a player making a good run off the ball.
Say what you like about Cole, I think he has been a faithful servant to the club. Taking a pay cut and not complaining says it all in football nowadays, just look at the other players in the league. Plus, although he has been constantly linked to other clubs (such as Stoke), he has never tried to initiate a move as far as we know.
One player we will have to watch out for on Saturaday though is Michu, the new signing. He had an impressive debut against QPR and looked dangerous in front of goal. I have even heard rumours that he is odds on favourite for signing of the season.
Then there is Vorm the keeper, he is solid at the back and I believe it will be important to try and test him early on. With the current build of the Hammers side I have always believed we look a threat at set pieces.
Even though the corners on Saturday largely came to nothing, if we get the service right and the squad practice them at the training ground a bit more I think we could grab a lot of goals from them this season.
We all know what to expect at the Swansea game; limited possession and quick, direct attacks by the home side. But if we stay disciplined at the back and hold the ball when we can in the final third, I really think that we can come out of the game with some points.
When Saturday comes, by the end of the day we will see how the squad has shaped up. In my view this is a big game, and if points are secured could start a good run of results in the next few fixtures.
If you are travelling with the away army be loud and be proud. This is our season and our moment to show the rest of the league we are not a one-season yo-yo club.
Come on you Irons!
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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