No. 9: Ravel Morrison, Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham's inconsistent form
By Aaron Leggott
The international break has finally come to an end as Premier League football returns this weekend. Ahead of City's game at West Ham, we caught up with Hammers fan Jack Bowers (@JackBowers92) to get a lowdown on tomorrow evening's opponents.
|Photo: Wikimedia Commons|
It has been a mixed start to the season for the Hammers - winning two, drawing two and losing three. However, your last game saw you seemingly beat Tottenham with ease. How confident are you of a result on Saturday?
Jack: Not very confident to be honest, without a striker and an out of form Kevin Nolan were heavily reliant on Ravel Morrison, and it's a big ask for him to be the man to help us beat City. The players City have, they should really win the game. Our home form has been a bit poor this season which has surprised me so I would be over the moon with a point.
Was it frustrating that the International break came just after such a big win for you?
Jack: Yeah it was, we've struggled a bit this season so to finally get a result that good, and play that well it would have been good to get a rhythm going and go straight into this match. The only good thing is it has allowed us to get Carlton Cole back so we now have a centre forward.
How would you evaluate your start to the season?
Jack: Inconsistent and frustrating. Our defence has been solid, we've not conceded from open play yet which is good, but it's just not been working at the other end, Modibo Maïga has been a liability and its frustrating that we're yet to get Andy Carroll back.
Thoughts on how your new signings have settled in? Which player has impressed you the most?
Jack: Not to well to be honest. Răzvan Rat looked good against Spurs and looks the best of the signings. Stewart Downing has struggled with fitness and I've not seen anything from him yet that makes me think he will be back to his best, as he was at Villa. And of course, Carroll has been injured all season.
Of course, Carlton Cole has returned back to West Ham on a temporary deal to cover for the injured Andy Carroll. Do you think he will provide a threat during Carroll's absence?
Jack: Yeah he will, I still can't believe we didn't keep him on. As a back up player you can't really complain about him. He's strong, fits on with our style and tactics, the fans like him and every now and then he'll pop up with a goal. I think it was very naive to get rid of him.
Predicted West Ham line up?
Jack: Jääskeläinen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat; Noble, Diame, Nolan; Vaz Te, Morrison, Downing.
Who will be your key man on Saturday and why?
Jack: Ravel Morrison- in stunning form, can make a goal out of nothing and he is our one player who could cause City some difficulties, with his pace and direct running. He's capable of making something out of nothing.
Predictions on where the Hammers will finish this season?
Who do you see as City's key player on Saturday and why?
Jack: Yaya Touré - best midfielder in the league in my opinion, and if he bosses the midfield we won't have a chance!
From a neutral perspective, how have you viewed Manuel Pellegrini's start as City manager and the signings he has made?
Jack: Okay, but I still don't understand why you got rid of Roberto Mancini. With Chelsea and Man Utd changing managers it may have made sense for City to stick. I liked how he (Pellegrini) set your side up for the United game but I think he needs to get his tactics right for the 'smaller' games. I think the signings have been good, Negredo looks like he could be a class act and I'm a big fan of Jesús Navas.
Tip for the title?
Jack: Arsenal, I had a pre season bet on them!
And finally.. prediction for the game?
Jack: WHU 1-3 CITY