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West Ham v Man Utd: Preview

A former cult-hero, in Carlos Tevez, returns as the Reds visit Upton Park to take on the Hammers in their last clash of 2007. Manchester United will be looking to keep their winning run intact and maintain their lead over Arsenal.

Clive Tyldesley on the Telegraph assures us that Tevez will be welcomed by Hammers fans.
I would be surprised if he weren’t. The Hammers fans usually do remember players and the circumstances under which they left. Michael Carrick, for instance, isn’t directed the same abuse as someone like Defoe or Lampard. SAF also expects the Hammers fans to be gentle on our Apache.

In team news, Fergie has taken a mammoth 20-man squad to Upton Park in order to be prepared for any eventuality. He says:

“We’re taking a big squad down tomorrow for the game with West Ham. We’re taking 20 players down, keeping them all together because you never know at this time of year. Utilising the squad is important. We freshened up the other day by leaving Ryan, Tevez and Anderson out (against Sunderland). Tomorrow we’ll make some more changes. Hopefully that brings the right freshness and gets us the right result.

So as expected there will be changes and it could be anybody’s guess. Although, I would expect Anderson and Hargreaves to return to the starting XI, since it is an away game.

Meanwhile, EVDS is still out with his injury, but will be expected to return ahead of the Birmingham game.

Other than that, there is more about Tevez and his welcome in the papers — this one on the Independent — and how he is coming on with his English, and how language is basically irrelevant as far as his play on the pitch is concerned.

Park Ji Sung also looks like making his first start of the season after impressing as a sub against Sunderland.

Our Prediction: United to win 2-0. Tevez and Rooney to score.



  1. dan(U-O.L)

    29 December 2007 at 11:44

    aaaa, its good to be back, im saying 4-2 with ronaldo rooney and tevez to score(ronaldo or tevez getting a brace) a dean ashton and any othe playing for ham getting their goals.

  2. The Chunni

    29 December 2007 at 12:33

    I think we will win this comfortably. I hope anderson gets on the
    scoresheet , he really has played well over the weeks and he
    deserves to score. Rooney back in form and he always scores in
    waves. West ham are flopping up at home…. couldnt even beat 10
    man reading. If they play as awful as that we are sure to win.
    Im predicting a 4-0 win with rooney 2goals tevez one goal and
    ronaldo with a goal.

  3. k9

    29 December 2007 at 13:28

    I wonder if it’ll be as comfy as we all hope. The hammers have a decent squad and are usually tough customers defensively. We’ll need some top performances from the lads to make sure we down them.

  4. meddleuk

    29 December 2007 at 14:20

    I hate playing the hammers away. I wouldnt have minded if they had gone down to be honest. It would have made the wrangle with Tevez a little easier! 2 titles blown at Upton Park not to mention last seasons game there last December. They were terrible all season before hand, played out of their skins, played a below par United and got a deserved win. Then they got spanked 6-0 by Reading not long after. Total inconsistancy, purely down to an ABU desire. Very fustrating and its what makes me nervous about the game today. If we play well, we should win, especially with West Hams home form this season. However, we thought that last year. We have to play well and not allow tiredness or fatigue to be an issue or we will drop points.

    The only good thing is that all the top 4 have tough away games except Chelsea, who have been playing shocking of late are deprived of most of their first team through injuries and suspensions.

    United to win 2-1, just. Edgy and horrible.

  5. Faizan

    29 December 2007 at 15:03

    West Ham do have a good record against united. I do hope we don’t slip-up today.

  6. JB

    29 December 2007 at 15:13

    Team News:

    GK: PIG
    RB: Brown
    CB: Ferdinand
    CB: Vidic
    LB: Evra
    RM: Ronaldo
    CM: Hargreaves
    CM: Fletcher
    LM: Giggs
    CF: Tevez
    CF: Saha

    Subs: Heaton, Pique, O’Shea, Anderson, Nani

    Unfortunately the mumblings of Rooney’s absence I heard last night have turned out to be true.

  7. RedDevil

    29 December 2007 at 15:18

    Where did u get da lineups? Why dont Rooney start or on the bench

  8. Taehr

    29 December 2007 at 15:54

    JB through injury or what?

  9. meddleuk

    29 December 2007 at 16:02

    Carrick n Rooney have a virus apparently.

  10. may

    29 December 2007 at 16:27

    is rooney sick or injury??

  11. dan(U-O.L)

    29 December 2007 at 16:58

    you are manucho, my manucho, you’ll make me happy when skys are grey, oh dimi berbatov, you can f*** off, oh please dont take my manucho away. what type of bogas chant it that?

  12. JohnST

    29 December 2007 at 17:39

    I agree with your 2-0 prediction. Ferguson will not be taking much chances against his nemesis, West Ham, and they won’t be giving face to him either. If Rooney is out, Fergie may be even more conservative.

  13. Conor

    29 December 2007 at 17:41

    2 – 1 West Ham. And Ronaldo missed a penalty when we were 1-0 up.

  14. Taehr

    29 December 2007 at 17:57

    Ah fuckin hell,we were really outplayed today

  15. busingye

    29 December 2007 at 17:59

    fuck fergie.what the fuck was giggs still doing on the pitch.fletcher too.we should play anyone with legs to run and not tired oldies,or take them off when they are the arse is up .what the fuck is this?

  16. Pedro Vilas-Boas

    29 December 2007 at 18:07

    Poor game! West Ham were the better team.

    First game as leaders, missing a penalty with 1-0 up and suffering two goals (two headers) with 13 minutes to go! Bahh…could it be worse? How the hell Tevez ang Giggs stayed so much time in the pitch?

    We´re missing all the chances to gain the momentum over the other teams (start of the season, Arsenal game, today).

    GO EVERTON and Man. Citty! 🙂

  17. Taron

    29 December 2007 at 18:11

    Well you saw it too. We played really bad. West Ham controled everything. I haven’t seen game like this the whole season. I was telling that we should kill the game over and over, but than Ronaldo missed and they got back. West Ham really deserved to win and where the hell was Rooney. I just wanted to be in the first place on New Year. Now I have to watch Everton and hope they will bail us somehow. GO!GO!Everton :).

    We should take this as a good lesson and learn from it. I hope this penalty miss will strengthen Ronaldo more

  18. k9

    29 December 2007 at 18:11

    Ah yes. First of all, Ronaldo has got to get over the childish tomfoolery and try to get on with more important things. Second of all, our presence in the midfield was- you guessed it- ZERO. Fletch is not good enough to play a physical scrap like this. Hargreaves was decent, but was outnumbered. Vidic was a sore disappointment in the back. Against a physical and aerial side, United got hit right on the Achilles’ heel. And somehow, I feel pretty sick to be vindicated in this manner.

  19. Beachryan

    29 December 2007 at 18:14

    West ham deserved to win. Giggs was absolutely awful, the worst I think I’ve ever seen him. Saha tried but no one was anywhere near him. Ronaldo only appeard in the second half to miss a penalty. Fair play, he was probably about due to miss one. We deserved what we got. Awful awful performance. Crazy substitutions. No tactical switch to counter our lack of posession. Just plain terrible.

  20. busingye

    29 December 2007 at 18:20

    if fergie thinks we shall win just cos we wear red he is yo best team.if things fail be the hell did giggs finish the gane?we have probably the worst captain in the league.others must laugh at us

  21. Mackey

    29 December 2007 at 18:33

    wonder what happened to the defence today..Thoroughly disgusting! we hardly ever won a header..and the attack also seemed terribly off color, saha in particular. What we needed from Ronaldo was a moment of brilliance, and he just didnt deliver. The commentator said “hes the best in the world by far!!!” after his opening goal. He would be, if only he could show more dedication when the team really needs him.

  22. Taehr

    29 December 2007 at 18:57

    Hehe arsenal down 1-0.

  23. RedDevil

    29 December 2007 at 19:29

    What da hell was Fergie thinking playing Fletch instead of Anderson?? Shocking to see the lineup. Ando was spared against Sunderland so I thought he was bound to play. He didnt and look what happened! Darren was outplayed and ruined many attacks(and defensive passes) for us. No offensive mind and no talent. **** That! No tactical plan during the whole game and, even though we scored a good goal, we didnt do anything right. Giggs, Saha, Tevez, Fletcher, Owen and Brown were the most dissapointing. January comes and that means transfers. Sell: Fletcher, Brown and Evans. Buy: Benzema/Berbatov(Saha switch) and Dani Alves. We need an offensive right back and a great striker. Now we need to look forward to the Birmingham game and win it to get a great start to The Best Year In Manchester Uniteds History!
    P.S… United have now let in 2 goals in every last game in december for the third year in a row. 2005(Birmingham 2-2), 2006(Reading 3-2) and now West Ham(1-2).

  24. Taehr

    29 December 2007 at 20:11

    Oh my God tim howard just proved why we sold him,there goes our top spot.what really bugs me is fergies insistance on rotating.we got doubled by west ham last year and that should have shown him that west ham are tough opposition.why not rotate at home vs a team like birmingham who are a very poor side?.hargreaves was terrible,he didnt do anything and was jogging around aimlessly most of the time.fletcher too really really bad.Saha,tevez,ronaldo,giggs all werent too good either.How many lessons are we going to receive before we finally learn to play the best side when playing decent opposition.evra was very stupid today,his tackle was not needed.Ronaldo missed a penalty for the first time today but he has been such a good player for us so we shouldnt hold it against him too much.fuckin hell 4-1 down?what the hell are everton doing?

  25. busingye

    29 December 2007 at 20:34

    how long are we stuck with giggs and fletcher?isnt one supposed to be a winger?where the fuck was he?we showed our over reliance on ronaldo today.the man cant save the world.hargo really got mugged out there.and how worse can our set piece defending be?i just hope some one breaks giggs legs to pieces so he can retire and avoid further embarrassment.moment of truth reds.forget european champions league.we play like fuckin england.always blaming someone but us.fuckin inept today.why do we need to carry giggggggggssssssssssssssssssss for fucks sake.

  26. Taron

    29 December 2007 at 20:46

    busingye I had the same thought that ManUtd played like England today. I know we all are frustrated, but there is nothing we can do and what the hell Everton is doing… fucking 4:1…we all blame giggs (he was really bad), but all of our players were really shitty. look at the bright side even playing so badly we came really close to wining(Ronaldo miss) :).

  27. JK

    29 December 2007 at 21:01

    busingye calm down:) Break Giggys legs? That’s wrong.

    I’m disappointed too. Well I didn’t watch the game but it must have been a dreadful game from what
    I hear. Who was playing in the middle? Giggs and Fletcher? Hell.. then it’s bad tactics

    Giggs shouldn’t play in the middle he really doesn’t fit there.
    If you are playing Giggs, a winger and Fletcher who hardly played this season in the middle,
    against a tricky team, then it’s a tactical error.

    I believe SAF was trying to rest some players but the selection should have been better.
    Anyway the race is still far from the end. There will be another chance.

  28. Pedro Vilas-Boas

    29 December 2007 at 21:02

    And we´re second again… Arsenal not even felt the pressure of going behind.

    I feel we´re going to make this yo-yo thing (far-close-far-close) during the whole season, without ver making the needed step forward. Our team is very inconsistent and unbalanced. Mixture of wonderful players with either injured, old or bad ones.

  29. redevil

    29 December 2007 at 21:13

    What a disappointment! I guess we can’t win a single game without Rooney. What the fuck was Fletcher doing there? Fergie is holding him still cos he’s a Scot. Giggs was evidently tired. But its terrible to see so many of you scream at him. Remember it was Giggs who set up Ronaldo when we took the lead. SAF should have taken him off. Giggs is still a very important member of the squad. Lets hope we’ll see better performances from the great man.

  30. JK

    29 December 2007 at 21:19

    Arsenal not even felt the pressure of going behind.

    Pedro I feel what you’re saying. Feck.. I mean come on, finally you got a 1 point lead,
    finally you got the chance to lead the league, BUT you lose the next game!

    Man o man those Arses must be happy

  31. Conor

    29 December 2007 at 21:22

    JK: Hargreaves was playing today.
    Everyone else: 1.Why blame certain players for losing the game for us? Nearly everyone played badly, so it was just a bad performance, it happens, it’s easy to get over. We lost fairly and it’s not Fergie’s fault for picking the wrong players, it’s not Giggs’ fault, it’s just a bad performance. Get over it.
    2.It was always going to happen that we would rest players.
    3.With the team we had we could have beaten west ham, they are a difficult team to beat but with Saha, Ronaldo, Tevez and Giggs we can beat most teams in the league.
    4. Finally, although I disagree with Fergie’s decision, Anderson has played alot of games, and since he’s a young player he supposedly needs a lonnger rest, plus the fact that he isn’t used to playing that many games in quick succession.
    It seems stupid praising people one day and then a week later saying who should be sold in january.
    Pedro we’re one of the most consistent teams in the league, saying we are inconsistent is a snap jugdement, and a wrong one at that. Anyone who knowsanything about football knows we are going to win the league. Why make a big deal about a loss against a team which most people expected us to draw against.

  32. JK

    29 December 2007 at 22:01

    Conor thanks. I just got some feedback, and I have to say the selection wasn’t bad.

  33. JB

    29 December 2007 at 22:22

    Conor: The thing that annoys me is that it’s the usual suspects that get singled out for the flak when things go badly. The likes of Fletcher, Carrick, Saha, Brown and even Giggs normally get the worst of it. However there are some in the squad like Vidic, Tevez, Scholes, Hargreaves, who evade virtually all criticism when they put in a bad shift. This isn’t a rant about today’s game in particular or even this blog specifically. It’s just a general observation of our somewhat fickle fanbase. I wish people would judge players on their actual performance in a game rather than some preconceived notions they have about them.

    Now onto the Anderson issue, SAF and CQ are on the training pitch every day. They see how the players are performing, how fit they are, what form they are in, their mental state, etc. If Anderson being dropped was for tactical reasons, then we can bitch and moan about SAF’s decision making all we want. However if he was on the bench because of a balanced decision based on season long requirements and observation of Anderson’s training performances, then who the hell are we to criticise. He are hardly in any place to make any kind of judgement like this as we have nowhere the level of information SAF has at his disposal. And ultimately that’s one of the reasons why he is the manager and we are the fans, because he gets these types of decisions right more often than not over the course of a season.

  34. RedDevil

    30 December 2007 at 00:17

    Which one would you rather choose:
    1.Ronaldo missed it today and now he knows how it feels to miss a penalty and how important every pen is. He will practice even more now and be more determined than ever every time he gets one.
    2. Its a cup final and the score is 1-1 when Ronaldo gets a penalty. He has never missed one and is over confident. While not fully focused he strikes it and the ball goes wide.
    I think missing the penalty today was a good experience for him actually. Its da teams fault for not winning not Ronnies. I am sad to spend the last hours of 2007 in second place after such a great year. But we may be on top 2nd January 2008 cause Arse play west Ham and they proved that they are a difficult side to play. Still Ronaldo will always be a hero and I will defo forgive him for today. If it wasnt for him we would have been 4th or 5th and not qualified for the CL.He is only human, though a marvelous one! 🙂

  35. the chunni

    30 December 2007 at 01:15

    We flopped up big time but there is no use crying over spilt milk,
    We were awful and everybody knows it. Ronaldo must be feeling sick
    but like Reddevil said it will make him practice more and score it .
    Anyway this is the first penalty he’s missed since I don’t know
    when. I wonder if tevez was too emotional to play properly… HE
    was terrible. Still I find it hard that some prople criticize Giggs
    like that. If it were not for him we would’nt even have got this
    as a gr8 club. I just hope we can get our set piece defending

    Im starting to think that we are too reliant on Rooney and Ronnie.I
    just hope its wrong. We don’t have to get all scared now.We have
    lots of time.

  36. gov

    30 December 2007 at 05:32

    anderson was rested in midweek and should have started..rooney should have been on the bench..these were fergie’s mistakes..but even so the team that took to the field at upton park should be playing much better.we were completely overrun in midfield..and when that happens,the strikers and the wingers dont get the ball and we pose no attacking threat..even our defending was poor..2 goals from set pieces is very bad..all in all a result and performance to forget..

  37. Conor

    30 December 2007 at 11:04

    Gov, after thinking about it, Anderson’s performances recently have been worse than when he first came in to the team, so he porbably did need a rest. And Rooney and Carrick had a virus. And JB I know, but I think that’s the same with most supporters who follow a big team, they expect too much, we all do. But after watching the highlights I actually can’t believe people are targeting saha and especially Giggs, even forgetting the assist Giggs provided, his grat positional sense and vision created most of our chances, and Saha played well yet people seem to ignore this and only point out who played badly. It’s really surprising to see Ronaldo miss a penalty and I understand where you are coming from RedDevil but I don’t really see that as much of a problem anyways, Ronaldo is an excellent penalty taker and this is just a one off, and my suspicion is since Green is such a great penalty stopper(surprise surprise he dived the right way, and in my opinion looked like he pretty much had that corner well covered, so Ronaldo had to hit it hard to even have a chance of beating him) he may have tried to make the penalty too powerful and accurate.

  38. rob

    30 December 2007 at 13:48

    Nice reception by the hammer fans for Tevez, I dont think i have ever seen a returning player get such an amazing reception, I reckon a previous poster was right he was too emotional to be on his top game

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