Arnie To Start-Pellegrini To Finish-He's Not Stupid!

Having proved his point by dropping his top striker for several matches, Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini is clever enough to avoid 'cutting his nose off to spite his face' by intimating that Marko Arnautovic will lead the line from the start in the match against Huddersfield town at the London (hopefully soon to be renamed Tesla) Stadium this Saturday.

The line has been drawn in the sand regarding last weekend's appalling performance against bottom three side Cardiff City, part of the process to rapidly move on is to start Arnautovic against The Terriers who are all but relegated, however can still mathematically survive as they have 14 points with just 8 games remaining, unfortunately apart from West Ham they also have to face Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool in their run in so they are done dusted! That said, the visitors will be playing for pride and future contracts so they will be dangerous adversaries, if Hammers stroll out with a 'billy big bollocks' attitude they may well come a cropper.

On the topic of starting the player who was West Ham United's talisman before 'chinagate' Manuel Pellegrini had this to say, “Marko was out of the team for several reasons. First, because his mind was out when he had the option to go to China. Then he returned and didn’t work for about a week, so he needed time to recover his performance. After that, he was sick. He was going to start against Manchester City but he felt bad that day. There’s a lot of reasons why he was starting on the bench, but I think he is ready to return in his position.”

This statement will come as a relief to many fans who were beginning to worry that Arnautovic might become disenfranchised by the treatment being dished out by his manager, however it has to be appreciated that a manager of Pellegrini's standing cannot afford to tolerate indiscipline even if it is from one of his star players. Hopefully the past is water under the bridge and 'Arnie' can pick up where he left off, judging by pictures from yesterday's training both player and manager looked really happy, either that or they are both great actors!

Starting Arnautovic when fit is a bit of a no brainer, he might not make the full 90 minutes given his recent lack of game time, but he can bully the opposition defenders senseless until he runs out of puff, then perhaps 'Cheaterito' for the closing stages where he can earn free kicks, possibly penalties(sic). Pellegrini also alluded to the fact that Pablo Zabaleta will start at right back, Ryan Fredericks dropping to the bench is probably a good thing as he had an absolute stinker against Cardiff, then again most of the team did but it is felt that 'Zaba's ' professionalism is required for this particular fixture. There is also the possibility of the 'General' Fabian Balbuena starting ahead of Angelo Ogbonna alongside Issa Diop, however that would be rather harsh on the Italian who has performed well once he shook off his ring rust.

Probable team to face Huddersfield: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Rice, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Anderson, Arnautovic. Subs: Adrian, Balbuena, Nasri, Masuaku, Antonio, Fredericks, Hernandez



Dartford Bhoy's picture

Ed - real or fantasy?

9 users have voted.
nevillenixon's picture

Back in the day we used to work with 'Super Pav' wh o was the geekiest geek on the planet but predicted bit coin and the gig economy light years before they happened, his dad had the rights to microsoft in europe and he spent his early days working with a certain Mr Musk in the early days of PayPal which Musk founded. Anyway, take it with whatever pinch of salt you want the Hammers hierarchy are wary of the impending ban on betting sponsors and are willing to take a short term fiscal hit in order to get a high profile green/blue tech sponsor on board because it will attract other such high profile 'positive' sponsors.

10 users have voted.
Dartford Bhoy's picture

These boys are a pub side... sorry for that but.... I would start with Antonio at full back and get at them!

11 users have voted.
Burkie 1's picture

One up front is no good ,Ant is the man to partner him

10 users have voted.

Burkie 1

Can anyone explain the logic of Antonio on the bench please? He has been a revelation recently then gets dropped...I seriously don't get it. Bring him in, but not at Right Back. I'd give Noble or Snoddy a rest to get him in if thats anything like the team we'll be putting out.

8 users have voted.

I agree Antonio should be in the starting lineup. My team would be Fabianski in the goal, Zabaleta and Cresswell at full backs, Diop and Balbuena or Ogbonna at Centre Backs. Rice and Lanzini in midfield, Antonio and Snodgrass on the Wings. Then the final two forwards should be Arnautovic and Anderson. Yes, we need a forward like Anderson that can hold on to the ball, have the pace and can take the game to the opposition. Against Cardiff the problem was that no forwards performed. We could have played with nine players and no forward line, and still have come up with the same result. Why does Pelligrini not give this a GO!!

7 users have voted.

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