High Noon Team Selection For West Ham Against Tottenham

West Ham manager Slaven Billic is well versed in mind games, his experience as Croatia's manager saw him pull off some remarkable victories over 'superior' teams, so it is to be hoped that his comments ahead of Saturday's 'high noon' kick off at the London Stadium about Tottenham being "the most attractive team to watch" were made with a bit of reverse psychology intended.

Early kick offs usually benefit the home team, but as Tottenham don't currently have a home they will probably not be at a disadvantage, in fact some would say that they will relish playing at the London Stadium because it will feel more like a home fixture as they have gradually become accustomed to playing on large pitches, mind you their domestic results at Wembley have been far from dazzling!

Team selection for this crucial London derby has been a hot topic of late, the most talked about and the one that divides opinion is whether Mark Noble starts or not. Now we at the Org, among other sites and blogs, have hardly championed Noble's cause, the 'legs have gone' etc etc. However we and hopefully others are indeed pragmatic about the situation and will get behind 'Marky' should he start, and all indications are that he will, especially given Slaven Billic's most recent press statement:
“It is important to have Mark, he’s our skipper. He’s the club captain, he’s
responsible for a good atmosphere and shape and everything and discipline in
the dressing room, on and off the pitch. “It’s great to have him back in the
team and where he fits, he’s really good player and important person and
player.”

Without wishing to be hypocritical if there is a match Mark Noble should start it probably is the one against Tottenham, if any of West Ham's over seas contingent need reminding of the game's importance then Noble will be the one to do it! His commitment will be an inspiration to those around him, the problem is he will probably try too hard as he has a propensity to concede fouls in dangerous situations that he might have avoided had he not dived in.

Elsewhere the continued absence of talisman Manuel Lanzini is a key issue, as is the absence of James Collins. Hammers switched to four at the back against Bolton and it worked well, but Tottenham are a different kettle of fish, Messrs Kane and Co will run riot if they are up against a flat back four and an exposed static four in the middle, the only option is to play 3-5-2 but who would the back three be? Fonte, Reid and who else? Up and coming star Declan Rice is a natural centre back, rumour has it that he has been rehearsing that role at the Hammers Rush Green training ground ahead of the match which might be a clue as to where he plays. With Rice part of the back three Zabaleta would be right wing/back, Cresswell or King Authur on the left. Noble and either Ogbonna or Kouyate or Elbows in the midfield, on the wings Antonio and Chicarito with Carroll up top. There are calls for teenager Sead Haksabanovic to feature, he is an unknown quantity who might dazzle Spurs, however given Billic's relatively conservative use of youngsters Haksabanovic will be on the bench at best, a game of this magnitude could be a step too far in the short term, he is a highly promising prospect and much thought will have been given as to how his undoubted talent can be intergrated without him getting 'destroyed' in one match.

Whatever formation Slaven Billic puts out they will be in for a tough game, Tottenham will be desperate to bury their 'Hammers hoodoo' to blot out their last three defeats by their hosts, likewise West Ham will be desperate to avoid a 'tonking', it's a London derby after all, albeit one that is to be played at an ungodly hour, however cometh the hour, cometh the man and perhaps Mark Noble will be the man, we hope so! - Ed

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Comments

Dicks is the man's picture

tottenscum there for a hiding. lets get at em.

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19 users have voted.
asheshammer's picture

gotta leave out two of them

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16 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

why? this is spurs we're playing, anything goes when it comes to beating the spurs.

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18 users have voted.
nevillenixon's picture

Ah, so you spotted the cunning plan!

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19 users have voted.
nevillenixon's picture

As ashes pointed out two extra players would be good but not possible (duly corrected) but it does go to show the selection headache caused by the midfield. Billic could end up starting the game with the club's two biggest signings Ayew and Elbows on the bench!

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16 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

Ayew and Elbows might be more effective playing on the bench….Bilic could sit the bench right across the goal line with those two sitting on it.

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22 users have voted.
burkie's picture

Im afraid when it comes to quality Ayew doesn't have any hes just not able to get physical ,Nobbs ?,sorry mate only in the cups Elbows ,got to be given the chance to prove himself but any more shenanigans and its Rochdale for him ,and for f**k sake cheer up a bit ,Masu ?proberbly my favourite right now ,I'd have him every time over Cress ,Fonte did he play against Bolton ?he seems to have issue's in a back four but sound enough with 3 ,i couldnt agree with you more Nev if he goes for 4 at the back they will slaughter us ,we'll be camped in our own peno area ,attack the fks i say they defiantly do not like it up em Aulerweild and vertongen are vulnerable and have yet to be tested

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21 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

people are quick to condemn the 4-4-2, for some reason thinking it will get massacred against spurs etc. i however disagree. i cite leicester as my evidence. i don't recall spurs thrashing leicester, might be wrong of course but i always feel leicester give anyone a good game using a 4-4-2. we could do it too, replacing vardy with hernandez, Ulloa with Carroll, mahrez with lanzini or aurnotivic, kante is better than obiang sure but he could do similar, drink water v kouyate or noble i suppose is iffy but antonio is better than what they have and the back 4 isn't much different in ability imo. i just think sometimes people like Bilic over complicate things. imagine carroll getting service from the wings …he will crush spurs.

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20 users have voted.
burkie's picture

I think it comes down to ability they are used to playing that system and are very comfortable with it we how eve dont know our arse from our elbow ,(no offence Arni )when it comes to wich system to use ,i think acquiring Zab has simplified things somewhat in that he likes that right sided wing back position but i still say if you play a flat back four against the scum they will crucify us its akin to leaving your house unlocked a night and putting a sign on the gate "come in make yourself at home ,the wifes got some lovely jewellery she allways leaves it on the dresser ,the tv s only two weeks old ,couple of grands worth ,make yourselves a cuppa theres some nice bickys in the tin on the worktop "
Funnily enough i can see Kane and Alli in those little batman robbery masks

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24 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

lol and grinning and smirking as they make off with the loot.

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24 users have voted.
burkie's picture

Yeah and doin that ridiculously silly little thing they do with their fingers when they score ,if i see that again im defiantly goin to throw up ,stupid twats

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19 users have voted.

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