Contrary to some information being negatively spread on the Internet, Declan Rice will NOT be suspended for the Europa League Cup semi-final should Hammers beat Lyon on Thursday evening's quarter-final. Decs had to play a disciplinary tight rope during the first leg in Stratford last week, fearing another booking would see him miss this Thursday's fixture, but according to UEFA rules, yellow cards that are outstanding are written off after the quarter final.
The vultures are circling, looking at what they consider to be lesser teams to see what talent they can prise away. Once the season ends, the noise around West Ham's most talented players is likely to become unbearable as the lack of football to report on inevitably results in endless transfer speculation and rumours. Rather than lament the state of football journalism or wallow in grief at the potential loss of Rice or Bowen, let's see what clubs have done in the past to hold on to their most talented and in-demand players.
Brentford: Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Zanka, Ajer, Norgaard (c), Eriksen, Janelt, Wissa, Mbeumo, Toney. Subs: Fernandez (GK), Canos, Jensen, Ghoddos, Jeanvier, Fosu-Henry, Baptiste, Sorensen, Roerslev.
West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice (c), Soucek, Fornals, Lanzini, Bowen, Antonio. Subs: Areola (GK), Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Benrahma, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Johnson, Kral.
With the all important 2nd leg of the Europa League Cup 1/4 final only days away, David Moyes has a bit of a selection headache for tomorrow's Premier League game against Brentford. With other results going Hammers way it is important that the club try to maintain its push for a top six place while juggling with it's current European obligations.
Thursday evening's opponents Lyon were pushed all the way by ten man West Ham, indeed the home side were able to go one nil up thanks to a lovely Jarrod Bowen goal, scored AFTER Aaron Cresswell had been sent off. The visitors drew level via a goal scored by an on loan Tottingham player, but the pass was provided by Tete, signed as a result of the Ukraine conflict.
Despite referee Felix Swayer's obvious leanings towards awarding every possible decision to Lyon in the game against West Ham last night and his erroneous issuing of a red card to Aaron Cresswell, it is unlikely that the club will appeal the sending off due to the fact that UEFA could view the appeal as 'frivolous' and extend Cresswell's ban.
This moron ran on to the pitch just as 10 man Hammers were about to score a crucial goal to go 2-1 up against Lyon, instead the referee was OVERJOYED to be able to stop the game and nothing came from the engineered restart. The attack was a rare foray, but it was almost certainly going to be a goal!
It is common practice for fans to feel that refereeing decisions are always against their team, mainly it is a biased opinion born out of frustration, however the already convicted of fraudulent activities referee for this evening's game between West Ham and Lyon performed So badly it beggars the question as to the possibility of him receiving a bribe to officiate so biasly towards Lyon throughout the ENTIRE game.
West Ham: Areola, Fredericks, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio
Subs: Fabiański, Coufal, Johnson, Alese, Diop, Masuaku, Noble, Král, Vlašić, Yarmolenko, Perkins
Lyon: Lopes, Gusto, Boateng, Lukeba, Emerson, Aouar, Mendes, Ndombélé, Faivre, Lucas Paquetá, Dembélé
Subs: Pollersbeck (GK), Bonnevie (GK), Denayer, Toko Ekambi, Kadewere, Henrique, Dubois, Tetê, Da Silva, Reine-Adélaïde, Barcola