Having to send a team out devoid of its entire first choice in defence was hard enough, but to then be deprived of your main striker with only a few hours notice made it almost mission impossible for David Moyes West Ham away to Tottingham in the Carabao Cup semi final.
Tottenham: Lloris ©️, Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Reguilon, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Lucas Moura, Bergwijn, Kane Subs: Gollini (GK), Royal, Rodon, Tanganga, Winks, Lo Celso, Ndombele, Dele, Son
West Ham: Areola, Ashby, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku, Rice ©️, Souček, Lanzini, Vlašić, Bowen Subs: Randolph (GK), Noble, Fornals, Benrahma, Král, Yarmolenko, Baptise, Fredericks, Alese
Sunderland got tonked by Arsenal last night in the Elk Cup 1/4 final at the Emirates Stadium, one player who was conspicuous by his absence was Frederik Alves who is on loan from West Ham, the youngster having been dropped for having a poor attitude during training!
Well, correct us if we are wrong, but the whole point of sending players out on loan is generally to give them game time isn't it? So it is little wonder that Alves is a bit miffed at the miserly amount of playing time allocated to him while at the 'Black Cats'.
Despite the Omicron variant of Covid's rampaging progress, the Africa Cup of Nations is currently due to go ahead as planned, the tournament which had been postponed for one year is due to kick off on January the 9th 2022 and runs until the 6th of February. ALL participating players Have to be in Africa TEN days ahead of the event starting, as a result Premier League players will miss the Premier League fixtures due to be played on New Year's day.
Hammers pursuit of more firepower to help enliven the club's faltering Champions League aspirations is about to come up against 'contract impasses', with TWO of their principal targets BOTH in the final year of their contracts being made available by their clubs, however each of those clubs are demanding INSANE fees for players who can walk away on a free transfer at the beginning of June.
As things currently stand, no one seems to know the criteria for the postponement of top flight fixtures really, the rules appear to be made up on the fly because the 'interpretation' of them is left up to individual clubs who, may or may not, have other agenda's influencing their decisions.
The League Cup, Carabou Cup or even the Moose Cup or Elk Cup as some call it, is a competition that has become increasingly devalued, the final nail in it's coffin being the lack of European competition as an incentive for winning the domestic competition and the fact that Manchester City had made the Cup their own for a staggering FIVE years!
It is Panto season the lights are up and reality disappears temporarily for many, in among the grease paint and smoke onlookers dream and scare in equal measure, a good time is had by all. To celebrate the festivities further, many football fans engage in that well known hypothetical board game, player transfer and all its derivates.
Hammers games scheduled to be played in the next fortnight are now increasingly looking as if they will be postponed, they include the League Cup Quarter Final away to Tottingham at 19:45 on Wednesday the 22nd of December and the following Premier League fixtures.
Occasionally in football, managers are faced with problems they could only dream of having. Trying to fit three world class and in-form players into a system that only allows for two for example. Deciding on which competition to concentrate on is another and that is exactly the dilemma that David Moyes is facing.