Date: 29th September 2007 at 2:57am
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Some say they are our bogey team. Some say they are the team who can beat us easily. And some say we are afraid of them. Are we? With the amount of confidence the Gunners shown in this new season, surely this time we will see it through.

Going through a very good and consistent start of the new season, the aim is to bag three points from Upton Park. Have a chat with a few Hammers Fans at Some of them are pretty confident of themselves, some of them are quite the opposite. Question is, are we confident? Hope its a good read.

Not a bad start for your team,what are your expectations this season in the Premier League?

I am a bit more optimistic with this season than your average hammer, top 6 for me. – Happy_Hammer87

Well, we’ve had a few wins, looking great in 7th position, however, we have to dominate the game against arsenal on Saturday, to bring us at least to, 5-4. –Elias

expectations are for a difficult season and a bottom half finish,10 to17 – Mambo

The season has started well for us, we have managed to pick up points against the teams around and below us, and are scoring goals, my expectations are a mid table finish with a cheeky cup run ready to build on next season. – Folex Folex

Around 10th position, a season with ups and downs – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Anything between 6th and 11th would be a nice after last season. Obviously UEFA cup spot would be great. – Seany_Boy

Somewhere around mid-table is realistic. With a bit of luck with injuries, and key players maintaining form, we might nick a UEFA Cup spot though. –MadTyrant

to build a squad capable of breaking into the top 6! Hopefully making a top 10 finish at the end of the season! – Stooby Doo 2002

New summer signings, including a former Gunner, Freddie Ljungberg, Who do you think are your new signings will be the most influential this coming new season? and why?

Dean Ashton feels like a new signing for us as he was out all of last year, he will be huge for us this season. As for summer signings, I will go with Craig Bellamy. Has had a great start for us and looks hungry. I think he will be our top scorer. As for Freddie, he needs to realise he is no longer playing with superstars and try that little bit harder if he wants to make a lasting impression – Happy_Hammer87

New signings have been great, haven’t really seen the best of Freddie, but I’m sure theres plenty to come, people like Dyer, Parker, have been injured, but I’m sure they will be fully healed, parker that is… the season in 07/08, we want to achieve top 6, and I reckon that would happen, with the class that we are showing. – Elias

Bellamy, he has pace and wants to prove Liverpool and the Barcodes wrong, so has desire too..I believe Ljungberg was a waste of money, not a bad player in the right side, but we play a different system than he will be able to cope with. – Mambo

I think Bellamy will be the most influential, AC has already spoken about his training regime and what he also expects from others, I think this positive attitude will and should run through the whole team. –Folex Folex

Bellamy the best new signing, but Ashton fit is a new signing for us, and I think he will have a good season. For Ljungberg, Faubert, Parker: they can not be judged already. Dyer was promising but unfortunately.- Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Bellamy is key because of his pace as everyone else with Pace (i.e. Dyer and Faubert) are out for most of the season. –Seany_Boy

Bellamy is already proving a tonic to the loss of Tevez, even though he is an obnoxious git. Besides, he’s more or less the only one of them that has managed to avoid serious injury. –MadTyrant

I really believe that Craig Bellamy will set Upton Park alight this season! – Stooby Doo 2002

You have beaten us twice last season, How confident are you ahead of this time against us?

you have come out the blocks quickly this season and have dominated many games you have played. Upton Park is a hard place for Arsenal to come to but I think at best west ha will get a point – Happy_Hammer87

To be honest, I think we have luck against arsenal, so I reckon that will get over the line, a prediction of 2-1 – Elias

I wasn’t confident on either of our last wins against you and I really don’t feel confident this time, I would feel more confident at your place than ours owing to the type of football we play. –Mambo

The last game at the Emirates you seem to of lost your way in the league somewhat and were having problems scoring goals, yes Green was on form that day but I do not expect the same performance from your strikers this time round and expect very little from this game. –Folex Folex

To be honest, not that confident because of Cesc the wonderboy. He is becoming one of the best players in the world. – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

– I think we will compete but I wouldn’t be surprised if revenge was on the cards. Being West Ham we are never predictable so we are just as likely to pull off a result. I will watch and bite my nails as usual. Seany_Boy

Not very. I think that Henry had become something of a millstone for you, and now he is gone the Arse are back to playing stylish football with confidence again. The b*stards. – MadTyrant

After our poor defensive performances of the last few games not that confident but with a fully fit strike force we could bang a goal in! –Stooby Doo 2002

Ahead of this game. Who do you reckon is the most dangerous Arsenal player? Why?

Fabregas. Rips defences apart with his passing and is a very clever player –Happy_Hammer87

No doubt, Adebayor, and Fabregas. You just don’t know when they’ll strike, 2 brilliant players, with the form they’ve showed in the last week, especially Fabregases strikes, and Adebayor’s Hattrick – Elias

Arsenals success based on a team not individuals, I would have to say all of them, but I do like the look of Denilson and Eduardo…. – Mambo

Well, I can state the obvious here and mention Fabregas but you play as a unit and the whole team are dangerous going forward, so, I can’t choose one at the moment. –Folex Folex

Fabregas. He is the motor of the team, scores and lets the other score. For the moment he is the best player in Europe (for me) – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Cesc is at the centre of everything so we need to be strong in midfield and a little more disciplined as a team (unlike against Newcastle).- Seany_Boy

Fabregas is your most influential player, but I think van Persie is your most dangerous. He is capable of making a goal from nothing, which you may need on Saturday if Curbishly opts for a defensive approach. – MadTyrant

Either Fabregas who is looking nothing short of magical this season or van Persie who is an all round utility man that can do almost anything on the pitch!! – Stooby Doo 2002

Which players have disappointed or underperformed so far this season for you? Why?

Lucas Neill. He was made captain and I was expecting some real good performances. He has looked un-easy and cocky at the back, making midfield runs, losing possession and giving away goals.- Happy_Hammers87

In my point of view, Lucas Neil, just not showing that class that he had last year, but I’m sure it’s just a phase, and will recover quick! –Elias

Neill, Upson, Boa Morte are the three biggest dissappointments, but all seem to have a place in the squad regardless, they are Curbishley signings though – Mambo

Without a doubt, defenders, in particular Lucas Neil for me, he showed last season why he deserved to be the captain, this season he has not been at the races. – Folex Folex

Season has only just started, so I hope Neill for example can recapture his form quick. – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Lucas Neill hasn’t been the same this season and our strongest defenders haven’t been given a chance in the league (i.e Collins and Gabbidon). Hopefully this will change because Ferdinand and Neill (in particular) seem off the pace at the moment. – Seany_Boy

Neill has been the most worrying, primarily because he has been made captain, and we have no sufficient cover at right back. However, the jury’s still out on Upson and Llungberg, and Bobby didn’t look too clever in the first couple of games either. Add the usual suspects, Carlton Cole and Boa Morte, to the mix, and you can see why so many on this forum are pessimistic about our prospects. – MadTyrant

Lucas Neill has been a bit shakey to the start of the season especially when he played so well towards the back end of last year! – Stooby Doo 2002

Who have been your best players so far this season and who do you think could make the difference for you this Saturday?

Hayden Mullins and Matty Ethrington. Two fringe players last year have really tried hard this season and have played out of their skins, but the player who will make a difference on Saturday is Mark Noble – Happy_Hammers87

So fair, Ashton, Bowyer And Rob green, fantastic 2 goals from ashton, 2 goals from Bowyer, and a terrific 3 clean sheets for Rob Green. On Saturday, I think the difference would be to start freddie and parker, as parker has been out all season. I also think Bellamy is a real gun to our side. –Elias

Green..Mullins..Noble and Bellamy have been our best players, but I think Bowyer and Noble attacking from deep might just cause you a problem because you wont be able to play a high defensive line with the pace of Bellamy and the touch of Ashton – Mambo

Craig Bellamy has performed for us this season and so has Etherington, as for Saturday, Bellamy (If Fit) and Ashton will be your problem. –Folex Folex

Maybe Noble because he always gives more than 100% effort. And I hope Ashton- Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Etherington and Bellamy have been on form. Hopefully the likes of Collins, Gabbidon and Parker can come in to add some more strength to the team, whilst a fit again Bellamy is desperately needed. –Seany_Boy

Bellamy, the reborn Etherington and Mullins, Noble, and Bowyer. Ashton’s getting there too. The player to make a difference on Saturday will be Bellamy, if fit. – MadTyrant

Craig Bellamy, Matthew Etherington, Dean Ashton and Hayden Mullins have all played very well at the start of the season but I feel that Dean Ashton is most likely to be on the scoresheet as his hunger is definitly there!- Stooby Doo 2002

Alan Curbishley, your current manager, do you think he is the right man to take you even further up the table?

Hard to say, this is his first full season in charge and is now his own team. Time will tell- Happy_Hammers87

Alan Curbishley is one of the greatest coaches ive seen coach west ham, hes ability to get us out of Relegation which Alan pardew left us with, the ability to change a team around from 19th Position to 7th, I think he is a fantastic coach, and he is the ONE for west ham. – Elias

Nope, he is already higher than he expected to get and has said that mid table is good enough for him this year…He is ok to steady the club, but not what will be required in a year or two, to push on to join the elite –Mambo

For now, I think Alan is the right man to build the foundation of this new regime, I am not fully convinced he is the man to deliver the Champions League football that the chairman is asking for though. –Folex Folex

I think he will always save us from relegation but not take us further up the table.- Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

He could be but seems to have his favourites. The likes of Upson and Ferdinand are good individuals but haven’t w*rked together so we need the gaffer to choose players for form, rather than playing favourites to prove they were worth the expenditure. –Seany_Boy

Impossible to say, he has no experience at that level. His record with Charlton indicates that we should be solid enough to steer clear of trouble, and perhaps make the UEFA Cup. However, it remains to be seen whether he can attract truly world class players to the club in the next year or so, and also whether he can motivate such individuals to perform for him. Good job so far though.- MadTyrant

Yes, he is a dying breed of manager who knows what english football is about! He has spent a long time in the game and is a local boy! Players may not want to come to him YET but he has yet to experience big success hopefully something the club can w*rk on for the next 4 or 5 years! – Stooby Doo 2002

What do you expect Arsenal to finish by this season, can we win the league? Trophies?

League, no. Trophies, yes, FA cup at best though I’m afraid. Injuries could wreck your season as you lack depth. – Happy_Hammers87

So fair, Arsenal look unstopable, espiecially with that 5-0 win at derby, but you must not forget that Man utd are climbing the ladder too, but I cant see chelsea winning the Title, I think Arsenal have a great chance to win the league, + Fa cups, and getting into Europe. –Elias

I think the Arse will win the league title and a domestic cup –Mambo

Well, I still think it is to early to give this prediction, but you have started well and you will be up there, If you do not win the league, I can see you coming second, as for trophies, on the domestic front, I can see you in the final of the FA Cup.-Folex Folex

If Fabregas can stay fit, uninjured and in form, you can win the league and even a trophy. IF if if – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

You’ll win a cup. With Liverpools rotation helping other teams and Man Utd still settling and obviously Chelski are all over the place. Of course teams like us may come out of nowhere and compete in the cups!

You’ll be up there for the league title as well but it depends how the African cup of Nations affects teams up there. –Seany_Boy

If you can keep your key individuals fit and in form, I think you’ll place either 1st or 2nd in a fight with Man Utd. Saving a remarkable turnaround (and Grant proving that he is no Jim Henson creation), Chelsea look to be out of the running, and I doubt that Liverpool will never challenge whilst Benitez insists on rotating in-form players.
I think you could do this season what Man Utd did a decade ago with the emerging Beckham, Scholes etc. –MadTyrant

I think Arsenal are definitly capable of winning the Premiership! They look good in every area and alot more confident than last season! I certainly think it will be a top 2 finish! As cup competitions are so much harder to predict anything is possible – Stooby Doo 2002

What sort of line-up do you expect Curbishley to field against us?

As strong as he can. Something attacking. If you want to beat arsenal you have to attack from the off – Happy_Hammers87

Well, im on my own here, but I think it would look abit like this.
Neil Upson McCartney Collins.
Etherington Bowyer Noble Parker.
Ashton, Bellamy. – Elias


I expect him to field a team that I would not expect, there seems to be a pattern here. –Folex Folex

Neill, Collins, Upson, Mc Cartney
Ljungberg, Bowyer, Noble, Etherington
Bellamy, Ashton- Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

The team will probably stay the same as against Newcastle but hopefully changes in defence with Collins or Gabbs in (preferrably both) in place of Upson and Ferdinand. May see Parker play alongside Noble, or with Mullins as part of a five man midfield (depending on injuries to forwards such as Bellamy and Zamora) –Seany_Boy

I think he’ll be up for having a go, and so will probably stick with 4-4-2. Hopefully, he’ll drop Upson and bring in Ginge to look after Adebayor.
If Bellamy isn’t fit, I think we’ll see Camara (well, we’d better not see Cole again). Shame Bobby’s crocked, he has a good record against you lot. – MadTyrant

Green,Neill,Ferdinand,Upson,McCartney,Bowyer,Noble,Parker,Etherington,Bellamy,Ashton – Stooby Doo 2002

And Finally, care to predict the results?

1-1 – Happy_Hammers87

2-1 To the hammers – Elias

UptonPark 1-3
The Emirates 1-2
points shared –Mambo

based on our defence: 2-4 –Folex Folex

0-2 – Coeur Bordeaux et Bleu

Settle for a draw. You’ve only conceded 4 goals and not lost yet so it will be very difficult. Having said that we could rise to the occasion and get a 1-0 win late on. Green needs to be on form again I feel. –Seany_Boy

With Ginge and Bellamy, 1-1. With Upson and no Bellamy, 1-2 or 1-3 to the Arse. – MadTyrant

2-1 to Arsenal – Stooby Doo 2002

Many thanks to the Hammers Fans for their time and their cooperation. May the best team win. To follow the full discussions, please click here and here.


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