FIVE things West Ham must change ahead of the Crystal Palace game

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Andy Carroll Crystal Palace1:The personnel!  Quite an obvious change here for number 1! Whilst Kevin Nolan and Joey O’Brien didn’t have horrendous games against Spurs, I think they have to go. They are no longer Premier League standard, and even calling them suitable back-up is pushing the boat out a bit far these days. Mauro Zarate and Carl Jenkinson are two perfect replacements and are, in everyone’s eyes, vast improvements!

Ricardo Vaz Te was horrendous the last game, but I can’t see anyone taking his place, unless we see a real radical change from Big Sam with a 4-4-2 and playing Zarate on the left with Enner Valencia up front! That brings me to my next change, and that’s Valencia in for Carlton Cole. I like Cole but he isn’t good enough to lead the line of a team that is pushing for top 10. Finally James Tomkins in for James Collins, a pretty straightforward swap.

2: I actually don’t want the formation to change from the beginning, just the mentality. If we play Zarate behind Valencia we have basically two strikers on the pitch, but I do think that Zarate would work better off Valencia, in the number 10 spot. It is pivotal, however, that Sam lets Zarate know he has to get forward more often than not, and leave the tracking back to Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble! I also noticed David Gold’s tweet about Ravel Morrison impressing in training with Teddy Sheringham! I think that when Ravel is integrated into the squad a bit better, he will fit seamlessly into the hole behind Valencia, and be a perfect alternative to Zarate!

3: Tactical timing has to be better from Sam this time round. Whilst I do think a 4-2-3-1 is our best suited formation, (with Zarate more or less a second striker) if we are way on top, and we do have a lot of possession, Sam needs to push Zarate into a more advanced position, and if its Nolan that’s starting, which it probably will be, he needs to bring on a second striker. Sam only has himself to blame for not scoring against Spurs, and let’s hope he doesn’t make the same mistake twice! That goes for other areas of the pitch too! I don’t know how Vaz Te wasn’t taken off at half time for Zarate. I know Zarate isn’t naturally a winger but I’m convinced that Jussi Jaaskelainen could have done better than Vaz Te.

4: Going against the rules a bit here, but the Spurs game wasn’t all that bad, so here is one thing I would like to see the same. The intensity against Spurs was great. That has to be at the same level all year round, not just during derbies. If the intensity falls it is Sam’s job to bring it back up and motivate the lads, or by making changes, and the former is one thing I think Sam can do!

5: The last change is a small one, but one I think needs to happen. Elliot Lee needs to be on the bench at least. He has massive potential and could well be the striker Sam has been looking for all summer. He has done really well for the youth teams and deserves a chance. If he isn’t in the squad for the Palace game, I hope he is for the Capital One cup game, if only to keep the supporters happy!

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  • Canchaz says:

    If either Valencia or Sakho are not upfront Sat. Sam will have taken a giant step toward the exit.
    All in all I like the lineup, except if Nolan plays, the Zarate has to replace Vaz.

    • Simon says:

      Drop CCole, Vaz Te and Nolan – we have plenty of options in the squad to cope – Diame, Zarate, Valencia, Sakho, Poyet for a start. Im not a fan of the sack Sam brigade, but if he numbs the teams potential again with the inclusion of CCole, Vaz Te and Nolan, then if his job was cut short soon after i wouldnt be bothered, im sick of his blinkered approach and dumb decisions affecting outcomes and then listening to him moan about it – and with Moyes and Pulis out there i wouldnt be worried either, probably relieved tbh – this season in think we have a great squad with immense potential, but its blatantly obvious Sam has either had little to do with them being purchased or is clueless when it comes to seeing their potential and thus inhibits their involvement in the team – seeing CCole and Vaz Te selected amazed me last week, as did seeing Diame sitting on the bench instead considering the game he played against Sampdoria the week before, Nolan i thought did pretty well but i agree we have better options to choose from to fill that role, however the result against Spurs wasnt such a surprise considering who Sam selected and the decisions he made thereafter, i cant see it long before Sam gets the boot regardless of the results we achieve until it happens, but he only has himself to blame. COYI

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