West Ham set to repeat history against Aston Villa

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Carlton Cole West Ham Aston VillaDo you know when the last time West Ham won four home games on the trot in the Premier League was? Astonishingly, the answer is over twelve years ago during the 2001/2002 season when Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers (managed by Sam Allardyce), were put to the sword in successive matches at the Boleyn Ground by Glenn Roeder’s side.

The game against Aston Villa on Saturday represents a fantastic opportunity to achieve this feat once again for the in form Hammers. Villa are in a dreadful run of form having lost in each of their last six league matches, scoring just one goal in the process. In addition, they are going into the match without their star striker Christian Benteke, who is serving a three-match suspension having been sent off in the Villains last game against Tottenham Hotspur.

In contrast, West Ham have only been defeated once during the last seven fixtures, winning four times in that spell, and currently sit in a healthy fifth position in the league. It is therefore very foreseeable that the bookmakers will have West Ham down as a banker home victory for this one, and that many punters will be putting West Ham as one of the first options on their accumulators this weekend.

Indeed, it would be dreadfully disappointing if the Hammers were unable to claim all three points at the weekend, especially considering that both Liverpool and Manchester City have been defeated at Upton Park during the current three game winning streak on home turf. To lose to Aston Villa after that would really like a real wasted opportunity to capitalise on such a great start to the season.

That being said, it is vitally important that justified optimism on the part of fans and players alike is not replaced by expectation and even complacency. Complacency could be the biggest challenge to West Ham’s chances on Saturday, and it may be difficult to reproduce the sort of form that saw them defeat Man City a couple of weeks ago against a much weaker side. No game is a guaranteed victory in this league, and Villa, although low on confidence, will certainly not roll over without a fight.

The West Midlanders are likely to make themselves as compact as possible, and look to hit West Ham on the break, which is their strength. As a result, it may well be the case that the home side will find it hard work to break the Villa defence down, and the players and fans must remain patient if so.

To be honest it would be typical of the West Ham we have known over the years to lose a game such as this on the back of a series of good results. So the players must be fully motivated for the fixture, and I am sure Sam Allardyce will demand this from them.

Also it is vital that the fans stay fully supportive of the players, and provide a good atmosphere throughout even if things aren’t going the way we want them to right from the start. This has been a bit of a problem for me over the past few seasons especially; when a section of the support tend to get on the backs of the players and manager far too quickly when they think certain teams are there for the taking. This issue was particularly prominent a few years ago in the Championship promotion campaign during several home matches.

Let’s hope that the Hammers can put on another entertaining and enthralling home performance helped by a fantastic atmosphere from the fans, as was the case two weeks ago against Manchester City. 20 points from 11 games would be a brilliant return going into the international break – let’s make sure it happens.

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