View from the Other Side: West Ham

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Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League
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Alex Rogers spoke to West Ham News about the Premier League opener against the Hammers at Anfield today.

The first game of the season for Liverpool is nearly upon us and I couldn’t be more excited! Later today, we face West Ham who could give us problems as they will be looking for something to prove after a lacklustre season last time out.

Rousing the Kop spoke to West Ham News (@whufc_news) about the upcoming game to see what a Hammers point of view would be regarding the transfer window, West Ham prospects for the season and the upcoming game.

West Ham have done very well in the transfer market this year, acquiring some quality signings well as Premier League winning manager Pellegrini. How much do you think your squad has improved and what would you rate your window out of ten?

Many have tipped this transfer window as being one of the best in our recent history and it would be hard to disagree. West Ham supporters have been extremely frustrated with the lack of investment since moving to the London Stadium and finally, our prayers seem to have been answered with approximately £100m being splashed out this summer.

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I believe the signings we have made are of huge potential, and that we have massively strengthened our attacking options, which quite clearly indicates the way in which Manuel Pellegrini wants his West Ham side to play.

However on the flip side, many of our new acquisitions are still unproven in the Premier League, so I think it would be a bit premature to say it has been an outstanding window. Myself and many others believe that we perhaps missed a trick in failing to capture a class CDM and I hope that does not come back to haunt us.

Overall though I think it is fair to say this window has exceeded the expectations of many of us, so I will rate it at a 7.5/10.

Liverpool have also done very well in the transfer window this year. From a West Ham point of view, how do you think we did out of ten?

Like ourselves, I think Liverpool have had a very good transfer window, and I would rank them in the top 3 in the PL in terms of their business this summer.

It goes without saying that you have lost many points and important results due to goalkeeping errors, not just last season but for many before that too. So to sign someone of Alisson’s calibre will definitely turn out to be a major coup in my opinion, regardless of the price tag, and it could be the difference between you winning a trophy and not winning one this season.

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Midfield is also the obvious area in which Liverpool could have improved their starting XI this summer and the signings of Keita & Fabinho leaves you with a much stronger side now.

I have always stressed that Liverpool need good back up for their front 3 and with Sturridge and Origi back, and the addition of Shaqiri, your squad is now a lot stronger than it was last season, which is incredibly important as in my opinion your depth was not good enough and cost you on many occasions.

Overall I would rate your transfer window as 8.5/10, with the only disappointment being not signing an extra attacking player (e.g Fekir).

West Ham finished 13th last year but the general consensus from what we’ve seen is that most West Ham fans feel they could’ve done better. What are your prospects for this season?

A lot of West Ham fans are feeling optimistic about this season and after appointing a world class manager and spending £100m, it is hard to not be excited.

At the same time, I think many of us are wary of the time it may take for our players to gel and for Pellegrini’s style of play to be instilled into our side. Many people have drawn comparisons with us and Everton last summer and it is important to avoid underachieving as much as they did.

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If you look broadly at our league rivals, it is fair to say that many of them have also done some good business, which is likely to make the league very competitive this season. The last two seasons at the London Stadium have been far from good enough with us flirting with relegation on both occasions.

Therefore, steering clear of that this year, playing some attractive football and ending with a comfortable top 10 finish along with a good cup run would probably be enough to appease many of our fans, with the ambition to progress season upon season from there.

Liverpool’s front three last year was arguably one of the best in the world last year. What are your thoughts about coming up against the likes of Firmino, Salah and Mané and how do you think you’ll do to try and counter them?

For me, watching Liverpool’s Klopp and their front 3 last season was an absolute pleasure and not many teams were able to cope with them. I would expect us to perhaps sit deep (as most underdogs would) and narrow, limiting the space in behind and between the lines for Liverpool to create chances.

Of course, it is easier said than done though. With Anderson and Antonio out wide, that could put us in a promising position to counter a makeshift Liverpool back four and who knows what Arnie can come up with.

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Coming up against MFS presents an enormous challenge but as it is the first game of the season I feel like we can learn a lot from playing against such a fluid and dangerous front 3 and take what we have learnt from that into the rest of the season.

And finally, what’s your score prediction for Sunday?

I don’t think we will get blown away and believe we will be able to make a few chances with our attack and against Liverpool’s potential back four, but at the same time I do see us struggling against your attack.

I think it’ll be a 2-1 loss, which wouldn’t be too disheartening, providing we follow it up with a win against Bournemouth next week.

Rousing the Kop would like to give a massive thank you to West Ham News (@whufc_news) for responding to our questions with some fantastic answers and wish them all the best for the upcoming season.

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