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First Team

Media View: Expert insight on West Ham


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be hoping to return to winning ways when they meet Premier League counterparts West Ham at London Stadium on Thursday (7.30pm kick-off).

Back-to-back defeats by Tottenham and Liverpool came following a seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, which saw the Cherries win six and draw one.

The Hammers, who drew 1-1 at Vitality Stadium on the opening day of the season, have been in excellent form and are currently sixth in the table.

David Moyes’s team have won ten and drawn five of their 21 games in the Premier League, beating Chelsea, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Manchester United on home soil.

The Londoners, who lifted the Europa Conference League last season, are in the round of 16 in the Europa League having finished top of their group with five wins and a defeat.

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips is in contention to feature for the Hammers against the Cherries having completed a loan move from Manchester City until the end of the season.

Jarrod Bowen, who was on target when the teams met in August, is their leading goalscorer with 14, while Ghana international Mohammed Kudus has ten in all competitions.

Ahead of Thursday’s clash, afcb.co.uk caught up with Jack Rosser who covers the fortunes of the Hammers in his capacity as a sports reporter for The Sun.


Founded: 1895

Ground: London Stadium

Nicknames: The Hammers, the Irons

Record appearances: Billy Bonds – 799 games (1967-88)

Record goalscorer: Vic Watson – 326 goals in 505 games

Manager: David Moyes (appointed December 2019)

Club captain: Kurt Zouma

League position: Sixth

Leading goalscorer: Jarrod Bowen (14 in all competitions)

Last game: Sheffield United 2 West Ham 2 (Premier League)

afcb.co.uk: How would you summarise the season so far?

JR: It’s been bizarre!

There are some West Ham fans who are unhappy with what they have been watching but they are sixth in the Premier League so you can’t really argue too much.

Off the back of winning the Europa Conference League last season, there was suddenly a lot of pressure on David Moyes when things weren’t going too well.

He made a lot of changes for the Carabao Cup and they were knocked out by Liverpool but then you have a quick look at the table and there isn’t a lot to complaint about.

There seem to be some fans who want more possession but fewer points. It’s a strange one. They aren’t playing fantastic football but they are getting some fantastic results along the way which is the most important thing.

They are through to the last 16 in the Europa League and are in contention for a fourth straight season of European football. I think most teams would settle for that.

afcb.co.uk: What would represent a successful season from supporters’ point of view?

JR: Getting into Europe is the biggest thing, whether that’s through winning another trophy or finishing in the top six where they are at the moment, which would be a tall order.

They spent the money they received for Declan Rice very well. They got some exciting players in and Kalvin Phillips is another good signing.

They are in with as much chance of finishing up there as any team which isn’t one of the traditional big six.

afcb.co.uk: What do you think Kalvin Phillips can add to the squad?

JR: Control.

Moyes had been after him for a long time. They had a bid rejected in January 2022 and tried to get him before Manchester City did 18 months ago.

He brings a bit more energy and experience of the big stage and the big nights. Edson Alvarez, who they signed from Ajax in the summer, has been decent at the base of the midfield but Phillips will offer a bit more mobility and control on the ball compared to him.

That’s what Moyes and the fans want because they want to see more attractive football and being able to have someone you really trust in the middle is key to that. 

afcb.co.uk: Ins and outs so far in the transfer window?

JR: Thilo Kehrer has gone on loan to Monaco and Phillips is the only arrival at the moment. I think they want at least one more incoming.

They have accepted an offer from Lyon to sign winger Said Benrahma on loan until the end of the season. It would include an obligation to buy for £15m with the final decision in his hands.

afcb.co.uk: Who is their one to watch?

JR: Mohammed Kudus has been a fantastic signing for them. He took a little while to get going after signing from Ajax in the summer for £38m.

Moyes dipped him in and out and it took him a few games to get his first start for the club. Once he got in, he hasn’t looked back.

He’s been such a good player for them and already looks a bit of a bargain at £38m.

He’s been away with Ghana at AFCON but he’ll be back for the Bournemouth game and will be a real threat. He was really hitting his strides before he went away.

afcb.co.uk: How is David Moyes away from the microphone and the media glare?

JR: He’s fantastic. He’s always up front and honest with his team news which isn’t the case with a lot of managers nowadays.

We have a really good connection with him and a real understanding of what he wants to do and why he does things.

He always makes the effort to give you those little bits of insight which really help informed reporting and, hopefully, help the readers and fans.

afcb.co.uk: Are any key players either injured, suspended or away on international duty?

JR: Michail Antonio and Lucas Paquetá are both injured. Nayef Aguerd is still away on international duty but Kudus is back.

afcb.co.uk: How do you see this one panning out and what’s your score prediction? 

JR: It’s going to be interesting. I’ve really enjoyed watching Bournemouth this season. They are a lot more front foot and attacking than West Ham so that might play into West Ham’s game.

I think it’s going to be end to end. With Phillips coming in and Kudus coming back, I think West Ham might just edge it 2-1.

You can follow Jack on X (formerly Twitter) – @JackRosser_

Officials: Tim Robinson (referee), Gary Beswick (assistant), Adam Nunn (assistant), Darren England (fourth official), Simon Hooper (VAR).

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