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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: West Ham fan on Ravel Morrison and Joe Cole’s unfulfilled potential

In our final fan preview, Iain Dale from West Ham Til I Die talks about his hopes for 2013-2014 season. Follow @iaindalewestham on Twitter.

Scott: How did you rate 2012-2013 for your club?

Iain: You can’t argue with a top ten finish in your first season back in the Premier League. We would have all settled for that at the beginning of the season. Our home form was tremendous and if luck had gone our way in more away games we’d have finished even higher. In the first half of the season our defence was tremendous, with only Man United letting in fewer goals. That’s highly unusual for a West Ham side, but it shows how far team discipline has progressed under Sam Allardyce.

Scott: Who was your best player?

Iain: Winston Reid was a revelation in central defence. When he joined us four years ago he looked like a fish out of water. Today he bestrided our back four like a colossus. His timing in tackles is impeccable and he has also chipped in with the odd goal here and there.

Scott: Which player are you expecting most important in 2013-2014?

Iain: Andy Carroll. If he can remain injury free I expect 15-20 goals from him this season. He’s getting great service from Matt Jarvis on the left and Joe Cole is building up a good understanding with him.

Scott: If you could take one United player, who would it be?

Iain: Van Persie, of course.

Scott: Are you pleased Fergie’s retired?

Iain: Why would I be pleased? Fergie is without doubt the greatest club manager of all time. He was a colourful character in a sometimes monochrome game. I don’t envy Moyes in following him.

Scott: Where do you think your club will finish this season?

Iain: I’d like to see us progress a couple of places up the table. I still think we lack depth up front and need to sign another top class striker if we are to go forward. We’re also light in central defence and need a fourth central defender. In theory I ought to predict 8th or 9th, but I hesitate to do so!

Scott: Where do you think United will finish?

Iain: I think United will win the league again.

Scott: How pleased were you to see Joe Cole return?

Iain: I was delighted to see Joe Cole return. He showed in the last part of the season what a great player he still can be and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made an England return this year. He had a nightmare at Liverpool and frankly hasn’t fulfilled the potential he showed all those years ago. If he can get into double figures this year, that could be the key to whether we have a good season or not.

Scott: What are your first impressions of Ravel Morrison?

Iain: By all accounts Ravel Morrison is the real deal. Birmingham want him back but I hope he stays at Upton Park and fights for a first team place. He has been a revelation in pre-season, but of course discipline is the key with him. If he can control his head, he could make a first team breakthrough this year. Expect a few sub appearances in the first few games.

Scott: Have West Ham got a good deal in signing Andy Carroll?

Iain: Time will tell, but he was almost our player of the year. It’s his all round game that impresses. His scoring record wasn’t bad – 1 in 3, but he showed an all round commitment which perhaps we hadn’t been expecting. Newcastle supporters will know what I mean. He really fights for every ball and wins virtually every header he goes for. He’s not a typical West Ham striker, but the fact that we have taken him to our hearts says it all.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. MAN to the UNITED says:

    @goat 20:24
    I agree with all that you said there mate although as much as I hate to say it I think you were wrong about Zabaleta. He imo was 1 of there best player’s last season and he also made it into the team of the year.
    I’m very confident we will win the PL again this year. I think where we MAY struggle is in the CL. Without any signings we still have the best team in the PL but not in Europe. Imo I think we need 1 or 2 added players to be back to our best there.

    Anyway my fellow Reds! The PL is back and let us kick it off with bang against Swansea!
    My prediction is Swansea 1 – 4 Manchester United.


  2. Proverb says:

    AUGUST 17, 2013 AT 07:42
    MAN to the UNITED says:

    Anyway my fellow Reds! The PL is back and let
    us kick it off with bang against Swansea!
    My prediction is Swansea 1 – 4 Manchester

    Swansea are a well balanced team, they play some nice stuff, move the ball around quite impressively aswell.
    I genuinely don’t see us put 4 past them to be fair, although that’s just me, I’m hopeful of a win of any margin though.

    Bring it on!

  3. MAN to the UNITED says:

    @ proverb

    Your right there mate about the team Swansea have and the way they play. But I feel that with all the negativity towards united after losing SAF, and with Moyes coming in, imo I think Moyes will think he will have a point to prove to show all the doubters wrong.
    I think the players will also have the same mentality so I think any result in this match is possible.

    In Moyes We Trust!!!

  4. Proverb says:

    Yeah mate, we certainly gonna go with guns blazed determined to prove a prove a point
    It will be interesting which team moyes

  5. Proverb says:

    @MAN to the United

    Yeah mate, we certainly gonna go with guns blazed determined to prove a point
    It will be interesting to see which team moyes will go with, and how he’ll approach the match.
    Is it going to be a controlled affair or will he setup a team attack right from the word go (which I’d like) hoefully so, that’s something we’ll be able to see tonight.

  6. Proverb says:

    This phone is doing my head in.
    Typos are allover the shop jesus!

  7. MAN to the UNITED says:

    @ proverb

    That’s it exactly mate. It will all depend on the squad Moyes picks. My ideal team would be,

    De Gea
    Smalling Ferdinand Vidic Evra
    Carrick Cleverley
    Zaha/Valencia Kagawa Welbeck
    Van Persie

    That team is with Welbeck and Kagawa changing with eachother throughout the game.

  8. Proverb says:

    Ditto mate, we should see
    Can’t wait!!!

  9. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Don’t think valencia has justified a starting place this season, the younger players surely are ahead of him.

  10. Diego says:

    King Eric says:
    “Diego is being his usual self”

    What’s that? Realistic?

  11. King Eric says:

    Denton – Great post mate. The fawning over City is laughable. They have many question marks as you say. Blobby cunt Yaya is a year older and half the time can’t be fucked. Hart is dogshit. Kompany and his niggles. Don’t even get me started on Chelsea and that bastard Mourinho. Never go back to a place twice. Journo’s think he will be the difference. I aren’t so sure. He simply doesn’t have the side he had back then. Yeah there is the three amigo’s as Tyler the cunt calls them but theres no power like his old sides. His spine was Terry, Makele, Essien, Drogba. Fuck all like that now.

    Tough game today. Cannot see it being 3 or 4-1 as some suggest.

  12. King Eric says:

    Diego – Well I suppose on this one you are right, we will be fucked without Carrick. As I said though every team has it’s weaknesses.

  13. Proverb says:

    AUGUST 17, 2013 AT 09:12
    samuel – united WE stand says:

    “Don’t think valencia has justified a starting place
    this season, the younger players surely are
    ahead of him.”

    I beg to differ
    I wouldn’t play the youngsters from the off ahead of the more experienced players as yet mate, its only our first game of the season we sure don’t wanna risk anything as yet.
    I would go with experience then as the game progresses we can sub on the debuts.
    More so if we find ourselves in a comfortable position thus, less pressure and expectations off their shoulders.

  14. King Eric says:

    samuel and proverb – Yes tough one. Tony hasn’t done anythig to justify a start BUT I’d take his experience today and nous. Hard to say how Zaha and hopefully Januzaj will fare but if we don’t chuck them in we’ll never know. Zaha was shocking for Ingerlund other night aside from ball on a plate to the Beetroot packer. Bebe esque just smashing daft balls across.

  15. Rukky says:

    Haha Denton great post. Could have as well posted it as an article here(if you owned rom).My pick,’Juan Mata is terrific but I’m not convinced by the consistency of Hazard or the tiny Brazilian, Oscar – both have great talent but in the EPL (“on a rainy Tuesday in Stoke”) talent isn’t all that’s needed’ lol epic!!. Exactly what we needed today, as we go into one unusual era;one crazy pep talk! CAN HARDly STOP LOOKING AT MY CLOCK. I Predict a hardly fought 3-1 victory, and I hope dont start valencia. COMMON MOYES, MAKE US GO WILD!!!

  16. MAN to the UNITED says:

    @ Samuel
    I agree that the young ones have more to say from pre season but then again they had a lot more game time than Valencia. Also if Valencia hits form then at present I would much rather play him than the likes of Zaha and Adnan. Either way I don’t think we will struggle against Swansea today. All being said I would also like to see Jones and Chico make an appearance today as I feel they could be vital for us this season.

  17. Proverb says:

    Ideally Welbeck has a well and guaranteed spot in the starting line-up tonight
    His energy and ability to nick the ball off opposition will be vital. Him cleverley, carrick, robin van persie, evra and big dave have a guaranteed spot imo.
    Technically jones is better than big smalling, going by both players current form jones is still ahead of smalling, fabio is a candidate. If he managed to impress in training won’t harm our chances if we play him ahead of the two centerbacks but preferably I would go with jones, evans, vida & evra for our back-line.
    For our our midfield, nani if fit for the left flank then centrally, carrick and tom clevz. On the right wing valencia wins my vote regardless, his defensive nous amazing pace and deliveries if he’s to find his feet unders his old shirt number where he proved to be handful for any defender, we’ll see.

    Up front danny and RVP to set the tone.

    I’m officially excited COME on you REDS!!!!!

  18. King Eric says:

    For me Danny is an automatic starter, he’s getting THAT good. Endless energy, pace, power, beats men for fun. Great touch, can hold play up, bring men in, wins the ball in midfield. You also know that if he gets the ball deep we’ll be on edge of opposition box in seconds. Great player and I think this season he will REALLY step up a gear. Great lad, love Danny. Frightening to think what he can be like at say 25, 26 years old.

  19. Proverb says:

    I agree kind eric
    Danny is very enthusiastic, always want to be involved, he’s always at the heart of our great link ups.
    No wonder sir alex favored him
    If he can add goals to his already impressive consistency we’ll be ripping rewards whilst he scoop accolades.

  20. Proverb says:

    King eric
    Cheers for the mention

  21. King Eric says:

    Proverb – Ha no worries mate.

  22. Nesh says:

    @denton davey good write there man…. a midfield of Carrick, Ando and Kagawa and front of welbeck , RVP and Zaha would work for me, not sure about cleverly seems short of confidence the boy.


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