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Hi all. A West Ham fan here, looking forward to your visit on Sunday. I also write for a West Ham site, a pre match preview and I was hoping that I could tap you up for some info before the game. I have a few questions:-

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Please feel free to ask as few or as many questions as you like. If you want to know anything about West Ham, including matchday stuff, just ask.

Cheers

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Best side for me: Big Brad, Ooijer, Tugay, Savage, Benni

To bruise: Big Brad, Todd, Neill, Mokoena, Nonda

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best: Emerton has been absolutely astounding this season; we've been badgering him for the last 2-3 seasons but he's been faultless thus far this term. Bentley too is really coming on leaps and bounds, and benni has settled in well. Even savage deserves a mention; he's beginning to look like the player we spent 3m on.

Worst: Gamst (as he likes to be known) has not been up to his usual standards, but i must add that he does offer protection to the left back. Ooijer had a rough start as you would know, but seems to be settling down now. Moko's never been one of the better players technically. This may be controversial, but in my opinion, neill, who is error-prone and suspect positioning, would be one of the worst in the team now.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

It was a case of us finding our feet i guess, and the salzburg game set us off on a nice run. The loss of nelsen was crucial for me, as he's quite clearly our best defender since hendry and getting to terms with such a loss understandly took a while. the loss of tugay for the opening 3 matches probably played a part as well; despite his age, he still the one who makes us tick. we could also do with reidy back.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths: Astute, composed, articulate, doesnt crave media attention but will get his point across when needed, protects the club and players, and most importantly, doesnt take and talk nonsense (like a certain manager of a club near you)

Weaknesses: He's a manc and will probably walk there the moment ferguson steps down.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Mccarthy and Bellamy (if only)

Seriously, we havent had a serious look at all pairings so we can't really give a definitive answer. But its surely Mccarthy and one other. Jeffers has looked promising, Roberts creates havoc when he comes on, and Nonda's been steady if not prolific.

Question for you Upton: What's your prediction for sunday's score? And do you think tevez and/or mascherano will score on sunday? (i think tevez is a nailed on to score personally, and i'm sure i'm not the only one on this board who thinks so [just being a pessimistic rover]). Cheers.

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1. Friedel - Neill - Bentley, Tugay - Benni

2. Best: Emerton Worst: don't know, Pedersen seems to be struggling atm, Ooijer did struggle a few weeks back..

3. Finally found a back 4 that is working well together. Savage and Tugay is on top of their game atm in the centre of the park. Other players who are vital atm is Benni and Bentley

4. Seems to very calm, he doesn't tell his players of to the press. Whats supposed to be in the dressing room, stays there. Fantastic man management. Weaknesses: Don't know really, but I sometimes thinks he makes his substitutions a bit too late.

5. Think it is Benni and Roberts, although Benni and Nonda have worked well together in the absence of Roberts.

Edited by pks1984
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I'll have a go...

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Friedel, Emerton, Tugay, Savage, McCarthy. Good question.

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best: Savage, Bentley, Tugay, Friedel

Worst: Gamst, Ooijer (but he's getting better)

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

We've tidied things up a lot in defence. Emerton took a while to settle into defending again, Neill has been playing in an unfamiliar position and Ooijer was new to the Prem. Benni has started to find the net and the improving form of Bentley and, in particular, Savage has helped immensely. Tugay was suspended for the first three which didn't help.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths: Genius in the transfer market with no warchest; A cool head; Tactically sound.

Weaknesses: Slow to change things during games; Former Manc.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

In my opinion, Roberts and McCarthy, but we haven't seen enough of it yet due to Roberts' injury.
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Hello and welcome to the board.

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Json Brown, Aaron Mokoena (manager mark Hughes said at a fans forum that his name would be first on the team sheet in a five-a-side, if I remember correctly, so that is good enough for me), Brett Emerton, Robbie Savage, Shabani Nonda.

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Morten Gamst Pedersen has probably been one of the worst. It seems these days that his team mates are simply not willing to channel very much play through him at all, and besides, he has not found the net this season, which is just about the only reason why he was in the team last year. He missed a sitter against Wisla Krakow in the UEFA Cup last week and really dos not deserve his place in the side anymore.

Andre Ooijer had a terrible start but has improved, while Jason Roberts has not scored due to a combination of injury and poor form.

Our best player has surely been Benni McCarthy. He has scored approximately one goal every two matches and has been a fine replacement for Craig Bellamy.

Emerton has finally come good for Rovers, as I always knew he would, playing at right back. His fitness and intensity and genuine willingness to run his socks off has made him one of the best, if not the best player, for the team this season. He has kept Lucas Neill out of the position.

David Bentley looks to be coming good as well on the right wing. His crosses have brought us goals and his team mates seem to channel a lot of their play through him.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

It simply took a while for our side to gel because it was considerably different than last season's team. This is especially true up front where we have four new strikers all vying for two places. McCarthy took a short while to come through for us, but he finally did and we are all the better for it.

Ooijer and Khizanishvili have also been improving their pairing in central defence.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

The manager's strength is the amount of preparation he puts into each match and with training. It is a big separture from the Graeme Souness days when the defence was more often than not very leaky and the teamlooked tactically inept come the final two years of his career. Rarely do we seem to get beaten tactically under Hughes. We are also fitter and we know from not just Hughes but the players that he wants to have the fittest side in the Premiership. Training sessions are done at match competitiveness.

I always have blind faith in our manager, so he has no weaknesses. ;) Well, sometimes he is a bit stingy with substitutions.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

McCarthy and Nonda. They seem to be a brilliant combination - McCarthy as a poacher and Nonda as pacey striker. Plus they are both the best ability wise - they are shades above Roberts and good old Francis Jeffers, although Nonda really has not produced the goods as of yet. I would like to buy him permanently, though (he is on loan from Roma).

Edited by James No. 7
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Question for you Upton: What's your prediction for sunday's score? And do you think tevez and/or mascherano will score on sunday? (i think tevez is a nailed on to score personally, and i'm sure i'm not the only one on this board who thinks so [just being a pessimistic rover]). Cheers.

Not quite in a position to predict a score yet, but I am a little fearful of everyone at the moment. What none of us can work out is a team that was so good last season is so poor this. It's kind of like we have about six or seven players with Gamst syndrome (ie good players out of sorts).

Tevez does look decent though and I suspect when he gets it right he'll be worth the entrance money on his own. Mascerano is a holding midfielder whos struggling with the pace of the Premiership.

Cheers for all the replies so far, keep em coming. :tu:

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Hi all. A West Ham fan here, looking forward to your visit on Sunday. I also write for a West Ham site, a pre match preview and I was hoping that I could tap you up for some info before the game. I have a few questions:-

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Please feel free to ask as few or as many questions as you like. If you want to know anything about West Ham, including matchday stuff, just ask.

Cheers

Are you a spy? Walls have ears!

However to answer your questions:

1. You tell us yours first.

2. See answer 1.

3. Sparky.

4. Strengths: Too many to mention.

Weaknesses: None.

5. Dickov and Kuqi.

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Best side for me: Big Brad, Ooijer, Tugay, Savage, Benni

To bruise: Big Brad, Todd, Neill, Mokoena, Nonda

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best: Emerton has been absolutely astounding this season; we've been badgering him for the last 2-3 seasons but he's been faultless thus far this term. Bentley too is really coming on leaps and bounds, and benni has settled in well. Even savage deserves a mention; he's beginning to look like the player we spent 3m on.

Worst: Gamst (as he likes to be known) has not been up to his usual standards, but i must add that he does offer protection to the left back. Ooijer had a rough start as you would know, but seems to be settling down now. Moko's never been one of the better players technically. This may be controversial, but in my opinion, neill, who is error-prone and suspect positioning, would be one of the worst in the team now.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

It was a case of us finding our feet i guess, and the salzburg game set us off on a nice run. The loss of nelsen was crucial for me, as he's quite clearly our best defender since hendry and getting to terms with such a loss understandly took a while. the loss of tugay for the opening 3 matches probably played a part as well; despite his age, he still the one who makes us tick. we could also do with reidy back.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths: Astute, composed, articulate, doesnt crave media attention but will get his point across when needed, protects the club and players, and most importantly, doesnt take and talk nonsense (like a certain manager of a club near you)

Weaknesses: He's a manc and will probably walk there the moment ferguson steps down.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Mccarthy and Bellamy (if only)

Seriously, we havent had a serious look at all pairings so we can't really give a definitive answer. But its surely Mccarthy and one other. Jeffers has looked promising, Roberts creates havoc when he comes on, and Nonda's been steady if not prolific.

Question for you Upton: What's your prediction for sunday's score? And do you think tevez and/or mascherano will score on sunday? (i think tevez is a nailed on to score personally, and i'm sure i'm not the only one on this board who thinks so [just being a pessimistic rover]). Cheers.

Are you a 5th columnist? You should be arrested and interrogated for giving vital information to the enemy.

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Well done Mum; dont let them break you down!

These youngsters have no idea; giving vital info to the enemy, Bah! Especially to one that wears claret and blue!!! :ph34r:

What makes it worse is the speed with which the traitors replied, they couldn't impart the information fast enough :angry:

How do we know that Upton333 is not Pardew in disguise? :unsure:

Mum's the word ;)

(hangings will take place at dawn...)

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Friedel, Neill, Emerton, Savage, Benni

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best - Emerton (for turning himself around), McArthy (for adapting to the premier league so well), Bentley (coming along in leaps and bounds)

Worst - Nil

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

Standard start for Rovers - right on course to wheel away another European berth at the end of the season. No transformation - we just played the top teams in the early rounds.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths - he seems to have the lot so far. He is an astute, composed, tactician, who is well spoken. He clearly has the backing of board and staff and he is media savvy. A lot of clubs would like to have that in a manager.

Weaknesses - we've not seen any.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Benni - Roberts.

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Brad, Neill, Emerton, Tugs, Benni

Mark Hughes

Strengths man management and getting the best out of his team, weaknesses tactical experience against european competition

Benni and Nonda

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Hi all. A West Ham fan here, looking forward to your visit on Sunday. I also write for a West Ham site, a pre match preview and I was hoping that I could tap you up for some info before the game. I have a few questions:-

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Please feel free to ask as few or as many questions as you like. If you want to know anything about West Ham, including matchday stuff, just ask.

Cheers

Obviously I will be shot at dawn for this:

1. From a full strength squad; Brad, Emerton, Nelsen, Reid, Benni would be a pretty unbeatable combination for speed, resilience, creativity and fitness. The non-contact aspect of 5 aside would make Sav useless.

2. Benni (goal every other game), Bentley and Emerton (great improvements), Ooijer and Zura (looking such a class central defensive partnership now that nobody is bewailing the absence of Todd or Nelsen). Savage has played some of the most effective games since we signed him and Tugay is enjoying his fourth or fifth Indian summer. On the downside, MGP has been off the boil and there has to be a nagging worry about Neill at left back.

3. Opening fixtures of Pompey away, Everton home, Chelsea home didn't look too tough on paper but look where those three are in the table now. Add to that a central defence finding its bearings and four new strikers so it is not surprising it took a bit to get into our stride. The reality is that Rovers have been putting in top 6 performances now for 18 months- we had to be that good to get ourselves up from relegation Souey soup to mid-table safety at the end of Hughes' first season so current form is more a case of normal service resumed.

4. ProZone is perfect and Mark Hughes and backroom team are nearly perfect.

5. Benni/Nando starting with Roberts coming on from the bench to be a superior version of Kuqi (but without the goals so far) seems to be Sparky's preference and working pretty well. Jeffers has looked promising when given a go.

Edited by philipl
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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Friedel, Zurab, Tugay, Bentley, Gallagher (only of my teams he would get in, but he's got great talent).

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best player is a tough one, Tugay and Savage have been immense, as has Zurab because he's mothered Ooijer through the tough beginning. Another player who deserves a mention is Dave Bentley, really improved this season and now a genuine threat.

Worst player, Morten Gamst Pedersen deserves this honour for his non existant performances.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

The players have got back to working harder than the opposition and doing the things we do well, we once again ensure we EARN the right to play the football rather than strolling on the pitch thinking we have that right already.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Mark Hughes is a great manager, gets the best out of his players, has them physically fitter than they have ever been, helped immensely by a great backroom team.

The only weakness I can really see is that we have a problem playing two games in one week at the tempo we need to play at, thats maybe not Hughes' fault but its a problem. We start too slow after a midweek game and it will cost us soon.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

For me at the moment it has to be Nonda and McCarthy, however I do think that Jason Roberts will have a big part to play, but just at the moment I rate Nonda highly and if he bag a couple of goals I think he'll be a big threat, and they make a great duo.

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

brad, zurab, tugay, gallagher, mcCarthy

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

WORST: Pedersen and ooijers 1st few performances. BEST: the rest of them!

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

to begin with -plain solid work and after a few good results- the self belief has returned.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

strengths: man management, tactical nouse, well respected in the game and he's wizzard in the transfer market. weaknesses: the media dont give him and his staff enough credit.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Benni and Nonda.

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

My choice would be: Friedel, Mokoena, Savage, Tugay, McCarthy

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best Player: Emerton - Since moving from right wing to right back, he's gone from being our most useless player to one of the best. He manages to be more of an attacking threat coming from right back, and other than one goal against City has been faultless. I can't think of a better full-back in the division.

Worst Player: Gamst - Totally lacking confidence, desperately needs a goal.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

I think Rovers main strength under Hughes has been the incredible fitness levels of the players. Now the players are reaching the match fitness levels expected - the results are coming. Sunday was a still a good performance - including shots blocked we had over 30 attempts on goal! The new back-line is starting to gel a bit too - it's essentially a new back four. Our right-backs moved to left back, our right-winger moved to right back, and we brought Ooijer in - who after a terrible start is finding his feet.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Hughes is supported by an excellent coaching team. Together they use a lot of new training techniques - and as a result we have a very fit team, strong and fast, and a good team spirit. Hughes has a certain aura about him too - I think even though he's a quiet man - he's someone the players want to listen to and learn from. He's also proved to be shrewd in the transfer market - Nelsen and McCarthy being the stand out signings.

As for weaknesses - their hasn't been many showing so far. If I was being ultra-critical, Sparky sometimes can leave it late to make substitutions - when the game seems to be crying out for a change.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

At the moment it's McCarthy and Nonda - but Roberts has looked good coming off the bench. Roberts and Nonda are powerful and quick, and McCarthy is a pre-2000 style Dwight Yorke player - dropping off the main striker. Think Nonda and Roberts need a goal or two to really get going.

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Friedel, Zurab, Tugay, Bentley, McCarthy

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best : Emerton, Bentley have improved immensely as has Savage

Worst: Pederson, performances make me wonder why he plays at all, hopefully a goal or two will bring back the confidence and performances, otherwise I'm sure he'll be the latest player of ours to linked with the Spuds!.

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

Coming up against in-form teams with a side of new players just gelling and with Tugay suspended for those games didn't help. But now that everyone has had a chance to get to know everybody and with everybody back, it's no wonder we're playing as well as we have recently.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths: Tactical, has one of the best coaching staff in the Premiership, well the ones with the most coaching badges anyway, comes across very well in the media, very astute in the transfer market and hasn't really wasted any of the funds he's had available to spend.

Weaknesses: He may come across well in the media, but he still doesn't get the credit when it's deserved.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

McCarthy and Nonda

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I think the thing that sparked the transformation was beating Salzburg, that got our season going.

When we went down to Portsmouth first game of the season I think our players just expected them to roll over. After that we slowly started getting our stuff together.

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Hi all. A West Ham fan here, looking forward to your visit on Sunday. I also write for a West Ham site, a pre match preview and I was hoping that I could tap you up for some info before the game. I have a few questions:-

1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Brad, Neill, Savage, Bentley, Benni Mc.

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best - Savage - Worst Gamast Pedersen

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

Solidness and everyones works for each other - the future is bright - the future isnt orange (sorry Oojier!)

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths - Gets the best out of players.

Weakness - if any! (and im picking a bit here) needs to give young players ie Peter a chance.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

Nonda, Benni Mc.

Please feel free to ask as few or as many questions as you like. If you want to know anything about West Ham, including matchday stuff, just ask.

Cheers

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1. If the game against West Ham was a five a side, how would your team line up?

Brad, Ooijer, Emerton, Savage, Benedict .

2. Who have been your best and worst players so far?

Best - Emerton

Crap - Mgp

3. From a less than spectacular start, you seem right back on course (Sunday's madness aside)! What has sparked the transformation?

Emerton and Mccarthy looking a classier player then Bellamy

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Mark Hughes?

Strengths -

Dropping Micky Gray, excellent in the transfer market most times.

Weakness -

Wont drop MGP.

Id like to see him use his substituions more, giving players like Gally and jeffers more time from the bench.

Signing Jason Roberts, wont score more then 10 goals this season.

5. Which combo forms your best striking duo?

benedict and chris.

---

One question why is your manager so bloody Smug?

Also its good to see Marlon Scarewood has shown his true class this season a championship standard player.

Edited by wakefieldrawks
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Rover all time Premier Leadue 5 a side team?

Flowers

Le Saux

Pearce

Duff

Shearer

Sub (un used)

Atkins!

(note I am thinking 5 a side - as I probabily would not have some of these in a 11 a side.)

Tugay would have to get in! He'd be immense at five-a-side!

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