04/05: Preview: Wigan Athletic
by Matt Rowson
How did they do?
"Dyer tested Bywater at the other end with the first Watford shot on twenty-one minutes after good work from Chris Baird, as the Hornets briefly took advantage of a period of West Ham reluctance to exploit the end of season spliff frenzy the majority of the team appeared to have taken. Cook forced Bywater into another save shortly afterwards, and Baird looked lively in both attack and defence. After Chamberlain had done well to tip over under pressure from Hutchison, it was another dead ball situation that effectively ended the game. Etherington's corner was met by Christian Dailly, who outjumped Mahon to make it 2-0 just before the break. Why do we not have a player on the back post? A first half as bad as any since Palace in January, the game and the season could not end quickly enough."
How will they do?
When the Hammers murdered us at Upton Park at the beginning of May it seemed inconceivable that they'd be in the division this season. Apparently in gear at the right time - we had our failings that day, one unfit and one novice centreback for starters, but it wasn't all down to us - you'd have taken short odds on West Ham prevailing in the play-offs. So how well they do this season kind of depends on how quickly they recover from the blow of suddenly not being promoted. With the disruptive Connolly on his bike - no surprise given Pardew's reluctance to sign him at Reading - good competition arriving for the keeping position and plenty of strikers to find a potent combination from, West Ham should do it this time. Champions for me. And we won't beat them, obviously.