Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te grab the goals as West Ham register their first win on the road. Adel Taarabt climbs off the bench to fire home a superb strike but Mark Hughes’ side lose yet again to remain in the bottom three…
The Hammers skipper picked up his first attacking returns for the season by providing the assist for Jarvis’ opener. Nolan has scored in all three of his Upton Park matches thus far but prior to last night had failed to deliver on the road – he has now played a part in four of his side’s seven goals and, currently averaging in excess of five FPL points per game, is making a mockery of his current 6.3 price tag. With four home games in the next six (ARS, SOT, MCI, STO) in addition to a trip to Wigan, Nolan will surely tempt many many Fantasy managers to snap up his services before Sam Allardyce’s side play host to the Gunners next Saturday evening.
Ricardo Vaz Te
A goal and maximum bonus points confirmed his potential as a cut-price forward option across the Fantasy games. Vaz Te has started five of the Hammers’ matches and has either scored, assisted or picked up FPL bonus in four of his outings in the first XI but with Andy Carroll now fit from a hamstring injury, he could fly under plenty radars ahead of the aforementioned run of games.
Handed his first start since Gameweek 2, the former Wolves man vindicated Allardyce’s decision by firing the Hammers ahead with less than three minutes on the clock. Jarvis has struggled for game time of late – the previous two Gameweeks had harvested a couple of second-half sub appearances, with Matt Taylor preferred on the left of the front three instead. As a result, Jarvis has dropped to 0.2% ownership in FPL but bearing in mind he has racked up 130+ points for Wolves in each of the last two seasons, he could prove a decent differential alternative to Nolan over the next few matches if he continues to nail down a regular role.
While Fantasy managers are currently spoilt for choice for options up front, Andy Carroll’s return to action will have raised a few eyebrows. The big number nine may face a battle to earn a starting role after Carlton Cole’s admirable shift last night but it seems likely that Carroll will be unleashed on the Arsenal defence this weekend. He is yet to notch for the Hammers but his value to them around the penalty area, winning flick-ons and knocking the ball down for Nolan and Vaz Te, is obvious. Sam Allardyce certainly didn’t fail to notice the impact that Carroll made in just 20 minutes last night…
“His aim was to hold the ball up and be a target for us so we could stop QPR’s pressure and it changed the game back in our favour. The sending off did as well of course. Andy started holding the ball up and we started creating more chances but for some great saves from the goalkeeper we could have won this game by more.”
West Ham Defence
Allardyce is sweating on the fitness of two of his first-choice back-four ahead of the weekend clash against Arsenal. Winston Reid (concussion) and Joey O’Brien (hamstring) were both subbed off within 10 minutes of one another midway through the first period last night, with James Tomkins and George McCartney the replacements. Having conceded a single goal at home so far, the Hammers’ cut-price defenders have afforded strong value options for Fantasy managers – Guy Demel and Jussi Jaaskelainen owners will be hoping any possible absence to the other regulars won’t dim their chances of clean sheet returns over the aforementioned schedule.
The Hammers boss brought us this on the injuries post-match…
“QPR have gone out and spent a lot of money. We’ve come to their place and been the better side. We’ve had to overcome two injuries in the first half. Unfortunately Jussi knocked out Reid and then Joey felt his hamstring. We didn’t look defensively any weaker when George McCartney and James Tomkins came on, which is fantastic for me…We’ll find out how Winston is on Tuesday but he seems OK in the dressing room. The medical team think he might have had a slight concussion but hopefully he will recover in time for Saturday’s game with Arsenal.”
The mercurial Moroccan returned to action for the first time since Gameweek 1 last night. Climbing off the bench, Taarabt served a reminder of his undoubted talents with a thunderous strike to give the hosts a glimmer of hope before fellow-sub Samba Diakite’s dismissal put paid to QPR’s chances of a revival. The problem for Taarabt – and QPR in general – is that Mark Hughes has simply stockpiled so many players he seems to have no idea what his best team is. Only two players, Bobby Zamora and Ji-Sung Park, have started more than four of the side’s six games so far; there is no doubt Taarabt is clearly capable but given his manager’s incessant rotation policy, there doesn’t seem to be a single QPR player we can rely upon.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I love to attack and I love to go up front...It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. If you play the way that I want to play, I think my influence is better as a left-back. For the team, it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly, and that is one of my qualities as well.”Jan Vertonghen outlines what he feels is his best position for Andre Villas-Boas