The inside track on West Ham with Ian 'The Moose' Abrahams of talkSPORT
16 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Better known as 'The Moose', Ian Abrahams is a well-known, West Ham-supporting voice on Alan Brazil's breakfast show on talkSPORT, so what are his thoughts on Saturday's derby? Only one way to find out...
Ian 'The Moose' Abrahams, talkSPORT
First thing's first, how is West Ham's form going into this game?
Ian: "It's certainly better than it was, but the team went through a dodgy spell when they lost against Watford, West Brom and Southampton, that was a disappointing run. Of late, results have picked up, coinciding with the return of Aaron Cresswell, who I think is one of the key men. West Ham's problem is lack of goals and they haven't a goalscorer in there with Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho both out. That means the onus is often on Michail Antonio and Dimitri Payet to score the goals. The last game against Stoke (a 1-1 draw) was pretty poor but the hope is that they will raise their game for Spurs."
Below: Michail Antonio
Who would you pick as the player of the season so far? Antonio?
Ian: "Yes, I'd go with him. He's been tremendous this season and in fact, for a year and don't forget (as if we would) that he scored the winner against you lot at Upton Park last season. I think he was unlucky not to be in the last England squad. I think the most improved player at the club is Pedro Obiang, he's been outstanding since getting into the team."
Below: Pedro Obiang
How do you think West Ham will line-up at the Lane?
Ian: "Slaven Bilic is going for three at the back at the moment and it works really well. The three would normally be Reid, Ogbonna and Kouyate, who is quality, another key player. The wing-backs should be Cresswell and Antonio. In the middle of the park it's Obiang, who has been playing well and Mark Noble, who is Mr West Ham. If Harry Kane is one of your own, Mark Noble is one of our own. He's been doing it for 10 years in the Premier League now, he's West Ham captain, he's phenomenal. You are then looking at Lanzini and Payet and then I'm not sure what Bilic will do up front. I'd like to see Ashley Fletcher given a go, but it will probably be Zaza. For me, the key selection decision is who starts in goal - Adrian or Darren Randolph. You can't argue with what Adrian has done in the last couple of years but for me, they are equal goalkeepers and you can question a couple of Adrian's decisions of late. It will be interesting to see what Slaven Bilic does."
Below: Slaven Bilic
What are your thoughts on Spurs and how do you think it will play out on Saturday?
Ian: "Fellow West Ham fans won't enjoy me saying that I enjoy going to White Hart Lane. Hugo Lloris is world-class and it will be difficult for West Ham to score goals. Dele Alli is top-class and will be for a long time to come. For me, the players who make Spurs tick are Mousa Dembele and Harry Kane up front. If those two play, it will be a diffcult afternoon for West Ham but if they don't, it will be a more even game."
Below: Harry Kane on target at the Lane last season
Finally, what does this game mean to West Ham?
Ian: "For me, it's the derby match. Millwall is closer, but West Ham don't play Millwall very often. In terms of the Premier League, this is the derby West Ham fans want to win. It's probably the biggest derby of the season, the matches home and away against Spurs. We like to win them all, but this is the one."