West Ham Cottee: We will have to be wary of my old team Leicester City
PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 March 2017
Our West Ham columnist Tony Cottee looks forward to the champions coming to the London Stadium
I’ve heard a lot of criticism from the players and my mate Tony Gale was at the game and said we didn’t play well either so when I watched the highlights I was expecting the worst.
I know highlights can be deceptive, but I have to say that it was not the bombardment I was expecting. It looked to me to be a really good game and there was perhaps one big difference between the two teams.
That was the fact that Bournemouth simply wanted it and needed it more than we did. They are battling for points and with us sitting in mid-table, perhaps the hunger was not there in the same way it was for them.
Bournemouth are a decent side on home soil, so if we are not on it from the start, then we are going to have problems.
It will be the same in our next two games against Leicester City and Hull City who are both looking for points for survival.
The boss has had some criticism about playing Cheikhou Kouyate out of position, but I think he is a strong enough player to play at right-back.
I remember the only time I was played out of position was in the FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg back in 1981 when we were well in front and they put me on the right wing to give another youngster a chance.
I showed that day that I shouldn’t play anywhere but up the middle, but I don’t think that is the case with Kouyate.
It is clear that Bilic has a problem with playing Sam Byram there and one of his priorities in the summer will be to bring a new man in, but in the meantime, Cheikhou can do a job there, though we lose a bit from him not being in the middle of the park.
After the disappointment of most of the signings last summer, West Ham need to take stock and, if not rebuild the team this summer, certainly bring plenty in.
One of my old teams in Leicester City come to the London Stadium on Saturday and it will be a tough game as they are confident, have won two on the trot and they also superbly won their Champions League last 16 match on Tuesday night.
I think West Ham are pretty much safe even now. They perhaps need a couple more wins so we can reach that mythical 40-point mark, which you very rarely need to stay up these days.
Once we have got there then perhaps we can give a few of the youngsters a chance.
Saturday will be tough, so I am going for a 2-2 draw.