Big game at West Ham today, match facts from the BBC and by 4pm today we will look like the type of side we want to be

The thing with business is, you have ups and downs. Last weekend, we had a down and Spurs had a big up. Yesterday, Spurs had a down and as things stand right now, we are two points above them in the League in fourth place. 

And yes, this is just another way for me to get into the post that we are firmly in the business end of the season. I also think I tried to mention once or twice last week, before the game I'd like to add, that whatever the result last weekend, it wasn't going to define our season, just last Sunday.

And it wasn't that I thought we were going to lose, but I suspected it would be tough and not because it was Spurs, although that played a part, it was because we had played on Thursday. And guess what, we played on Thursday this week too.

And West Ham are on a nice little run at the moment too. I feel a little more confident today though, because West Ham also played on Thursday this week, so the match today will be as tough on them as it is with us. And because both of us played on Thursday and both sides had a great result, I have a feeling we're not going to see the best game of the season for either side today.

But we now have an opportunity to go five points ahead of Spurs and I'm hoping that that incentive should be enough for us. I'm hoping that the players are going to remember how it felt last Sunday leaving the pitch knowing they'd missed a great opportunity and I'm hoping that they'll use that feeling to not feel like they've missed it again today.

We can't keep missing opportunities like this and expect to finish in the top four this season. What that ultimately means is if these players want to be top four players they need to essentially act like it. A win today would suggest we are ready. Anything else than a win today and we'd be acting like a top six side.

Now, don't get me wrong, 6th this season is progress. But I think these players are ready. But that's just me. I know the manager is and the owners know he is too, so maybe you could look at it that the players that start today are going out to prove they are too. Actions speak louder than words and all that. 

Big day today! I'll be back about an hour before kick-off.

Match facts from the BBC


  • West Ham are unbeaten in their past eight home league games against Aston Villa, winning four and drawing four.
  • However, Villa could defeat their hosts home and away in a Premier League campaign for the first time since 2010-11 and for just the second time ever.

West Ham United

  • The Hammers are unbeaten in their last three league games (W2, D1), scoring nine goals, one fewer than they had managed in their previous 10 combined.
  • The 6-0 loss to Arsenal is their only defeat in nine home league matches (W4, D4).
  • However, they have dropped points in five of the seven league encounters this season that have followed a Europa League fixture.
  • Danny Ings could become the third player to score a Premier League goal against four different teams he used to play for, emulating Peter Crouch and Nicolas Anelka.
  • Lucas Paqueta has started all 12 of West Ham's league wins in 2023-24, with the team failing to win any of the seven games he hasn't started (D3, L4).

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have earned three successive Premier League away wins for the first time since a seven-match streak in 2008-09.
  • Villa's next victory will be their 18th of the season, equalling their total for the whole of 2022-23.
  • However, they have lost their past four league games against teams currently in the top half of the table.
  • Their 29 goals scored in the first half of league matches this season is more than any other team in the division bar Arsenal's 31.
  • The Villans are unbeaten in all eight Premier League visits to London under Unai Emery (W4, D4). Their last defeat in the capital was 3-0 at Fulham in Steven Gerrard's last game in charge.
  • Ollie Watkins is aiming to become the third player to score multiple goals in three consecutive Premier League away matches, after Dennis Bergkamp and Harry Kane.