Opposition View: Everton hope to close the gap against an in-form Hammers side

'Lingard could prove to be West Ham's most exciting player as time goes on'

Everton have lost a little momentum recently but are still looking to finish strong this season. They come against a West Ham side looking to stake their claim on a European spot. Olivia Elliott spoke to Everton fan Tom Fortune to get his views ahead of the clash.

Who would you consider the best player is for West Ham?  

Declan Rice for consistency, though Lingard could prove to be your most exciting player as time goes on.

What do you think West Hams strengths and weaknesses are?

Strengths – nice and compact at the back and have made the home stadium, which was your downfall in previous years, a fortress… typical of Moyes. 

Weaknesses – I think Moyes has done brilliant this year but a lack of squad depth might prove to be the diff between if you get Europe. Similar situation to Everton

How do you think Everton will get on for the rest of this season?

Personally, I think we will finish 7th. I’m a realist though and being a real Evertonian means you know what we’re like. 6th would be great for us with Europa League.

What player for Everton should opposing teams watch out for?  

Richarlison. On his day he is brilliant and can take the game by the scruff of his neck. But James Rodriguez in terms of technical quality should scare any team when he’s back fit.

You have some tough games approaching you with Tottenham, Arsenal, Villa and West Ham how many points do you think you will get from those games?  

I could see us taking 4 or 6 points from them games, at a push.

How excited are you about the new stadium?

Can’t wait for the new stadium, much needed as much as we all love Goodison – a similar old-fashioned ground with character much like when I’ve visited Upton Park. But the difference being our new stadium seems to have been organised and designed brilliantly right on the docks of the city. I’m back on the season ticket waiting list for it and can’t wait!

Stadium relocations have been a hit, or a miss i.e Tottenham and West Ham how do you think yours will go?

I think we have taken our time, seen how other teams have done and have taken a leaf out of each of their books. We’ve probably steered clear of WHUs approach. Your fans were clearly unhappy and felt the atmosphere was sapped from the stadium. The location of the stadium is great because its being up on an old abandoned, derelict Dock.  Meaning an unfavourable part of the city is going to reap the rewards and be part of a massive regeneration scheme. It’s only a short walk into the city centre after the game – be great for away fans! 

Do you feel you’ve hit the jackpot with Ancelotti?

I think Ancelotti is probably the best manager we could’ve attracted and yes, we have hit the jackpot indeed! He needs another year or two to really put his stamp on our club. He is already showing signs of what he can do, with the Derby win and pushing for Europe with a poor squad. Getting Europe would be a massive achievement and will help to speed up the clubs upward climb.

What are your score predictions for West Ham v Everton?

1-1, which would actually be a good result for us given your form. But we really need to be going for the win and will be wanting to get you back for the Goodison defeat!

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