Leeds’ comeback kid, Adam Forshaw, signed a new contract, having been out for two years before returning earlier this season. He’s just been speaking to Sky Sport.
To repay a lot of faith they showed in me, my family love it here. it was a no-brainer in me. A couple of the teams below us got some good results and are beginning to pick up points, we are aware of that.
Some transfer news, from Jacob Steinberg.
West Ham are unchanged from the team that beat Norwich in midweek, while Marcelo Bielsa makes two changes from the team that beating Burnley 3-1 on 2 January. Dan James replaces Tyler Roberts with Diego Llorente suspended so Pascal Struijk comes in. And what that means for Leeds is still no Patrick Bamford, with Rodrigo making the bench.
With Arsenal not wanting to play Tottenham and Manchester United flopping to that draw with Aston Villa, this is a chance for West Ham to steal a march in the race for the top four. This is a reheat of last week’s FA Cup match, won rather easily by the Hammers, and Leeds continue to be short of players, with Patrick Bamford still unlikely to start. Here’s a mini-preview from this week’s 10 things to look out for.
As Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United falter in their chase for a top-four place, West Ham have been taking care of business. The expectation is a thin squad will eventually run out of energy, as happened last season, but David Moyes’s team are currently in fourth place on merit. The improvement in the last 18 months of the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Manuel Lanzini and Declan Rice is a tribute to their manager, a rediscovery of the team-building expertise that first made his reputation at Preston and Everton. Rice is a reminder that stars can be made rather than bought in, while Bowen, who scored twice in Wednesday’s win over Norwich, is a reminder that stars can also be bought and made from the lower tiers. Such old-fashioned values are prevailing over the elite clubs chasing West Ham’s tail, and a repeat of last week’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat of Leeds would keep the Hammers ahead.
As Jacob Steinberg wrote on Saturday, Jarrod Bowen, is the man to watch these days for West Ham.
Bowen, who has helped West Ham reach the last 16 of the Europa League, has become invaluable. His versatility enables him to play through the middle when Michail Antonio is missing, but he is at his best on the right. Bowen’s left foot allows him to cause havoc with inswinging crosses, he can be relied on to track back to protect his full-back and he is always willing to get into goalscoring positions, even though his finishing could be more refined at times.