Browsing "Communication"
Sep 15, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Beggars of Britain

‘Beggars of Britain’ is an article written by Tony Parsons and published in Arena magazine. Considering language used like ‘shell suit’, I would estimate that the article was published in the mid to late 90’s. The article displays Parsons’ point of view about beggars in Britain.

Within the article, Parsons presents a very one sided view of begging. He says multiple negative and even abusive things about beggars. One of the points that Parsons makes is that beggars are lazy, ‘… Young beggars, who look like they could run a four minute mile if they ever made it up off their fannies.’ Although phrased rather crudely, Parsons seems to be saying that beggars wouldn’t be in their position if they weren’t so lazy. He also talks about how begging is no longer a taboo and how he wishes it still was, ‘Of all the taboos, don’t beg was the greatest of all.’ Parsons then says something rather outlandish, ‘You could sleep with your sister before you went begging.’ This is a gross exaggeration from Parsons and it only further emphasizes his dislike for begging and beggars.

Throughout the excerpt of the article that we looked at Parsons continually repeats begging, beggars and beg. Within just the first four paragraphs, Parsons repeats these words fifteen times. This sets the tone of the article as a rant; by repeating beg, begging and beggars several times he comes across as angry.

Parsons uses scatological language in his article and other abusive language rather provocatively. ‘He (his Father) would have been happier seeing us sleeping in a shoe box full of shit than he would have been begging.’ This line seems to be screaming for a reaction, it feels as though it has been designed for people to react angrily at.  He also describes a begging old woman as an ‘obese hag’, this is simply offensive/abusive and I would say that it has been used either because that is his actual opinion or because he wants a reaction.

On whether this article is completely serious or not, I would say that Tony Parsons is being somewhat serious. I think that the points that Parsons makes are his actual opinions but he has probably been excessive in order to get a reaction to his article, to provoke people to respond with anger. Arena magazine was apparently aimed at ‘black collar workers’ in the late 90’s, so it was probably the kind of magazine in which Parsons could get away with being provocative in this manner. In my opinion, the article is rather unprofessional and does not display a balanced argument. Therefore, I do consider it a rant and one that I certainly don’t agree with in any way, shape or form. Tony Parsons currently writes in The Sun and this only further convinces me that this would be his actual opinion.

 

If there is anything more you think I should add to this, especially the fourth paragraph, let me know.

Jun 8, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Essay Redraft

In Act 2: Scene 2 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is presented as a more powerful character than Macbeth. She is fully focused on the task at hand and indifferent towards her husband.

In order to present Lady Macbeth as more powerful in her relationship with her husband, Shakespeare subverts the stereotype of women in the Jacobean era. When Macbeth was written, women were expected to be kind, loving and caring. They weren’t expected to do much other than key things such as giving birth and caring for children. However, in this scene and throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare negates the stereotypical Jacobean women in Lady Macbeth.

Shakespeare does this by using imperative language in Lady Macbeth’s speech. She orders her husband to do things by saying, ‘Go get some’, ‘They have to’, ‘Go carry them’ and ‘Give me’. A lot of her sentences begin with imperative language meaning that Macbeth either follows them or completely rebuts them. In order to preserve and protect his marriage with Lady Macbeth, Macbeth chooses to follow them. The fact that the woman is ordering the man around directly opposes the stereotypical power balance in a Jacobean relationship. The male character in a relationship is always expected to be the dominant character over the woman however, in Macbeth it is the opposite. 

Furthermore, to present Lady Macbeth as indifferent towards her husband and unable to conceive empathy, Shakespeare has made Lady Macbeth fully focused on the task at hand; murdering anyone who threatens their position and covering up these murders. This is shown through her questioning of Macbeth’s execution of the murder, ‘Why did you bring these daggers from the place?’, she is questioning him as to why he has still got the daggers, this shows her indifference towards her husband and that her only focus is on the task. She then goes on to tell him what to do with the daggers, ‘Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood.’. At no point does she consider her husbands emotions or how he is doing after committing such a horrific and grievous act.

Lady Macbeth’s has an inability to conceive empathy because her desperate drive to accumulate power gets in the way. Her judgement is clouded completely by her hunger for power. Shakespeare reinforces this lack of empathy when she says ‘A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.’ She cannot comprehend the gravity of the murderous act they have committed; nor can she empathise with those that they have harmed and the emotional effect that has on many more people, even Macbeth. Through the word ‘foolish’ we can see that she can’t understand the gravity of what has just been done and the knock on effect that it has. She hasn’t taken the time to consider the emotional effect that the murder has had and clearly doesn’t care what effect of the harsh words will have on Macbeth. More?

At this stage, Macbeth is beginning to fully understand what he and his wife have done and is starting to feel guilty. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth isn’t able to comprehend or understand any of these feelings and is fully focused on the task of covering up the murder. This doesn’t mean that she won’t consider these things when she has completed the tasks but her judgement is so clouded by her hunger for her power that she hasn’t considered the effect of the murder. READ OVER AND SEE IF IMPROVED UPON FEEDBACK. This is clearly shown when she says ‘Consider it not so deeply.’, she is asking Macbeth to join her in focusing on covering up the murder and this conclusively proves that she cannot comprehend the gravity of what has been done.

Shakespeare’s use of sharing the iambic pentameter between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth shows Lady Macbeth’s control over Macbeth. By interrupting the iambic pentameter, Shakespeare adds a sense of urgency to the scene. Also, because Macbeth’s lines are interrupted, it causes Lady Macbeth to seem more powerful. It has this effect because the characters in Shakespeare’s plays speak with this iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter is a form of rhythm which is expected to be resolved at the end of each line. Lady Macbeth’s interruption of Macbeth’s iambic pentameter causes her to seem dismissive, uncaring and indifferent towards her husband.

Shakespeare demonises  Lady Macbeth because he doesn’t want the audience to empathise nor sympathise with her. As a result of, demonising Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare causes the audience to closely pick up on her manipulation of Macbeth. This may lad some audience members to empathise with or feel sorry for Macbeth. This increases the chance that the audience will want Macbeth to triumph in some way and will want Lady Macbeth to be defeated. This has been done to increase the gravity of the discovery that we make later in the play that Lady Macbeth was in fact deeply distressed by the murderous acts; so much so, that she was reliving the events whilst sleepwalking. I don’t really understand how it impacts on the scene with Lady Macbeth sleepwalking.

 

If we could have a quick discussion about the things in bold that would be great and I could then do a quick final draft. It would be done on Monday, at either lunch time or as soon as I get home. Sorry for the delay, I’m still slightly concerned about some of those areas I highlighted. 

Jun 1, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

I am Number Four Book Series – Review

The ‘I am Number Four’ book series is a gripping teen fiction set of books that got it’s first book onto the big screen. The series has, thus far, featured four novels, ‘I am Number Four’, ‘The Power of Six’, ‘The Rise of Nine’ and ‘The Fall of Five’. The series has also featured many novellas. I am currently reading the fourth novel, ‘The Fall of Five’ and haven’t read any of the novellas as of yet.

The books document a group of teenage aliens who have landed on Earth and are trying to blend in to escape the Mogadorians, an evil alien race that destroyed their home planet. The nine Loric aliens are all attempting to meet each other under cover to try and defeat the Mogadorians. Each of the Loric aliens can develop legacies, superpowers and are using these to fight Mogadorians and their evil leader Setrakus Ra, the main antagonist. The books mainly follow number four, John Smith’s point of view, the main protagonist. However, the book does also show other Loric aliens paths through the story. The Mogadorians are hunting down each of the Loric aliens and have to kill them one by one, in order, numbers one to three are dead, can four survive?

I love the diverse themes that this book series has, love, romance, sci-fi superpowers, gripping battles and loss. Each theme is beautifully intertwined with one another. Romance and battles, love and loss all come in tandem. John Smith falls for a human American girl and the book beautifully shows how he is torn between dragging a human into his desperate situation and losing his love for her safety.

The action in the books flows at an incredibly fast pace and keeps you right on the edge of your seat. Furthermore, I really like it that the books show different Loric aliens points of view so you can see the action from different sides of the story. I also like the writing style and the way it encourages you to predict an outcome but uses twists cleverly.

Overall, the ‘I am Number Four’ book series is my favourite book series I have ever read and therefore, deserves a 4.75 out of 5. In order to get a 5 out of 5, there could have been some less predictable moments.

 

Could the second paragraph do with some editing?

May 19, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

Assessment Preparation

A few ideas as to how Lady Macbeth is presented:

 

– More powerful in her relationship with Macbeth, possibly dominating.

– Uninterested in sentiment and her husband.

– Fully focused on the task at hand.

– Emotionally unstable, possibly mad.

– Unable to conceive empathy.

 

How?

 

– Opposing the stereotype of women in the Jacobean era. Woman were expected to be kind, caring, loving and not much else. They were almost only there for functional purposes from what it seems. However, in this scene and throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare negates the stereotypical woman in Lady Macbeth. She is the opposite of what is expected of woman in many ways; she holds more power in her relationship with Macbeth, she is manipulative of a man, she does not consider her husband, she does not actively show any form of empathy and isn’t stable. All of these things oppose the stereotypical Jacobean woman. Furthermore, this may have even provoked audience members to consider her a witch because opposing the stereotypical woman and holding power was considered witchcraft under the reign of King James I.

– Interrupting the iambic pentameter or sharing the iambic pentameter. This adds a feeling of urgency to the scene but also places Lady Macbeth as uncaring for her husband and more powerful than her husband. This happens because the characters in Shakespeare’s plays speak their lines with an iambic pentameter, a rhythm. This rhythm is expected to be resolved or finished at the end of each characters line unless the line is a form of exclamation or a one word answer. In this scene, the iambic pentameter is often interrupted when Macbeth is talking which portrays Lady Macbeth as dismissive, uncaring, and indifferent towards her husband.

 

Why?

 

– Shakespeare does this because he doesn’t want the audience to empathize with Lady Macbeth, he wants them to dislike her character. By villainizing Lady Macbeth, audience members will begin to closely pick up on her manipulating of Macbeth. This leads some audience members to empathize with, identify with or feel sorry for Macbeth. This increases the chances that the audience will want Macbeth to triumph in some way and will want Lady Macbeth to be defeated. As I don’t know the end of the play I would expect that this is being done for some further effect on the conclusion or further key moments in the play.

 

Some quotes to support my arguments:

 

‘A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.’ This quote breaks the iambic pentameter in Macbeth’s speech and also is dismissive of Macbeth (opposing the stereotype).

‘Consider it not so deeply.’ “”

‘Infirm of purpose!’ Opposing stereotype.

‘Go get some’ ‘They have to stay there.’ ‘Go carry them’ ‘Give me’. All use imperative language and oppose the power balance stereotype in a Jacobean relationship.

‘Why did you bring these daggers from the place?’ Indifferent to her husband and fully focused on the task at hand.

May 19, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Urgent – Assessment

Could we please have the assessment details that were presented in lesson posted on Edutronic so I can prepare! I hope I’m not wrong in saying it’s Act 2 Scene 2 and the question is ‘How does Shakespeare construct our understanding of Lady Macbeth’s character?’

May 14, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Synthesis (Report) – 14/5/14

His Royal Highness,

 

PLAY REPORT:

 

 

Play: Macbeth.

Playwright: William Shakespeare.

Conclusion: Unsuitable but Salvageable.

Reason: Witches and Demonology

 

Comments:

I believe that ‘Macbeth’ is unsuitable for public viewing because includes demonology. Three witches are cast within the play and this is unacceptable. The characters in the play also practice demonic behavior when casting spells and fortune telling. If this is enough evidence to stop this from being viewed by the public then consider not the rest of this report. If you would deem the play acceptable if changes made then continue reading.

My worry is that we don’t want any of the public to view demonic behavior and idolize it and/or attempt to practice it themselves after viewing the play. Furthermore, we don’t want any of the public to empathize or sympathize with the witches in the play.

Moreover, the witches aren’t depicted as certain antagonists in the play. Whether they are considered antagonists or protagonists is ambiguous and different viewers would consider the witches differently. However, this play could possibly be allowed for viewing by the public if Shakespeare was contacted and asked to present the witches in a more negative light. If the witches were presented in a more negative light and as certain antagonists, the audience would dislike them in the play and therefore, wouldn’t empathize nor sympathize with them. As long as the public don’t see or develop any parallels with the witches and don’t use the play to influence their thoughts on witches then the play could be released for public viewings.

 

If His Royal Highness deems this play salvageable then it is suggested that William Shakespeare is contacted and changes are made to the play. However, if His Royal Highness deems this play simply unacceptable then return a letter to myself and I will see that the play is not released to the public.

 

 

May 6, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Securing: 6/2/14

Exploring authorial intent is always incredibly interesting. Understanding not just what is written on the page and how that makes you feel, but why that is written on the page and why it makes you feel that way. Shakespeare constantly uses language devices and the pulse of the iambic pentameter to convey characters emotions, personalities and relationships with other characters. There is a very clear use of sharing the iambic pentameter between two characters in Act 2 Scene 2. This is where we will be looking at Shakespeare’s authorial intent.

In Act 2 Scene 2, Shakespeare has broken the iambic pentameter into pieces and shared it between two characters, in this case, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. So, what is the iambic pentameter? The iambic pentameter is used in all of Shakespeare’s works and we all still use it today. It is the rhythm in which the characters speak. Every character uses this rhythm whilst speaking and often completes the rhythm once through or more. However, in this scene Shakespeare has decided to break the iambic pentameters rhythm and has shared it between to characters. This develops a feeling of urgency, desperation, fear and trepidation into the scene.

An example of how the iambic pentameter is shared is when Macbeth says, ‘This is a sorry sight.’ and Lady Macbeth follows by saying ‘A foolish though to say a sorry sight.’ If said aloud, it sounds as though Lady Macbeth is cutting him off or in other cases finishing his sentences. Why is this? This is because the iambic pentameter has not been resolved when Macbeth’s line ends and Lady Macbeth resolves the rhythm with her line. This does a lot to influence what we may think of Lady Macbeth and what we might think of her relationship with Macbeth as an audience. We may now think that Lady Macbeth is more powerful in the relationship because she is cutting Macbeth off and finishing Macbeth’s sentences. We may also think that she plays a manipulative role in controlling Macbeth’s actions and I think this has been done intentionally by Shakespeare. Why? To either create a scapegoat for the murder or to continue to encourage thoughts that Lady Macbeth is actually at fault for the murders and that she’s evil.*

 

 

– I feel like I’m struggling to say what I want to say in the right words and the right way.

– The iambic pentameter is like a musical piece, the technique of sharing the lines works exactly like writing a rhythm for one instrument and ending the line on a staccato note without any resolution or resolve. Then, adding in another instrument that resolves and completes the line/rhythm. It feels like the first instrument was cut off.

*I hate the word evil, any good synonyms for that?

Apr 22, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Easter Homework (Unedited)

There could be many characters to blame for King Duncan’s death in the ‘Scottish Play’ or ‘Macbeth’. Some would say that Macbeth is to blame for his dark thoughts and letting his ambition cloud his thoughts. Some could argue that the witches are to blame for planting the seed in his head that he would become King and some would say that Lady Macbeth is to blame for encouraging him to kill King Duncan and fueling his darker side.

In my opinion, Lady Macbeth is to blame and my evidence of this is when Macbeth decides he wants to back out and not kill King Duncan in Act 1 Scene 7.  Macbeth says, ‘We will proceed no further in this business.’  This shows me that Macbeth does not want to kill the King and if he does go on and kill the King, he has been cajoled and manipulated to do so. The only person who has been manipulating and cajoling him to kill the King has been Lady Macbeth and this is why I believe that she is to blame for the King’s murder. Lady Macbeth responds to Macbeth’s withdrawal by saying ‘Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?’. This translates as her saying that he will live as a coward if he doesn’t kill the King and that she will now think of his love as ‘green, pale and fearful’. She asks him if he was drunk when he agreed to commit the act earlier and if he is afraid to act out his desires. This is, in essence, Lady Macbeth manipulating Macbeth to kill the King.

After Lady Macbeth has attempted to manipulated her husband, Macbeth, into murdering the King, Macbeth refuses to be swung in his views. He says ‘Prithee, peace: I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more is none.’  This translates as Macbeth asking her to stop with the words ‘Prithee, peace’ meaning ‘Please, Stop!’ He then proceeds to say he dares to do only what a man should do and anyone who does more is not a man.  He is still in the mindset of backing out and his clearly quite strong in his views. Afterwards, Lady Macbeth proceeds to try and convince him until Macbeth makes clear his worries of the consequences; he says, ‘If we should fail?’ Lady Macbeth then tries to make him feel confident about killing King Duncan by saying, ‘We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place and we’ll not fail.’ This translates as her saying, ‘We, fail? If you get your courage up, we can’t fail.’ The use of the word can’t is key. I think this word alone does enough to swing Macbeth, it expresses her outright confidence that they will kill the King and get away with it. Macbeth finally gives in and decides to go through with the plan, ‘I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.’ He will kill the King.

In the space of one scene Macbeth has gone from absolutely not killing the King to exerting every muscle he has to kill the King. How has this happened? It hasn’t simply happened in his mind. Lady Macbeth has manipulated her husband into killing the King. She must take the majority of the blame for the act that is committed. Furthermore, she shows no remorse nor empathy for the King. She has a fearless greed for power and she is why Macbeth kills the King. Macbeth has to take part of the blame because he takes part in committing the act but, in my opinion, Lady Macbeth must take the blame.

 

Apr 20, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

I posted this on my West Ham blog, if anyone’s interested.

Hi, my name is Jack. I’m a 21st century kid, born in 2000. One thing in my life has been consistent, West Ham United; not the form, the club, the players, the manager or the league, my support. I’ve been watching West Ham since the 2006 FA Cup final, West Ham vs Liverpool, we lost. Why do I support West Ham then? ‘West Ham needs me.’ That was 6 year old me, Liverpool didn’t need my support, they won the final without it. West Ham lost and they needed me behind them. That was the thought process in my 6 year old brain, subconsciously, or consciously. Here I am, eight years later, writing my thoughts about the club I love, a lot of thoughts. 

Where to start? Let’s start with the league; we are a Barclays Premier League club, sitting in 12th place, on 37 points after 35 games. We look relatively safe, from relegation of course. Our manager is Sam Allardyce, ‘Allardici’ and David Gold and Sullivan own the club. We’re moving stadiums in two season’s time, to the Olympic Stadium, leaving the Boleyn Ground and all its history behind us. The owners want to move us forward, take us from a mid table side, just about avoiding relegation, to a side that can challenge for places in European cups and competitions. A lot is going to need to be done to take us there and it will be a quite an achievement if we make it to that calibre. 

If we want to get there we’re going to have to look at many things, staff, manager and squad. Let’s start by looking at the squad. I’m going to analyse each player, subs, starting XI and some others, and give my view, from the stands, on them.

Goalkeepers: 

Adrian San Miguel – An outstanding purchase from Real Betis by Allardyce. He has been a very good keeper since his arrival and has performed multiple outstanding saves. He has good distribution and reflexes. A good shot stopper, my only worries are sometimes his handling and command of the box. On a side note, one of the things that is best about this goalkeeper is not his performance on the pitch but his way of interacting with the crowd which has quickly made him a fan favourite. 

Jussi Jaaskelainen – Again a very good signing from Bolton by Allardyce. Jaaskelainen is a fantastic keeper to have on the bench as he could make the grade as a first team keeper at some other clubs in the league. Jussi is a fantastic keeper but has arrived in the twilight of his career. Being 39 means that his level and performances are starting to worsen and his handling has become a lot more of a problem this season. 

Full backs: 

Guy Demel – Yet again, I must mention that this was another good purchase by Allardyce. Brought in from Hamburger SV he has been a very good right back for us since he overcame his injury problems. Demel is very good at attacking and providing an overlap for the right winger. He has good skill going forward and enough to get past some left backs to get crosses into the box. However, being a right back means he has to do a lot of defensive work as well and he is not as solid in this area as I would like him to be. He has good strength; no one in their right mind would doubt that. Although in my opinion he doesn’t stop crosses from the oppositions left winger coming into the box enough. He doesn’t shepherd players well enough and shield the box from shots or crosses. He doesn’t get tight enough to his man as well. Demel is also 32 years old and for the reasons provided I think we need to improve in this area. 

Joey O’Brien – Brought in from Bolton by Allardyce, Joey has done well to overcome his injury problems and feature multiple times in the starting line up. For me, he is too inconsistent, when I see his name on the team sheet I don’t know what O’Brien I’m going to get. A solid full back that gets forward well and shuts out wingers or a player who loses the ball and doesn’t deal well with attacking players. He doesn’t cut it in the starting XI but is good enough for the bench/reserves for now. Being 28 years old, age is not too much of a worry just yet as well. 

Pablo Armero – On loan from Napoli until the end of the season, Pablo has only recently made a burst into the first team. From what I’ve seen so far, I’ve been impressed other than his silly tackle on Cameron Jerome in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over us he has been good. Good enough, in fact, for me to suggest that we should attempt to purchase him permanently. The 27 year old has shown he is good enough for the side and my only problem with him is that he seems afraid to cross the ball when supporting the winger. Whip it in Pablo! 

George McCartney – Another buy from Allardyce, McCartney has been a solid player and is ever the consistent. Being 32 years old he is also in the twilight of his career but considering his form I am happy to have him as a substitute left back. Side note: Not to be played at right back on evidence from West Ham 0-1 Crystal Palace, poor performance. 

Centre backs: 

Winston Reid – Probably the best player in our team. Brilliantly consistent, barely every puts a foot wrong in defence and is only 25. Definitely not someone we should look to replace and definitely not someone we should let go to a bigger club. If we want to become one of those bigger clubs then we can’t let players like him go. 

James Collins – ‘The Ginger Pele’! What fantastic neck muscles this man has! Brilliant in the air and uses this to his advantage in defence and attack. Not always the same with his tackles. In some games he has been quite superb and has put in a lot of great tackles however, in others he can be inconsistent, applying pressure to far up the pitch and breaking the defensive line, rushing into tackles and leaving gaps in behind. Good enough to retain his place in the XI or to switch around with Tomkins although, I really wouldn’t mind another very solid, consistent centre back to partner Reid. Furthermore, he is 30, meaning he will also come into the twilight of his career fairly soon. 

James Tomkins – Solid centre back and someone I’m happy to watch in the side. Could give Collins a run for his money and make into the starting line-up consistently. Further consider the fact that James is only 25 meaning he has quite a lot of time to grow and improve yet, only more reason to keep hold of him and possibly play him more often. Despite all of this I will say the same thing as I did with Collins; I wouldn’t mind another centre back to partner Reid who is better than both of the James’. Another option to consider is bringing in another centre back simply for squad depth because, as we have seen this season, we don’t have enough depth in this position and Roger Johnson is not good enough as a fourth centre back. 

Roger Johnson – ‘The Relegator’! On loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Roger is known as ‘The Relegator’ because he was involved in Wolves’ double relegation to League 1. He is not Premier League quality and needs to be offloaded in my opinion as I am sure he will be. It was a panic loan from Wolves due to our situation earlier in the season with injuries. He just isn’t of Premier League class in my opinion. He should be replaced with a better centre back for stronger squad depth. 

Central Midfielders: 

Mark Noble – Mark must have claret and blue blood! He grew up in Canning Town and has come through the ranks to be a West Ham player and vice captain. He is one of the most consistent players in the league and always provides defensive solidity in front of the back four and is always ice cool from the penalty spot. Mark is a shoe in for next season’s side. The only area where Noble can be unconvincing is when it comes to going forward. He can sometimes look lost once he gets near the oppositions box and often looks afraid to shoot. Furthermore, he is simply not very good at free kicks, I don’t know why he takes our free kicks and if he is the best we’ve got, we either need to practise free kicks on the training ground or invest in someone who can take them. 

Kevin Nolan – Either played in an attacking midfield role or in behind the striker Kevin Nolan is incredibly good at feeding off scraps or knock downs. Nolan is our top scorer this season with seven goals. He has virtually saved us from relegation when he had his run of sparkling form in our four wins in a row. Kevin is 31 and is entering the twilight of his career, being the captain he can’t exactly be dropped to easily but in my opinion, his form has been too inconsistent this season. Furthermore, his two red cards highlight is inconsistency and volatility I would like to see Kevin played at the start of next season but if he doesn’t start it well, replaced in the starting XI. 

Antonio Nocerino – On loan from AC Milan, Antonio is a player who can thrive in behind a big striker as he did with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Milan. He has not quite reached those dizzy heights with us and Andy Carroll and I wouldn’t want him signed on a permanent basis at the end of the season from what I’ve seen. He is too inconsistent, loses the ball too much and Allardyce seems to agree with me considering the fact that Antonio is only making appearances from the bench. 

Mohamed Diame – Diame is the most inconsistent player at the club. You have no clue what you’re going to get from Mohamed! My problem with Diame is that he is too much of a solo player and doesn’t seem to hold the team in his best interests. This shows in a lot of his laziness on the pitch. However, Diame is a fantastic player when he wants to be and can make brilliant, driving, skilful runs through the opposition on occasion. Personally, I think Diame is too inconsistent to be in the starting XI and should be dropped to the bench. 

Ravel Morrison – Ravel is an attacking midfielder and is a very good one at that. At the age of 21 there is a lot of time for Ravel to grow and improve. My main issue with Ravel, as I am sure is everyone’s, is that he is too full of himself. His character and ego are a major problem and he needs to put his past behind him and focus on the football. If he focuses on the football and the team then he has a big chance of becoming a wonderful player and England international. He has the skill but not the mindset, putting him out on loan at Championship clubs is the right idea but I would like to see him back at the club and on the bench next season. Side note: Very good at coming on as an impact substitute, not sure if he is a 90 minute Premier League player quite yet. 

Matthew Taylor – Another good player for squad depth, Matthew is useful because he can play in the centre of midfield, on the left wing and at left back. He is not the classiest player and does not really have the skills for Premier League football however; I like Taylor because he always puts 100% effort in and gives his absolute all every game. Being 32 years old means he is in the twilight of his career and should be kept for squad depth. 

Alou Diarra – What a terrible signing! Wrong attitude, wrong fitness, wrong work rate and he’s 33. Needs to be sold in summer because of the money we’re wasting on his wages. Doesn’t seem to want to be at the club and should be sent on his way. 

Jack Collison – His name is Jack and he’s Welsh, keep him! I think he still needs time to grow and should be given further loan opportunities in the Championship after his loan at Wigan ends; he’s only 25 after all. 

Wingers: 

Stewart Downing – Fantastic signing by Allardyce and he’s blossomed well under the system that Big Sam plays. Has a fantastic cross on him and he can cut in and shoot. He’s a very good winger and someone who should definitely retain his place in the starting line-up. He is 29 so age isn’t a problem yet either. 

Matt Jarvis – Jarvis has been rather inconsistent since his arrival and has never really found himself among the goals like he did at Wolves. He doesn’t score enough for me or have consistent enough crossing. However, the fantastic thing about Matt is his pace. He can outpace many of the Premier League’s full backs and then can crosses in from the by-line. He should definitely be kept because he is only 27 but could possibly be replaced by a summer signing. 

Joe Cole – Joe is a good player but he’s definitely lost the pace he needs to play on the wing at the age of 32. His defensive work as a winger is not good enough for me and I think he can either be kept for squad depth but I would very much like to see him replaced in the summer. 

Ricardo Vaz Te – Ricardo was an amazing player for us in the Championship and scored that famous 88th minute goal at Wembley to see us promoted back to the Premier League. He hasn’t really shown the same class in the Premier League but has been injured for most of this season. I would like to see Vaz Te kept and trialled at the start of next season. 

Forwards: 

Andy Carroll – Andy was brought in by Allardyce and the side has been built around him. Some call him the most aerially talented striker in the world. I would have to say he is a fantastic striker in the air and is often dominant against Premier League centre backs. However, I think that we can’t always play it up to Andy because it’s too predictable and other teams are dealing with it. We need a variation on our style, a ‘plan B’. 

Marco Borriello – Marco has been injured for the most part since is loan from Roma. He’s 31 and I would be happy to see him sent back to Roma and not bought on a permanent basis. However, he would need to be replaced with another striker who would have to be signed on a permanent basis as a backup for Andy Carroll. 

Carlton Cole – Carlton is somewhat a West Ham fan favourite and has been with the club a long time. He is not the most talented striker and is also 30. Should be kept because of his ties to the club and because he isn’t an easy player to sell. Could however, be replaced with a striker of better calibre. He simply doesn’t win enough in the air or put the ball in the back of the net enough. 

Modibo Maiga – Modibo should definitely be sold in the summer because he has been somewhat of a flop in English football. Scoring only 3 goals in 31 appearances is certainly not good enough. 

That’s what I think of the squad! In summary, I think our goalkeepers are good and we don’t need any replacements in this department. I think our defence is good but we need a new right back and a centre back to partner Reid that is better than Collins or Tomkins or just another centre back for squad depth. I think our midfield is good but needs some changes, we need a new attacking midfielder, someone who can pass the ball with a bit of flair, someone like Diame or Morrison but isn’t so full of themselves. We either need a replacement for Jarvis or another winger for squad depth to have on the bench, preferably someone like Downing. Furthermore, I think Carroll is good but we need another striker to back him up in case of injury or someone to bring off of the bench. This all is if we keep the style, formation and plan the same. This is what the team would look like: 

Formation: 4-4-1-1

GK – Adrian 
RB – New Player 
CB – Reid 
CB – Collins/New Player 
LB – Armero 
RM – Downing 
CM – Noble 
CM – New Player 
LM – Jarvis/New Player 
CAM – Nolan (Trial Run) 
ST – Carroll 

Subs: 
GK – Jaaskelainen 
RB – Demel 
CB – Tomkins/Collins 
CM – Diame 
CAM – Morrison 
Winger – Jarvis/Vaz Te/New Player 
ST – New Player 

According to these plans we need five new players and I think the bulk of the money should be invested in an attacking midfielder, striker and a right back. Some ideas being, Micah Richards (RB), Samuel Inkoom (RB), Josip Drmic (ST), Ross McCormack (ST), Jordan Rhodes (ST), Solomon Kalou (ST), Graziano Pelle (ST), Loic Remy (Loan ST), Lewis Holtby (CAM), Jack Rodwell (CM), Craig Bryson (CAM). 

This is what I would do from Sam Allardyce’s point of view, from my point of view, I would change one thing. I would stick with the changes I said we should make earlier and the replacements we should bring in. However, I think we should devise a ‘Plan B’ for next season because we have become too predictable. We should stick with the 4-4-1-1 formation or 4-3-3/4-5-1 that we’ve been playing this season for the starting line-up. However, I think we should give ourselves a better option of going 4-4-2 from the bench. This would mean that we would need to buy another striker and this striker should add a dimension of pace and we can begin to use a flick on. In games where we are chasing the game or struggling to break down the opposition we would be able to take our CAM off, most likely Nolan, in the 4-4-1-1 and switch to a 4-4-2 by bringing a striker on. The striker we buy should be similar in his style to Sam Baldock and this way, we would be able to vary our style and make life more difficult for the oppositions defence instead of only knowing one tactic. We would therefore, be able to change the tactic from the knock down to the flick on. I believe this would be very useful if we were struggling to break the opposition down in games like the 0-1 against Crystal Palace. 

The bench using this change would now look like this: 

GK – Jaaskelainen 
RB – Demel 
CM – Diame 
CAM – Morrison 
Winger – Jarvis/Vaz Te/New Player 
ST – New Player (Backup for Andy Carroll) 
ST – New Player (Quicker player to vary the tactic) 

I think that if we did this, it would greatly improve our chances of picking up more wins from losing positions and also make us much less one dimensional. This would mean that Big Sam still gets to use his long ball style and we will still have fans, who I respect, moaning about the style and wanting the ‘West Ham Way’. However, we would be able to change our tactic in games and make it a lot harder for opposition managers to prepare for and a lot harder for opposition players to defend against. 

Currently, the way we play, teams can set up for the long ball and knock down and know that that is all they’ll have to defend against for 90 minutes. When you vary a tactic, that makes us more unpredictable, harder to prepare for and I have evidence that varying a tactic can change the balance of play. For example, look at the 0-3 victory away at Spurs. Spurs would have prepared for the long ball and knock down all week, training with their defenders how to deal with this. We came onto the pitch playing 4-6-0 or a false nine formation which nobody expected. This is exactly why we won the game by three goals and Spurs’ defenders looked lost and powerless to deal with what we threw at them. Another example this season would be Liverpool’s success. One of the major reasons as to why Liverpool have been so successful this season is down to Brendan Rogers and the way he sets their team up. They’re hard to prepare for because you don’t know what the tactic will be. They could use the overlap constantly and use the width a lot, whipping low balls into the box. They could flood the play through the middle of the pitch and look to play through you using triangles e.g. Suarez – Sturridge – Coutinho. They could mix it up and use a bit of both of these styles or look to play from deep with a CDM in Gerrard pinging balls out to the wings or through the middle. You simply don’t know and that is why they are going to win the title this season. 

If we can bring this element of unpredictability to West Ham and become less one dimensional we could have more success next season.

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