West Ham V Everton at Upton Park : Match Preview

21 December 2012 03:01
West Ham V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hammers wary of Jelavic threat

Nikica Jelavic could have joined West Ham when he moved to England and assistant manager Neil McDonald hopes missing out on the striker does not come back to haunt the Hammers when they face Everton.

The Croatia international plumped for a move to Everton when he left Rangers at the end of January, completing a move believed to be worth around #5million.

West Ham were in the npower Championship at the time but manager Sam Allardyce still showed a firm interest in acquiring Jelavic, according to McDonald.

McDonald said: "There was a definite interest there and we did speak to him.

"Obviously he went to Everton and scored goals and proved he can play in the Premier League.

"When we saw him at Rangers we thought he could score goals in the Premier League and he's proved that. That's Everton's gain."

Allardyce ultimately led the Hammers back into the Barclays Premier League and since returning to the top flight the club have invested heavily in the likes of Matt Jarvis and the loan signing of Liverpool frontman Andy Carroll.

McDonald admits that missing out on a target such as Jelavic is hard to take, but the 47-year-old, who had a spell at Goodison Park as a player, believes the signing of Carroll makes up for it.

He said: "You are always disappointed when you don't get players who come into the Premier League and do well but we got Andy Carroll so there is a little bit of a pay-off there.

"We are pleased with Andy's contribution so far, even though he has got injured. If you don't get one (target) you try and get another.

"Of course it would (be good to have someone like Jelavic in the squad).

"Everton play a different system. Whoever you bring in has to try to fit in with the dynamics of the team whether they are big or small or indifferent.

"I think he scored goals for fun for Rangers and is an international. He is a goalscorer and that's what we are looking for."

Everton slipped from fourth to sixth in the table having been held to the draw at Stoke.

With them only being beaten twice in the league so far this season, though, overall it has been yet another impressive campaign for the Toffees under David Moyes, their manager for more than a decade now.

The 49-year-old has often been touted for other major jobs in English football, and today he indicated he would indeed be interested in working away from Goodison Park in the future - but with a German club.

"I'm one of these people who always likes to try to keep learning in the game if I can, and not just think that the job is easy - and it never is easy," Moyes said.

"I have mentioned Germany because I think at the moment Germany is one of the up-and-coming countries.

"I think their teams are doing very well and that their games are full every week.

"So it is maybe something for the future, but not for just now."

With regard to the present, Moyes admits the confirmed loss of Fellaini for the next three games has left him with plenty of thinking to do in terms of his team.

The Scot said there was "quite a lot" of injury news within his squad, and although reluctant to be drawn on any specifics, he did report that Phil Neville (knee) and Victor Anichebe (hamstring) could soon be back in action.

"Thankfully it looks like Phil and Victor have got a chance of returning from injury," Moyes said.

"They are on their way back which gives us some extra bodies.

"I don't know if anyone can fill the void of Marouane.

"We might have to alter the way we play a little bit without him, so we will look at it and see if we can find the right solution."

Along with Neville and Anichebe, Moyes has also had Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) and Tony Hibbert (calf) sidelined in recent weeks.

Source: PA