Julian Dicks
Julian Dicks believes that West Ham will have a season to remember, while Liverpool will struggle once again

Julian Dicks believes that West Ham will heap further misery on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers by beating the club this weekend at Upton Park and by finishing above them in the Premier League.

West Ham demonstrated their quality last weekend as they inflicted more heartache on Chelsea supporters with a 3-1 win that had the away support clambering for the head of interim boss Rafa Benitez.

While Liverpool fans are still firmly behind their manager, despite a mixed start which sees them currently lying in 11<sup>th place, three points behind West Ham, Dicks believes the Hammer can achieve another major scalp.

"I can see them getting a result against Liverpool as they are playing at home and I've always believed that they have a chance at home, no matter who they play," said the former West Ham left-back. "At home the crowd get behind you and it gives you a lift. Even in years gone by when we have played teams like Manchester United, we have always given them a tough time."

Dicks, who will be at Upton Park having his picture taken with fans as part of the Barclays Pingit Photobooth campaign, also believes that while Rodgers will eventually turn around the fortunes of the club, he will struggle to lead them to a top six finish and will begin to feel the weight of expectation from the Liverpool supporters.

"I think they will turn it around as Brendan is a great manager, but the expectation from Swansea to Liverpool is huge. They expect to win things, even when I was there and we finished 7th that was a bad season for us and Graeme [Souness] got a lot of stick for that, as did the players and rightly so. He will have to deliver," stated Dicks.

"I think they'll struggle to even get a top six finish as they are too inconsistent and it is a transitional period for them. There is a new manager and new players but the problem is you have to give managers time and they simply don't get that anymore."

While Dicks sees another season of turmoil for one of his former clubs in Liverpool, he fully expects West Ham to continue to excel under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce. He also sees no reason why they cannot claim sixth place for themselves and secure a place in the Europa League.

"I don't see why they couldn't finish as high as sixth or seventh," claims Dicks, who spent more than ten years with the East End club. "Their home performances will be crucial and if they can continually pick up points against the top sides, like the win away at Newcastle, then I see no reason they this would not be achievable.

"Allardyce has managed to sign some decent players in [Mohamed] Diame, [Andy] Carroll and [Matt] Jarvis and they have exceeded expectations. I think he has done a great job and you have to give him credit for that."

While some fans remain sceptical over the style of football that Allardyce tends to employ, Dicks believes that it was necessary in order to gain promotion to the Premier League, and he can already see signs of improvement in this campaign.

"I think there are quite a few fans who would criticise the football their playing, but to be quite truthful, last season they were justified as the football was poor.

"Playing passing football is what West Ham is all about but football is about results. Sam has to get credit for what he has done and to be honest this season the football is a lot better."

Julian Dicks is an ambassador for Barclays 'Don't pass it, ping it' campaign. Pingit is revolutionary technology developed by Barclays which allows people to transfer money to each other using their mobile phone. Users do not need to be a Barclays customer. For more info go to www.barclays.co.uk.