Ahead of the Baggies' last ever visit to Upton Park, we
caught up once more with Stu from the West Ham blog
He gives his views on the Hammers' season so far, Slaven Bilic, the loss of
and more. You can follow Stu
on twitter @IronViewsStu.
How would you
rate the Hammers' season so far?
Very good. The fact we can
bemoan the game against Tottenham for being horrendous, this, that, and the
other. We're still 6th. The fact it could have been even better if not for the
'simple' matter of an incredible amount of individual errors which have led to
goals. So yes, all in all it has been a cracking start to the season. The fun is
back, the entertainment factor is back, it's all coming together nicely.
Slaven Bilic? What's he brought to the club?
As touched on, the feeling of
West Ham is back. Perhaps this has been created by Bilic being such a stark
contrast to Sam Allardyce who had sucked the life out of the fans, the club and
seemingly the players judging by our second half of last year!
Bilic is a brilliant man outside
of management, and inside he has had varying success wherever he has been. He
gets the club, he gets the fans. It's a match made in heaven really.
Can he maintain this sort of
form, it's questionable. Where can he push us on to in the League? Who knows.
But if we carry on recruiting players of the same ilk as of late, he won't have
to do an awful lot of actual managing!!!
disappointing was the club's early Europa League exit?
It varies. Sometimes I wish we'd
given it a proper crack. Others I think, no, we've started the season well
because of it. If at the end of the season we're not top 8, then it will be seen
as a downer, if because of that early exit we finish in the top 8...well I think
most would struggle to remember the grievances of our embarrassing exit!
How have your
summer signings done so far?
Payet has been exceptional. I
still don't truly believe we have a player of his calibre at the club.
Especially when his talent and creativity was so well known around Europe. It's
a huge shame he got injured, but, we're not a one man team.
Manuel Lanzini has arguably been
better than Payet but has gone under the radar massively because of the
Frenchman. At only 22 this boy has the world at his feet if he can continue to
progress and mature.
Angelo Ogbonna, has looked
exceptionally good. Again a shame he has been out with injuries and struggled to
get straight back into the XI.
Darren Randolph, brilliant...for
Pedro Obiang has looked very
impressive, but has struggled with injuries so far.
Victor Moses is someone we've
been crying out for for years. So, I'm glad we got him in on loan.
Michail Antonio, er...well I was
chuffed to see us sign him as I went to school with him! But he just hasn't got
his chance yet, when he does, I've no doubt he'll grab it and prove his worth.
Song, not played other than 10
Carl Jenkinson, has scored some
goals. Other than that, I don't even want to talk about him!
Jelavic has done okay, but not
played enough as a substitute to validate any sort of consensus.
club needs to do in January?
Fullbacks. Cresswell and
Jenkinson will likely remain as first choices. But when they're not in form
we've only got Tomkins who can replace Jenkinson, on the left, well, it'd have
to be Joey O'Brien right now...which we'd all rather not have to endure!
the eye for the Hammers so far this season?
Payet, of course. But also
Lanzini, an unknown quantity. Of 22 years of age. On loan from an obscure team
and league I can't remember without googling. To come into the Premier League
and to have been instrumental in where the club has got itself so far this
season is nothing short of astonishing. I just hope he can keep up this level of
performance up for the course of the season.
And if he does, I'm bloody glad
we have 'first refusal' in as part of the contract as there'd be a lot of teams
Our fullbacks. They were both
the bright sparks throughout last season. This season, they've been poor and
calamitous...especially Jenkinson. The collective back five too, whilst there
have been consistently good performances from some (such as Tomkins) - the
amount of individual errors has completely crippled us in a handful of games
this season already.
West Ham's season?
Hopefully top 8.
Pulis is by no means a brilliant
manager, but, he knows what it takes to keep a club up and in the middle of the
table. Much like Allardyce in that respect I suppose?
Leicester City? Ha, no. As long
as Man Utd don't win it and we have to be subjected to LVG spewing nonsense for
winning it whilst being possibly the most boring man and boring football
City looked good but have let
themselves down as per usual. If Arsenal bothered buying players they'd walk it
I'll gamble on City coming good!
Chelsea? I wish...
Bournemouth (unlucky with injuries)
Newcastle (where do you even
Aston Villa (bizarre
recruitment, have shown next to nothing all season)