The West Ham View
As we build up to our trip to the London Stadium, TEB had a chat with Jake from West Ham COYI to find out about their season so far.
Q. What do you make of the season so far for West Ham?
It has been a frustrating season so far. We have had a lot of games this season where we have made individual errors and conceded late on in games and cost ourselves a number of points. It started off very poorly under Slaven Bilic, and we really did fear the worst, but David Moyes has managed to come in and get some very important results which has seen us push up the table. The bottom half of the league is so tight at the moment, but we have been on a decent run, only losing once in eight league games since we got our first win under Moyes. Hopefully we can continue picking up results and move further away from the relegation zone.
Q. Was it the right decision to sack Slaven Bilic?
It was certainly the correct decision to sack Bilic. You would struggle to find many fans who disliked him. He gave us some memories that will be kept forever in our final season at Upton Park and his passion for West Ham never went unnoticed. However, it just was not working out and it was time to go. I am sure most would agree they would have loved to have seen him turn it around, but he had lost the dressing room, and ultimately, we need to stay in the Premier League and it just was not going to happen with him in charge.
Q. How about the appointment of David Moyes? Many seemed underwhelmed but he has done well since arriving hasn’t he?
The appointment of Moyes split the opinion of many. If you was taking Moyes straight from his Everton days, you would say it was a great appointment, but of course he had a tough time in-between. However, when you do look back, he never really got the time or money to succeed at United and when you look at where Sunderland are now, it seems like it was an impossible job to keep them in the Premier League. It was probably the board promising the fans the world and always stressing our ambition that left many underwhelmed with the appointment. But when you look at it now, he is what we needed. He was always going to get this side back to doing the basics right, and that would eventually get us results, as it has done.
Q. Have things settled down at the London Stadium now and does it feel more like your home?
I would say things have settled down, especially when you look at it compared to last season. Everything was a complete disaster on and off the pitch. It certainly does not feel like home to me though. Again, it is something that everyone has a different opinion on, but as a season ticket holder from the Upton Park days, those two stadiums could not be any further apart. Personally, I just do not get the same feeling and buzz at the London Stadium that I did when going to a game at Upton Park. A lot of changes would need to be made to really make it feel like home, but that is only likely to happen if we owned the stadium, and I am not sure our board are willing to buy it and make those necessary changes.
Q. Do you expect much business by the club in the January transfer window?
We need to make a few signings, but I doubt we will in January. We only named six substitutes against Huddersfield, which may have been Moyes trying to make a point, but regardless of that, everyone knows we need a to recruit. The problem is that there seems to be a lot of rumours flying around that we will only make signings if players leave. We nearly shot ourselves in the foot last season by not recruiting well in January, and I speak on behalf of most West Ham fans, we need to bring in two or three players and add to our squad without letting the same amount leave.
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the football the club.
Up and down. We’ve had some highs and some lows, but that’s what you expect when you sign up to being a West Ham fan.
Q. What do you make of Palace’s current predicament?
After your start, Roy Hodgson has done extremely well to get you to where you are. Most people wrote Palace off and the job he has done so far, he deserves so much credit for. We have both followed similar paths this season. Needed a change, both went with experienced Premier League managers, and despite the criticism for both appointments, it looks at the moment as though they are both paying off. I saw earlier that Palace are second or third for the most points gained from losing positions. Hodgson has installed that never say die attitude back into the Palace squad and has got you playing some good football. It is still tight from tenth place down, but I think Palace will be just fine come the end of the season.
Q. Name one player from EACH side that you think the opposition should consider a real threat.
The threat to Palace has to be Marko Arnautovic [Editor – chat happened before his injury!]. His confidence is sky high, and he is in unbelievable form. He is our main man at the moment. If he is not the one scoring the goals, he is probably assisting and he has such a will to win. The main threat to us will be Wilfried Zaha. He has outstanding ability, and on the big pitch, could find himself in a lot of space to showcase that, and express his pace and ability. Like Arnautovic for us, Zaha seems to always have such a big impact on that Palace side.
Q. Your prediction?
I think it will be a close game. Both sides have proved that they are tough to beat. One thing we do struggle against at home is pace on the break, which is something Palace have a lot of so I am going to say 1-1.
Q. And finally, please tell us how your Twitter account came about and how have you managed to build it up?
The Twitter account actually started a few years back during my A-Levels. We had to create a social media account as part of a project. I started this and have carried it on from there. I have just built it up through regularly tweeting any news and my opinions, and fortunately I have had a few people who have agreed along the way.