West Ham hit the post twice in their 0-0 draw with Manchester United, but were you happy only taking a point from Old Trafford?
Lucy Woolford: In a word, yes. All right, it looked at times like West Ham could’ve taken all three points, but it was an impressive performance both defensively and in attack. Man United had their chances too. Injuries are plaguing us again, but to get a good point at Old Trafford and activate their boo-boys is always a bonus.
David Meagher: Even though we rarely get anything up there, and we had a seriously depleted attacking line, I wasn’t happy with the point. We had a clear game plan that was not just an Allardycian bus parking exercise. As a result we competed and ultimately created the better chances. Apart from the two that hit the post, Moses and Zarate missed super chances. Under Bilic we refuse to be intimidated, ever.
Andrew Hosie: Yes, very happy, particularly after some poor away performances recently (Tottenham and Watford matches I’m looking at you!) it was good to get back on track. Yes, we could have sneaked it but overall with our injuries to key players the performance was excellent.
David Bowden: A point at Old Trafford is one never to be sniffed at and a result I am sure every Hammer would have taken before the game. However the way the game panned out to not walk away with the three points is bitterly disappointing. But to be gutted with only getting a draw against Manchester United shows how far we have come as a club.
Marcus Johns: I think a point is about the best we could have hoped for — but if only Zarate had managed to finish either chance!! With the amount of attacking talent on the treatment table, our ability to counter is seriously hampered. But the fact some are disappointed by a point at Old Trafford shows how far we’ve come!
James Jones: I think you’ve always got to be happy with a point at Old Trafford. Man United haven’t been playing well and were there for the taking. It was a good result all the same, though.
The Hammers have plenty of attacking players out at the moment, how confident are you the club can make it through the busy Christmas period?
LW: The way I know I’m confident is that I’m not panicking before each game. I’m not giving it too much thought, but to me that’s a good sign that we have enough decent backup to counteract the losses. It’s going to be a tough Christmas, but if we can avoid more injuries, we’ll be fine.
DM: Our fixtures are relatively easy but it will be a stern test, especially with Moses out now as well. As an optimist, I am inclined to see opportunities for the likes of Antonio and Jelavic to show what they can do.
DB: Alex Song returning to fitness is massive for the Hammers, but with Victor Moses and Manuel Lanzini picking up knocks it only adds to our ever-growing injury list. Whilst I have every confidence in Slaven ‘the tinkerer’ Bilic, I do see us struggling in front of goal, thankfully the fixture gods have been kind and served us up some winnable fixtures.
MJ: Injuries have been our curse again in recent weeks. Zarate has looked lively, so we do still have some creativity. Enough to unlock Villa surely? If Valencia is back for Southampton it’s a huge bonus as we need more mobility up top. I’d like to see Antonio given his chance in the first team too.
If you could ask for one (realistic) player for Christmas who would it be?
LW: I think we need to be looking at proven Premier League and maybe even Europa League performers. But first and foremost, let’s wrap up this Lanzini deal that’s said to be on the table in order to stop any suggestions of him heading elsewhere in the summer. That’d make my Christmas.
DM: Charlie Austin or Jordan Rhodes. We still lack that classic poacher who would take us to the next level. Austin is wasted at QPR, while Rhodes deserves a chance at the top level as he has never failed to deliver yet.
AH: I don’t really know, to be honest. We need a right back definitely and I’ve been reading reports about Davide Santon. It’s all a bit moot though isn’t it, if, as we’ve been led to believe, Bilic has to sell before being able to buy.
DB: We need someone who can put the ball in the back of the net. With that in mind, I would bring a rather controversial striker back to the Boleyn. Jermain Defoe, love him or hate him his goal-scoring record speaks for itself and we need his predatory instincts in front of goal.
MJ: It’s tricky to call, as what we will need at Christmas, might not be what we need in the long term. Andros Townsend might give us an attacking edge — but will he get in long term? I think a right back might be needed — Jenkinson seems out of sorts, and is going back to Arsenal anyway. In essence, I’d be happier signing no one than signing an Adebayor!!
JJ: I’d like to see us sign another striker. All that fuss with Charlie Austin in the summer pretty much hindered our chances of ever signing him, so I’d go for Jordan Rhodes instead. Should Sakho suffer any more injuries, Rhodes would be the perfect alternative.
What has been your highlight from 2015?
LW: I’m going to go right back to the beginning of 2015 and say that one of my favorite moments was that Adrian penalty in the FA Cup against Everton. I constantly replay the ‘gloves off ‘ moment in my head and smile every time. Then, of course, meeting the man himself was a personal highlight.
DM: There have been so many happy days under Mr Bilic, but for comedic value, the win over Chelsea was a gem. The manner of the win, and Mourinho’s implosion were to be savoured amongst the great days at Upton Park.
AH: This season, basically. After the dreadful second half to last season, it had got to the stage where watching West Ham was actually a horrible experience, ultimately depressing. That’s not the case now as win, lose or draw West Ham have been (mostly) very entertaining to watch.
DB: This is an easy one; it has to be that early season away form. To win at Anfield, The Etihad and the Emirates as well as a cheeky home win over Chelsea was phenomenal. Those results will go down in the history of this club and in general, let’s be honest, 2015 had been a terrible year up to that point.
MJ: Oddly, all of my highlights have come during the non footballing months over the summer. From sacking Sam, appointing Bilic and bringing Dicksy back, through to the signings of Payet and Lanzini — the way the board have helped the team is mine. On the pitch, probably beating Chelsea for one final time at Upton Park.
JJ: The second half has obviously been a lot better than the first. The wins at the Emirates, Etihad and Anfield obviously stand out, but personally my highlight of 2015 is that five minute spell against Chelsea when Mourinho’s side had a complete and utter meltdown at Upton Park. Matic sent off, Jose and one of his coaches sent to the stands and players getting booked left, right and centre.
We are almost halfway through the Premier League season. Who are your three teams to go down?
LW: I can’t see Villa making any kind of progress over the rest of the season, so to me they’re all but gone. The performances Newcastle are putting in don’t warrant Premier League football at the moment. I’m going to go for a surprise too and say Swansea will go if they don’t buck up their ideas sharpish.
DM: It’s nice that for once we don’t even come into the reckoning. Until Sam arrived, Sunderland were favourites but already he has made a difference and they should just about survive. That’s bad news for Villa and Newcastle who look clueless, while Bournemouth look like they might just scrap their way to safety, leaving Norwich in 18th.
AH: Such a difficult one to predict – Aston Villa looked better against Southampton but really I have to go for them. I think Newcastle and Sunderland will survive, so, unfortunately I have to choose Bournemouth who I can’t see managing to maintain such a phenomenal work-rate and Norwich who I don’t think have enough quality to survive.
DB: I think Villa are already gone. I think Sam Allardyce’s luck has run out and I think he’ll take Sunderland down in dramatic fashion. Last but not least, despite their magnificent result at the Bridge, Bournemouth will fall through the trapdoor.
MJ: It’s as tight down there as it is at the top. Villa look certainties — they’ve just been really poor all season. Swansea seem to be in freefall at the moment too. As much as I’d love to say Chelsea, it’s only a matter of time until they turn it around. Sadly, I think Bournemouth will go.