The two things are obviously not mutually exclusive, but would you rather finish in the top four or win the FA Cup?
Brian Williams: FA Cup for me. You can’t beat a Wembley final — and I’d like all the younger fans who’ve been so loyal through thick and thin to experience the thrill of seeing the old trophy being hoisted aloft by a West Ham captain. They deserve it.
Emily Pulham: Win the FA Cup for sure. I’m the same as Slaven; I want to see the players lifting a trophy. Plus, both things lead to the same result – European football – but only one does so with a trophy in the closet. We need the trophy
Stuart Plant: It has to be the FA Cup! Doesn’t it?! I’m also very glad to see the players, manager, and board echo that sentiment rather than eyeing the obvious instant rewards of entering a competition like the Champions League. Despite recent set-backs, both are horribly realistic achievements!
Danny Rust: I would prefer us to win the FA Cup. We haven’t won the world’s most famous cup competition in 36 years and getting our hands on the FA Cup would be a fitting way to leave the Boleyn Ground. Also, if we finish fourth we would be unseeded and have to go through the Champions League qualifiers and face a tough opponent. So getting into the Champions League would not be a given.
West Ham have been linked with a number of big-money strikers in recent weeks, which forward would you like to see West Ham sign this summer?
BW: It hasn’t worked for Christian Benteke at Liverpool, but he was awesome in a very poor Villa side. If he could recapture that form with the creative players we have he’d score a hatful. The man I’d really like to sign is Romelu Lukaku — if only to stop him scoring against us every time he lines up for the opposition.
EP: I just want them to sign a new server for their website. It shouldn’t take a season ticket holder over five hours to buy their own seat for a cup game. Otherwise, Zlatan Ibramovic.
SP: I don’t know much of the French targets; Lacazette and Batshuayi. I think Zlatan would be a sensational move if his heart is in it while he waits for a move to the MLS. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s many Premier League strikers I’d want, barring the obvious. I fully put my faith in our scouting system and manager here to find a 15 to 20 goal a season striker!
DR: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move but I don’t see how we could possibly afford his wages. I think Christian Benteke has been poor this season for Liverpool and I’m unsure as to whether he could adapt to Slaven Bilic’s style of play. Out of the strikers who have been mentioned, I’d probably go for Wilfried Bony
It looks as though Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa may all be relegated this summer. Are there any players from those teams you’d like us to sign?
BW: Villa are terrible — I reckon I could select 11 lads from the Bobby Moore Lower and they’d beat this present lot of Villains. And there’s no one in the Newcastle or Sunderland sides that could expect to start for us. If I had to take anyone it would probably be Daryl Janmaat — he’d be useful cover for Sam Byram at right back.
EP: I feel like this could be an unpopular choice but Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Jonjo Shelvey. I don’t see Shelvey starting regularly, but he’s got potential and he’s never really played for the right team. We could be the right team for him.
SP: I don’t think so to be honest. For me all of the players from those clubs had turned their backs on trying to save their respective clubs long before relegation was a forgone conclusion. So for that reason alone, count me out of wanting any of them. Micah Richards could have been one if he’d even looked half decent for Villa this season.
DR: The Aston Villa players have no passion or determination so I don’t think I’d bother going for anyone at Villa Park at the moment. Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko would add a bit of strength but is possibly too similar to some players we already have. Tim Krul is a good goalkeeper though, and he would be a good signing. Wahbi Khazri has looked good since joining Sunderland so he could be a decent addition.
Dean Ashton rolled back the years in Mark Noble’s testimonial with a spectacular overhead kick. What’s your favourite ever West Ham goal?
BW: It has to be Ronnie Boyce in the 1964 FA Cup final against Preston North End. I had taken the life-changing decision to support West Ham in the run-up to the game. Ticker had scored twice in the semi-final to get us to Wembley, and his last-minute winner against Preston cemented that decision. However, this was three weeks before my eighth birthday and boys that age have been known to change their minds. Who knows if I would be a Hammer today if he hadn’t put away Peter Brabrook’s cross and West Ham had lost in extra time? Sorry. Did someone just call me a glory-hunter?
EP: The Carlos Tevez goal against Manchester United in May 2007 that sunk Sheffield United and kept us in the Premier League. It was £30 million well spent.
SP: Deano’s overhead at Old Trafford, Carlton Cole’s brilliant team goal against Wigan, and Di Canio’s volleys against Chelsea and Wimbledon. Spoilt for choice! I think I’ll have to take a spin and land on Ashton’s quarter-final goal against Manchester City in that FA Cup run. Sensational play and finish. Or quite a few of Bobby Zamora’s? We’ve scored some crackers..
DR: My favourite West Ham goal would have to be Paolo Di Canio’s superb volley against Wimbledon. The way he ran on to Trevor Sinclair’s cross and volleyed it into the far corner was fantastic. It won Sky Sports’ Premiership Goal of the Decade and it was well deserved. But Dimitri Payet’s free kicks against Manchester United and Crystal Palace have been my favourite goals this season.
Dimitri Payet or Paolo Di Canio?
EP: This is like asking if I prefer oxygen or water – you need both to survive. We know what Paolo has done for us, but we don’t know yet what Dimitri will do for us in the future. So for now, Di Canio for me – but Payet certainly has the potential to change this over the years.
SP: Until he has been here and done it for a longer period of time, Paolo. Payet is genuinely world class and will surpass him though, I’m just not a big fan of labelling players as ‘legends’ for no more than a brief stint, ala, Carlos Tevez. Paolo produced over several years, and I’m sure Dimitri will too!
DR: It’s so difficult to choose between them but I’d probably go for Paolo Di Canio just because of his passion. He always wore his heart on his sleeve and the reception he received at Mark Noble’s testimonial shows how much he means to Hammers fans. Dimitri Payet has only been a Hammer for less than a year so over time he could become as much of a cult hero as the Italian. * Brian Williams has discussed this question in detail. Please see page 17.