Holly Worthington: I’m happy with this transfer window. Snodgrass is looking great and could give Antonio the opportunity to push up more and score. He’s also got Premier League experience which can only help. No strikers stood out enough to bother buying them when we have Carroll and a few other contenders. I’d far rather wait for a quality player than panic and buy someone who won’t do much.
Marcus Johns: Not really. Where is all the money? The money saved on Zaza and the Payet fee should have been reinvested. Yes, given the Ogbonna situation, Fonte is a good signing and I like Snodgrass, but where is the right back? City showed that Byram isn’t ready. An experienced squad player up front too. With injuries always likely, it’s a lot to ask if Fletcher and Calleri have to lead the line longer term.
James Gavin: I was quite pleased with our business. Selling Payet was the right move, he was going to cause problems for the team and the longer he stayed the lower the fee. In January, you don’t want to make wholesale changes. The two additions we made can both go straight into the team due to their Premier League experience and quality. Would have loved a right back though…
Ian Tilbury: After the City debacle, I think our failure to bring in any full-backs is going to hurt us. Other than that I was happy enough. There was no point signing Hogan if Slav was not keen on the player and we’re strong in midfield – although I think we need to drop Noble. However, the summer recruitment needs to be handled properly. I just hope it’s not all conducted through the media which makes us look so two-bob!
Are you happy with paying £8m for a 33-year-old defender?
HW: If Fonte can make the difference we’ve been needing in defence, regardless of age, £8 million is completely worth it. It’s definitely a gamble because if he doesn’t make it work, that’s a lot for a 33-year-old. He’ll be great for Oxford and Burke to learn from too and seemed good at communicating in the soul destroying game against Man City.
MJ: In today’s market that’s not a bad deal. Ogbonna – who I don’t particularly rate – is missing the season, and Collins doesn’t have the pace. Fonte is an established centre half who will come in and do well. The only annoyance for me is that it shows selling Tomkins was a mistake. He’d be an answer to so many of our defensive issues at centre half and right back.
JG: Two years ago I would have certainly said no, unless he was Puyol! But I think the move has many positives. We are light at the back and lack quality. Fonte is a good, intelligent player. His style of play means he still has two and a half good years in him. With Ogbonna’s injury, to be able to find a direct replacement of Fonte’s pedigree, we can be happy. Especially given today’s prices!
IT: Eight million pounds is over the top and I bet the Saints could not believe their luck. As I understand he is an organiser and talker but I saw little evidence of that on his debut. I know it’s unfair to judge him on his first game but I feel this is a wasted opportunity to start properly blooding Reece Oxford in and we have Burke for next season.
Where do you think the Hammers will finish this season?
HW: I reckon we’ll finish 8th after a decent run. We should be smashing the likes of Burnley and Stoke and I think we’ll still pull it out of the bag. We’re definitely better on paper than the teams around us – it’s just a shame football isn’t played on paper!
MJ: We’ve a run of games coming up that we should start to get points from. City were on a different level, but the performances before that had been promising. Take that level of performance into Watford, Southampton, Leicester and we should pick up. Ninth or 11th is realistic but we could finish 8th with right results.
JG: Ideally 7th. This is the highest position we can achieve, and is possible if our form continues in the same way it has since the news of Payet emerged (minus City games). This is still tricky though with us behind a very good Everton side and an in-form West Brom. Top half is probable and with all that has gone on this year, this would be a good result.
IT: Either 12th or 13th based on what I have seen this season. The home games have been pretty terrible. Let’s not kid ourselves about the Palace game – the first hour was awful. The season feels like bit of a non-event and, if anything, we have gone slightly backwards while the so-called bigger teams have improved. The Premier League is a hard league to be consistent in and you just need to look at Leicester City as a prime example. Given the stadium move, no decent striker until Christmas, the lack of Premier League-quality right back and a moody Frenchman I would consider 12th or 13th not a bad return.
Who are your three to go down?
HW: My three to go down are Sunderland, Hull and Swansea. I’m expecting Palace to end the season better than they’ve started, narrowly escaping relegation with Big Sam. Sunderland can’t rely on Defoe and Hull sold two of their key players.
MJ: That’s tricky for me to answer. Hull have improved drastically under their new manager as have Swansea but is it too little too late? Sunderland offer nothing and have bought badly, Boro don’t win enough, and Leicester look like they’re fulfilling my crash and burn into the Championship prophecy a year early! I’ll go for Sunderland, Boro and Leicester as my three.
JG: Hull. They lost two of their best players in the January transfer window and I cannot see much higher than bottom for them. Who could predict a Sam Allardyce team to be relegated? Not me! Similarly with Swansea and Paul Clement so that leaves Sunderland, whom I hope will finally go down. Lastly comes a trade off between Middlesbrough and Leicester and I’m going to say Middlesbrough.
IT: Sunderland and Hull are certain to go down. The other spot up for grabs. Like James said, I think Swansea might just be OK now as they appear to have turned a corner.. I reckon it’s between Palace – sorry James! – and Middlesbrough but I’d also throw Bournemouth into the mix and, rather incredibly, the reigning champions. If I had to place a bet on the third team, then I’d go with Middlesbrough. We got four points off them this season after all!
Sum up how you feel about Dimitri Payet in one sentence?
HW: I’m not angry, just disappointed.
MJ: His lack of maturity in handling a situation has seen his legacy turn him from hero to zero. Had he expressed his family’s unhappiness and stuck it out until the end of the season, he’d still be a hero to many. Sadly, his memory will forever be tarnished.
JG: I’m disappointed too but grateful for last season and thankful the deal is done. Now we can move on.
IT:I feel like a parent who is disappointed rather than angry – are you sensing a theme here?! I believe he had personal issues and wanted to head home – I have no argument on that front – but why do what he did? I’d love to hear his side of the story although I believe Slaven. The memory of the last season at Upton Park is now, for me, somewhat tarnished and that really hurts as the move from Upton Park remains really raw for me.