West Ham face Chelsea, Bournemouth and Leicester City this month – how many points do you think Slaven Bilic’s side will pick up?
Emily Pulham: I would love to see us take three points from both Bournemouth and Leicester, but knowing our bizarre approach to football, we’ll take three from Chelsea and lose to the two teams below us.
Kiran Moodley: I’d expect four points from those games but I mainly want to see us challenge Chelsea. Bilic was all about beating the big clubs last year and yet this season we haven’t beaten any of the big sides and have been thumped numerous times. It’s about time we started showing better form than just beating the strugglers.
David Bowden: I think Chelsea will be too strong for us as they are seemingly a runaway train under Conte at the minute. There is no reason, however, why we can’t pick up six points from Bournemouth and Leicester who are both in free fall at the moment. These are the type of games you have to be winning if you want to be going places in this league.
Simon Osborn: Six points would be great and four wouldn’t be the end of the world. Kiran’s right that it would be nice to give Chelsea a game as we’ve really struggled against the big teams at the Olympic Stadium this season. The ground needs a few amazing against-theodds victories to feel like home and if we can put a dent in Antonio Conte’s title charge I’m sure the place will be buzzing under the lights like it was in the League Cup earlier this season.
What is your favourite memory of playing Chelsea?
EP: It’s a recent one actually – beating them in the cup at the Olympic Stadium. It was our first taste of atmosphere in our new ground and boy did it taste good.
KM: Favourite Chelsea memory is definitely the 3-1 win under Allardyce. Everything about the game, that day, and the context was brilliant.
DB: Ironically a game I wasn’t actually at, our 3-1 victory over Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea at Upton Park. I had to give my seat up due to a university assignment, a glamour FA Cup clash, Luton Town vs Dorchester Town. Leaving the house at 0-1, I didn’t feel too disappointed to be missing it but the following 45 minutes of texts and updates will live long in the memory.
SO: That win was special and it was great too see them getting on Rafa’s back when things started to go wrong for them. I also remember beating them 2-1 in the 2001/02 season, it was my first year of having a season ticket and we were fabulous that night. Michael Carrick scored a long-range daisy-cutter and Freddy Kanoute added the second before we held off a fight-back.
Would you welcome an Abramovich style takeover of our club?
Would you welcome an Abr EP: No. Would rather do things the proper way and earn success rather than buy it.
KM: Yes, I think. I’ve thought about this idea for many, many years and am slowly coming round to the thought that it may be something worth welcoming. Even a Red Bill type of takeover like with Leipzig.
DB:Whilst that would bring near guaranteed success for us, I would hate for us to sell our soul even more than it already has been. Chelsea are everyone’s least favourite club after effectively buying the league through their Russian oil money. I would hate for us to be that kind of club. If we were to be bought I would rather it be in the style of the Mansour’s at City.
SO: I’m not really sure what the difference between Chelsea’s takeover and City’s is, although the latter does seem to have a bit more class about them. I would take investment if it took us to the next level but we’d have to be very careful about who the club was sold to as we could easily end up with the kind of guys who have ruined Portsmouth and Birmingham. amovich style takeover of our club?
Were Leicester City right to sack Claudio Ranieri given what he achieved with the club last season?
EP: Absolutely not. I can’t see any other manager in the world coaxing a title out of such mediocrity.
KM: Definitely not. Yes, the results were poor but they weren’t in the relegation zone and the players let him down. I think it’s a horrible example of players, staff and owners thinking far too highly of themselves and passing the buck to the nicest man in football.
DB: It’s another defeat for football, it’s a ridiculous decision that puts another nail in the coffin for loyalty in this beautiful game. Even more worrying is the fact that it was seemingly his players, who he made into household names last season single-handedly, who got him the boot. Sickening.
SO: I wouldn’t have sacked him and I’m surprised about the timing. They were still in the Champions League and out of the bottom three when they did it so I’d have thought they would have given him more time. Ranieri deserves a statue for what he did last season. I hope they go down.
Adrian is out of contract this summer, who would you like to see as our number one next year? Adrian, Randolph or a new signing?
EP: I actually still think we have two good ‘keepers on our books. Randolph will be number one for me – but he’s got to start thinking about saving penalties.
KM: I’d take a risk on Randolph and trying to get Joe Hart or someone else. As much as I love Adrian’s character and those Everton heroics, he is too prone to rash judgements and silly mistakes.
DB: I personally believe that Adrian will leave in the summer and return home in the hope of finding first team football in sunny Spain. This would mean we would need to buy a replacement for him. Randolph has come into the side and been solid, but to go places you need to have players who are more than just ‘solid’. Joe Hart anyone?
SO: I started this season thinking that we had two really good goalkeepers on our books but I’ve come to the conclusion that neither of them are the man for us longterm. I’m really not sold on Randolph and Slaven seems to have given up on Adrian. I’d love to see someone like Joe Hart or Asmir Begovic come in.