David Moyes has been in charge for almost two months now. How do you think he has done in the role so far?
David Blackmore: As someone who was dismayed about his appointment, I must say I’ve been impressed with how he has organised us and inspired our players to start fighting out of the trouble we found ourselves in back in November.
Lucy Woolford: I think it’s fair to say he’s exceeded expectations. Fair enough, expectations were low but he’s proved a lot of us quite wrong. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and think we’re a fully changed club but he has done well with his resources and achieved good results and performances.
James Jones: I’ve been impressed. It hasn’t been perfect but it’s been positive in parts. He’s made us harder to beat and we’re scoring goals, so I think he’s turning out to be a good appointment.
Greg Richardson: His biggest task was to get us more defensively sound and to instill some confidence in the players which he has definitely done. We have more points than I expected to pick up from our December fixtures, so credit to him for that.
Jack Kavanagh: I’m somewhat happy with the Moyes era so far. I do still wonder if the players have just reverted back to their default after starting the season so badly. The Chelsea and Tottenham results disguise that Newcastle, Bournemouth and Everton smashed in ten goals against us.
David Meagher: It’s been mixed in terms of results but definitely the sense of gloom that had been at the club since Payet left has lifted. He doesn’t have the charisma of Bilic but we are slowly climbing up the table and the players look up for it.
What should West Ham’s number one priority be in the January transfer window?
DB: With Kouyate and Obiang not reaching the same levels that we’ve seen in the previous seasons, I think we look a bit light in the centre of the park. Noble has done well of late, Arnautovic has been in excellent form since Moyes was appointed – as has King Arthur – so it feels like we need one final piece to complete our midfield puzzle to help fire ourselves up the league.
LW: I know there are lots of positions we need improvement in, but I don’t feel like this transfer window is the right time to do it. We have a manager on a short-term contract so why waste money now? Number one priority therefore: Keep Manuel Lanzini.
JJ: A central midfielder, preferably one that is happy doing the defensive work and allowing his midfield partner to push forward. And then I’d say another striker to boost our chances in front of goal.
GR: A central midfielder is vital in my opinion. It is the main area that we are light in. We need someone who can be a bit more creative than what Obaing, Kouyate and Noble offer, take that burden off of Lanzini and provide some competition to those three.
JK: There remains an urgent need for defensive improvements, particularly at centre back and defensive midfield. Our attack has covered much of the weaknesses in the backline but we struggle to consistently keep clean sheets.
DM: January is not a good time to try to fix deep-seated problems. In reality, we need another forward, our midfield is constantly being bossed and needs a ball-holding presence, and the defence needs strengthening.
The Irons have been linked with selling Reece Oxford. How surprised would you be if he were to be sold?
DB: I was glad to see Moyes expressing his interest in having a good look at Oxford. But selling him, whether it’s this month, the summer or anytime in the next couple of years, will be a huge mistake. I really feel he has the potential to go to the very top.
LW: I wouldn’t be surprised but I would be disappointed. We have someone who we should have nurtured better and you just know that if we sell him to an English club he’s going to go on and do well. But if we do sell, we should hold out for good money.
GR: Not massively. Something just doesn’t seem right with the whole Oxford saga. For him to have completely fallen off Bilic’s radar and then struggle to get games under Stam at Reading suggests an issue with attitude.
JK: German clubs are circling the youngster who might be keen to return abroad, and I would not be surprised if West Ham get fleeced for Oxford, as a result of failing to appreciate the talent we have.
DM: Very. We are a wealthy club now and we need to think of where we want to be in two to three years. Imagine a centre back partnership of Rice and Oxford? That would be the foundation for a top four side.
Does Javier Hernandez get in our best XI and would he be in your side if you were manager?
DB: Yes. A confident, fully-fit Hernandez, in a side built to play to his strengths, would flourish. He is a natural goal scorer.
LW: We have better strikers than Chicharito and no, he probably doesn’t fit in to my best XI, but I would keep him in the squad. He’s a player who needs support and service from players around him and if he has that then he can be a regular scorer.
JJ: Yes he does but he needs to be playing in a system that suits him, which is not what we’re doing at the moment. I think he should only start the games in which we’re expected to attack more than defend, at least then he’s not isolated and frustrated.
GR: I think if you’re listing our best 11 players then yes. If your naming our best team, I am not sure he does. For all his natural finishing ability, I don’t think he offers a lot to our game.
JK: Hernandez is the best finisher in the team, and I am frustrated by how we’ve mismanaged him. The man has never scored outside the area in the Premier League; he needs the ball in the area.
DM: No. Chicharito has not delivered after his initial brace against Southampton in August.
Video technology is being trialled in the FA Cup this season. Are you in favour of this and how do you see it working?
DB: I’m 100 per cent in favour of it being introduced. There are a lot of conversations to be had about it though. I certainly think both sides should be given two chances per half to review a decision made by the ref.
LW: Overall, I’m in favour but it would be a huge transition. We’d have to accept as fans that decisions would also go against us as well as for us, which I think would cause friction on the terraces. I wonder if a ‘review’ system would work, where teams each get three opportunities to question decisions.
JJ: I am in favour of it but nothing will ever iron out any of the inconsistencies and problems the game can whip up. Challenges are, sometimes at least, contentious even when replayed over and over again. It still always goes down to opinion.
GR: The practical side of me is all for it. Give managers three appeals where they can request the fourth official or whoever to review an incident. This should lead to fewer incidents like Wilson’s unjust leveller.
JK: As someone who follows the NBA, I appreciate the accuracy provided by video technology, but I hate the delays it brings to games. I fear the implementation of video refereeing could make football matches interminable.
DM: Hard to say no after the Bournemouth nonsense. It’s inevitable – just look at the positive impact it has had in rugby.
Where do you think we will finish this season?
DB: There is absolutely no reason why we can’t finish in the top half of the table but it all depends on how many points we collect by the end of January.
LW: The top of the bottom half. I’d be delighted with 11th but anywhere between there and 14th would be all right. I think that’s realistic enough!
JJ: Between eighth and 12th. I strongly believe we’re capable of putting a good run of results together.
GR: I am rubbish at predictions so can I just say, hopefully above 18th!
JK: I’ll use the famous words: West Ham are too good to get relegated. We will pull out several unconvincing victories to secure a solid mid-table finish.
DM: 12th. We are improving all the time but still capable of conceding goals when we open it up.