Pub Talk: How do you feel about our games between now and Christmas? What have you made of Haller’s performances?

It’s an overused expression but there really aren’t any easy games at this level

Was Ademola Lookman’s penalty the worst penalty you’ve ever seen?

Meirion Williams: it has to be one of the worst but then again I was there when Kanoute passed the ball back to Seaman back in August 2002 which resulted in us not winning a game for almost five months!

Greg Richardson: in terms of potential importance to his team, it’s right up there. I remember the Henry/Pires one where they attempted to be really clever and play a pass but made a mess of it. That was pretty bad but I don’t recall it costing them. Fulham may well regret that dropped point.

David Meagher: It was certainly the funniest i’ve seen in a long while. The look on Fab’s face – i thought he was going to throw the ball back to Lookman so that he could take a ‘proper’ penalty! That said, who will replace Nobes as our penalty taker?

After our game and performance against Fulham, how are you feeling about our run of games between now and Christmas?

MW: We have done really well in some tough games but it’s often what looks like the easy ones that we seem to struggle with. It’s a real mixed bag leading up to Christmas. Away to Sheffield United will be tough as will the away game at Leeds but as for the others I have no fear of us failing to get a result and that includes away to Chelsea.

GR: I know it’s an overused expression but there really aren’t any easy games at this level and I think ours will be tricky. Fulham showed we will struggle to break teams down that set to defend. Strangely more optimistic about us against bigger teams as our game plan suits playing on the break

DM: We are West Ham so predictably we will stutter against the smaller clubs and then get results against Man Utd and Chelsea! We need to get 10 plus points in the six games before Christmas if we are to genuinely push for the next level of top six.

What have you made of Haller’s performances since Antonio was ruled out?

MW: What do you do with a problem like Haller? Since Antonio was injured, we have done really well in games with just 10 players on the pitch – Haller has been awful. With every game his resale value gets reduced.

GR: I feel for Haller. I don’t buy that he doesn’t work hard, he just looks different to Antonio when he does it. He makes good runs but we don’t pick them out or release him quick enough. That said, Antonio is first choice, his runs in behind and down the channels give us better options. 

DM: Haller’s not good enough for me – slow, only modest first touch and lazy. How we didn’t see that before splashing out all that cash is beyond me. We need a mobile striker with our current system but he is anything but that. Thankfully Michail is back soon.

Do you think this will be Mark Noble’s final season with West Ham?

MW: It’s looking like that. Mark has been a great servant to the club but it looks very much like his time may be over. Hopefully he will stay but his days of being a starter and even a sub are sadly behind him. He will still be good to have around though. 

GR: Yes, he’s been a great servant but can no longer warrant a starting role. Really pleased to hear he is already helping coach the kids. We definitely need to keep him at the club in some capacity. Be great to have him manage us one day.

DM: Yes. What a legend. He should go straight onto the coaching team. 

What have you made of Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals?

MW: I was a kid when Margaret Thatcher was christened the ‘milk snatcher’ and my political leanings mean that when I see the rich taking from the needy it gets my goat. It’s great to see Marcus making a stand. I just hope that Sullivan’s donation to the cause is not tax deductible.

GR: I think it’s incredible what Rashford has done, although it’s scandalous that he has had to. It’s a shame fans aren’t in the ground to show him the appreciation he deserves. And well played to Sully for donating to the cause, good PR yes, but every little helps a great cause.

DM: Rashford has been brilliant and it’s great to see how footballers can use their influence in such a positive way. Fair dues to Sully for donating, it sends out a message about the type of society we want our kids to encounter when they first step out in the world. 

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