The Ex Files: ‘Our most consistent season in my lifetime and fans weren’t there’

Rice is on the rise, our Czech stars created a winning spirit - but can we keep Jesse?

Jarrod Bowen (WHU) prepares to take a corner at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

This season has been one to remember and a real positive in what has been quite a testing year for us all. 

At the start of the season if you would have told me that we would still technically be in with a shout for a Champions League spot with three games to go, I would have laughed in your face.

A lot of the success has to obviously be credited to Moyes and his backroom staff. 

I think he appointed his team really well. Each one offers experience, expertise and strength to all areas and they are all really liked by the players. 

The excellent team spirit starts from the top. This spirit then runs through the team and I think the two Czech mates are also a big part in this. 

The permanent signing of Soucek and Coufal have not only brought two very good players and contenders for Hammer of the Year but also two that again add to the spirit of this side. 

The other crucial positive moment in our season was the signing of Jesse Lingard. What a revelation he has been.

We really need to do everything within our power to make him a permanent signing. Again, he is crucial to the team spirit and a real class act. 

I think another positive has been the continued progression of Declan Rice and his increasing role as captain. 

At 22, Declan still has so much time for improvement and that is a frightening prospect. I hope he can remain for a long time and become a West Ham legend. 

There have been so many highs and very little lows. I think injuries have been one of the negative parts of the season and had we been able to keep Antonio and Ogbonna fitter for longer, we could have finished even higher.

Of course all teams have injuries but the bottom line is we have had them to crucial players and we do not have the squad depth to adequately replace the players that have been out. 

Unfortunately we all knew that Antonio’s hamstrings were never going to last the duration of the season and our inability to replace Haller as his backup could really haunt us. 

In some games we have managed without him, however, he is our only real goal threat and any team would suffer as a result of losing their top forward. 

Another frustration of the season is that fans have not been able to go. Our best season in years and the supporters haven’t been there inside the stadium. 

There is also the argument that we may not have done so well with fans because of the negative feeling towards the board but this of course is unproven. 

In slight compensation to this, we have been able to watch every game and not try to find rubbish streams that buffer every 20 seconds for games that we couldn’t attend.

On the whole, despite not being able to go to games, the performances have seen us have one of our most consistent seasons in my lifetime and I think it is fair to say that Moyes and the players have done a great job. 

Another thing that has been a real positive for me about this season was the emergence of our patreon site. 

I know I mention this every month but I believe a combination of subscribing to Blowing Bubbles magazine and signing up for our patreon site at http://www.patreon.com/thewesthamway you will satisfy all your West Ham needs. 

Our site will be even more active during the transfer window.  We have also interviewed David Cross, Stephen Bywater, Sebastian Schemmel, Leroy Rosenior and Nigel Winterburn this month too, as well as all the usual exclusive news.    

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