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Talking To The Enemy


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This weeks instalment is brought to you via the wonderful people at www.westhamforum.co.uk


1) Now that the season is coming to a close what are your feelings about the 08/09 campaign and has it matched your expectations?


Spleeman87: We started the season with Alan Curbishley as manager. He was known for boring, but safe football, so I was expecting another mid table finish. When Zola was appointed, I was very nervous. I'll admit I thought it was a bad move. Was happy when Steve Clarke came on board and now I feel they have done a fantastic job, considering the injuries we have suffered (Ashton, Collison, Parker and Behrami to name a few). To be 2 games away from the end of the season and only 2 points from a Europa League spot has exceeded my expectations.


pernunz: Our expectations under Curbishley were probably survival with mid-table mediocrity. With Zola coming in, we can say we are quite pleased with the progress he has made, and the style of play he is encouraging


evergrowingbrain: Generally it seems we've done pretty well, but I'd have like to have seen better results in the BIG games (drawing away to Chelsea and Liverpool is all very well, but we got nothing at home) and some better performances against the dross (barely beating stoke, losing to hull, worst game ever against west Brom) but we seem to have grinded it out against the mediocre.


essexlad: It's far exceeded my expectations. I think most of us were expecting to at least be safe, but in quite a dull way with Curbs in charge. Zola and Clarke have come in and won more games than expected, but more importantly for me, have started to make us play some cracking football at times.


2) There is currently alot of debate around the Europa League and whether or not teams and fans actually want to go. What are your views on this?


Spleeman87: Its what you play for at the end of the day. If you are a Premier League side you want to succeed at the highest level possible. At the moment, for West Ham, the Europa League is the best competition we could be involved in. We have a big squad with a great mixture of experienced players and up and coming youngsters. I'd love for us to qualify.


pernunz: Yes, there is debate on the Europa League. I personally think it would be great to get in. Who doesn't want to see their team play more often?


evergrowingbrain: Good excuse to get home from work early and turn on channel 5 – beer in hand. I’m in (if we make it - I think Fulham will pip us to the post.)


essexlad: That's a bit of a dilemma for me now, one minute I'm for it, the next I'm against it! As long as we strengthen enough it could be a fantastic thing. It could help us attract better players and give our kids some invaluable experience. I went to Palermo away and would love another trip like that, hopefully with a different outcome. But at the same time I can't really describe in words how much I hate going to football on a Sunday!


3) Life as a Hammer seems to be a slight rollercoaster at the moment. What are you hoping for next year?


Spleeman87: Your not wrong there Pal. Very up and down, although more ups on the footballing side, rather than behind the scenes. We've had this Tevez thing hanging over us for a while, glad to see the back of that. Next year, hopefully push for top six and a decent FA Cup or Europa League run.


pernunz: Next year, perhaps a few younger players coming through to replace the aging ones (Neill, Boa Morte)


evergrowingbrain:Bags of goals, some quality upsets (in our favour) being earlier in the match of the day schedule more often (and not for getting thrashed by Liverpool)


essexlad: I tend to not get too bothered about the ongoings off the field, so it doesn't really feel like a rollercoaster to me. Which is strange, because that's all it's ever been for as long as I can remember! Next season, I'm hoping for another top ten finish and hopefully a decent Cup run. As long as we're playing good football, I'm happy.


4) West Ham have a good record with bringing youth through the ranks. Who should we look out for in the future and do you think you can retain there services?


Spleeman87: Jack Collison and James Tomkins. Both fantastic players and important to our side already. I believe they will both stay for a long time. We have a great system for youngsters here and we are told our days as a selling club are over. James Tomkins has the potential to become a regular England centre back in the next five years.


pernunz: Depends how far into the future you are talking about. Near future would be Collison and Tomkins. Not so distant future would be Savio and Stanislas. Perhaps Holmar Örn Eyjolfsson, Balint Bajner Long term future (5-8 years) would be Robert Hall


evergrowingbrain:Tomkins and Collison have been awesome. I agree with many on here that Sears needs toughening up - needs a loan spell in the Championship to get experience and goals.


essexlad: Jack Collison and James Tomkins are both superb players who have made a massive mark this year. Junior Stanislas, a fast a tricky winger/striker. Josh Payne, a very tidy midfielder who has had a few minutes on the pitch towards the end of the season. Zavon Hines, another quick striker who scored on his debut in the Carling Cup.


5) What type of players do you need to bring in during the summer and do you have any names in mind?


Spleeman87: Creative midfielder - someone who pulls the strings in midfield and makes things happen. As for a name, god knows. We were linked with Yossi but cant see that happening. Maybe Arteta ;) . Also, we need a goalscorer, if Ashton stays fit, hes the man for that job, but its a big if.


pernunz: We need a continually fit striker, and perhaps a wide player, but our youngsters may suffice in those roles. If the rumors about getting Carlos Vela from Arsenal on loan are true, I would be very happy indeed


evergrowingbrain:We need to get Ashton, Parker, Collins and Dyer fit. Then we "can" beat anyone. We’ll need some more depth to expect consistency though.


essexlad: A creative midfielder with a good football brain. Someone like Eyal Berkovic, with the attitude. Probably another goalscorer, as unfortunately I doubt Ashton will play much of a part for us anymore.



6) What are your views on Everton's season?


Spleeman87: Cant argue with a top six finish and an FA Cup final. Just hope you turn the scum over in the final and make John Terry cry.


pernunz: Very successful. Considering the key injuries to your strikers, and playing Cahill up front, and also the injury of Mikel Arteta, Everton can be very pleased with how they have done. A fit squad (and some financial backing from your owner) and you could trump Arsenal next season


evergrowingbrain:Superb - nice to see quiet success from a stable team.


essexlad: As usual, David Moyes does it again. He's quite good, isn't he? Lots of trouble with strikers not being fit, but still picking up points. A 5th or 6th place finish and a Cup Final, I wouldn't complain! Very impressive. Just make sure you actually win the Cup.



7) Predictions for the match?


Spleeman87: 2-1 West Ham


pernunz: 1-1. You don't really have anything to play for, we might have something to play for. Our last 10 minutes let us down against you last time, but hopefully our defense will be a bit more solid


evergrowingbrain: 1-2 - our kids will come up with the goods, and our aging Italians might finally realise that next years contract depends on it.


essexlad: 2-0, unfortunately for me. We'll put in a decent shift, but again a lack of any real threat going forward will cost us.

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Nice one Jamie.


Makes me laugh everyone thinking they can "push for the top six."


Gonna be us, City, West Ham, Spurs, Villa and one other (Fulham?) contesting the top six next season apparently.


Liverpool, ManU, Chelsea and Arsenal seventh to tenth then :lol: ?

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Guest efctaxi

Thanks Jamie .


Always interesting to hear things from the other fans perspective .


They've been quite good in patches over the last season or so , so I don't think it's totally out of the question that they should have their aspirations on the top 6 .

Just hope Moyes tells the lads to avoid 50/50 tackles like the plague .

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I don't think it's totally out of the question that they should have their aspirations on the top 6 .

Neither do I taxi, I'm not in any way criticising anyone.....all the teams I mentioned, plus a few others, would hope to get into sixth and have a chance of doing it.

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