Talking Point

What is your revised target for this season + position you will finish?
I think most independent observers now reckon West Ham will finish in the top half, and I suspect my fellow West Ham fans do too. My current prediction is 8th, but I think it’s entirely possible we could finish 5th or 6th. We are the second highest top scorers in the Premier League, and our defensive form isn’t too shabby either. We’re already kicking ourselves for the two home defeats against Leicester and Bournemouth. We really could be top of the league, instead of sixth, and yes, I wrote that in all seriousness.

What one player do you need to sign in January – why?
I find this a difficult question to answer. We now have strength in every single position. Adrian is one of the top three keepers in the country. We have six first class central defenders, two excellent full backs, a clutch of top rate holding midfielders and an impressive array of attacking midfielders. It’s difficult to know how Bilic will keep all the strikers happy when they are all fit. In all honesty, I wouldn’t sign anyone in January, and that’s something I have never said before. If we do, I suspect it might be a full back. We have Stephen Hendrie, a young Scot as cover for Aaron Cresswell, and James Tomkins and Carl Jenkinson are vying for the right back position, but it’s possible the management might reinforce those positions.

Best moment/worst moment so far
The last time we beat Liverpool at Anfield I was one year old. It was in 1963. To beat them 3-0 in late August wasn’t a fluke. After all, we had just beaten Arsenal at the Emirates and two weeks later we beat Manchester City at the Etihad. I wasn’t there, but each time my mobile phone buzzed with a Sky Sports Text alert, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was payback for the 2006 cup final, which was stolen from us!

It’s difficult to think of a worst moment. I was at Upton Park for both our home defeats against Bournemouth and Leicester, and although both were very exciting matches, we didn’t deserve to win either of them. The worst moment came against Norwich, I suppose, when Mark Noble’s misplaced pass to James Tomkins allowed Robbie Brady to steal in, seize the ball and go on to put it past Adrian. Hearing we had gone 2-0 down to Sunderland was a low, also, but at least we came back to grab a point.

Standout performer?
It has to be Dimitri Payet. I’m not sure he knows how to have a bad game. Three goals and the highest assists in the Premier League tells its own story. He can run with the ball, deliver a killer pass, he can cross and boy does he know how to shoot. If he carries on like this he could be one of the best signings we have ever made. How on earth the top four clubs never looked at him remains a mystery. For a ball player he’s quite chunky, but he seems to have a Ginola-like ability to glide past the opposition without any effort.

Which player doesn’t have a future?
I hate to say this but I suspect it could be Enner Valencia. He had the misfortune to be injured in one of the Europa League matches, but is expected to return from first team duty later this month. Unfortunately I don’t see where he will fit in. Victor Moses and Manuel Lanzini have been revelations and I’d pick either of them over the £12 million Valencia. If we could get our money back, I’d cash in in January. Chelsea apparently rated him at £21 million earlier in the year. Perhaps Mr Abramovich might get his cheque book out.

Which song title best describes your season so far?
The only way is up!
Or, It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it

This originally on the Evening Standard website