So the site is a year old today and it seemed fitting to write a column. Firstly I want to take some time to thank many people who have contributed to the success. There are way too many to go into detail about but it has been a pleasure to work with so many people who are dedicated to the cause. The likes of Katie S, BK Hammer, Ben Cooper, Angelic Upstars, The Scouts (Chris and Rocky) have contributed regularly throughout the year and their work is much appreciated. We have the likes of Evan, Baz and George who bring a public face to the YouTube channel. The bloggers, including the ex-players, who have all contributed great articles. Jack and Dave Sullivan with their continued support to the site and Dave and Kev from SDCC who I love producing the weekly radio show with. Dave and I have also moved into producing events for matches as I am sure you have seen advertised and it has been this collaboration with SDCC that has been one of the most rewarding things this year. SDCC came with us to the football blogging awards where we were delighted to be nominated for best new blog. They are both great mates of mine now and we have continued to grow together and this is something we hoped to do with others.
When The West Ham Way first started we wanted to work with a number of West Ham channels to produce high quality content for West Ham fans. I had plans to work with a number of sites, some of which we did do for a while. The problem seemed to be the more we tried and the more we grew, the more resentful other sites became and unfortunately became quite strange in their treatment of us. Anyway the majority of the West Ham sites are brilliant and all have their own strengths that we try to support and work with as they do with us. I hope as the years go by you will see a lot more collaboration and teamwork but whether this will happen I do not know.
It has taken me a while to recover from the Spurs game and I am not sure that I fully have. It will be interesting to see whether Bilic changes the keepers again. I personally do not think he should and I believe Randolph deserves a run like Adrian has been given the chance to do. Should Mark Noble get his place back in the team following his suspension? This is another interesting question. With Reid suspended I think we have to bring in Collins into the back line but it does mean without Reid there is neither the Captain nor Vice-Captain on the pitch. I personally think Ginge would make a great captain but I think Bilic will feel he needs to bring his captain back.
There is interesting news on the forward front. Andy Carroll is back in training this week and the club have targeted the Liverpool game for a return to first team action. Whether he stays fit for the rest of the season is so important to our season’s success now. On the flip side I do not think we will be seeing Calleri again. The club are already preparing for him to leave the club in January and the speculation is that he hasn’t been in training this week and has been back in South America. Although this has not been confirmed by my “top source” it would appear that his career at the club is now over, which I suspect could be the same for our other loan signings. If you want to hear more about our potential transfers, please listen to this week’s radio show here: http://www.phoenixfm.com/2016/11/23/the-west-ham-way-show-18/
I personally would rather we won in the cup game than the league against Manchester United now. Usually I would have said the league but I think our league campaign is looking relatively uneventful now (assuming we are not in a relegation battle) whereas reaching the semi-final of a cup competition is exciting and would give us a great opportunity to get to Wembley.
I am pleased to announce that tickets to our first West Ham Way Pre Match event are selling really well. We hope to see a lot of you there. We are aware that there may be some teething problems as this is our first event but we are determined to make this the number one pre match venue to go to! You can get your tickets here: https://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/73284/chk/1001
Here’s to a good performance at Old Trafford!!