|Happy Hammer Mark Noble|
If you had told me, back in August, that on 1st January 2013 we'd be sitting above Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa in the Premier League table I would have been mildly surprised to say the least.
The West Ham squad looked functional, in the same way that a breville sandwich maker is functional i.e. it does the job a much more expensive grill can do without ever matching the finesse of said grill, after all who ever thought buttering the outside of a sandwich was progress? The team has surpassed itself in some respects, victories against Villa, Fulham, QPR, Newcastle, Southampton and Chelsea have been offset by disappointing defeats against Wigan, Reading, Everton and Swansea.
If you are a glass half empty person we are nine points clear of the last relegation place, if your glass is half full we are seven points off a European place. We have a squad whose whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts, only Mark Noble would improve any of the squads above us (and then only Swansea and Stokes), Mohammed Diame is a quality player but his style of play wouldn't benefit anybody above us.
The transfer window is now open and all we need are a goalkeeper, a left back, an attacking midfield player and two quality forwards. Personally I'd like the club to bring back Joe Cole, get Nicolas Anelka or Loic Remy on loan and see if they can prize Adam Lallana away from Southampton before his career stalls after a promising start.
The FA Cup draw has produced a tie fit for ITV in the shape of a home match against Manchester United which, in ths history of these games, could either result in the biggest street party down E13 since the Jubilee or the most hideous embarrassment since Ray Winstone started acting with himself on the bet365 adverts.