Let’s face it; it’s not the easiest job in the world being a West Ham fan. Whether it be a relegation battle or struggling to get back into the top flight, the Hammers never do things the easy way. Since the turn of the year, it appeared that West Ham had begun their famous relegation push and negativity seemed to grow around the club. However in this article I look at the positives of our return to the top flight and review my five best moments on the pitch this season.
5. Back where we belong
Following promotion back to the Premier League we opened our campaign at Upton Park against Aston Villa. You are never sure what to expect from your side now playing at a higher level but Sam Allardyce’s men showed they were ready for it. Truth be told, it wasn’t the best of games, the same could not be said about the Upton Park atmosphere, which was electric. Kevin Nolan’s goal just before half-time was the only goal of the game but it was the excellent defensive display and the way in which, unlike West Ham teams if the past, we never really looked like conceding. It felt good to be back.
4. Subs clinch big win
After a fairly wretched run of results following the turn of the year, our season had moved from chasing a top ten finish, to a potential relegation battle. As we went to the Britannia stadium last Saturday just six points clear of the drop zone and a woeful away record, West Ham fans feared the worst. Even more so that Stoke, always formidable at home, had lost just one game on their own patch all season. It wasn’t made any easier when both Matt Taylor and Joe Cole went off injured with just ten minutes on the clock. However the boys in claret and blue showed exceptional fight and character, something that had been missing far too regularly away from home this season. Subs Ricardo Vaz Te and Jack Collison combined superbly with the latter to slide home the only goal of the game. We are not safe yet but this win, arguably the most important of the season so far, may go a long way in maintaining our Premier League status.
3. King Carroll?
Andy Carroll’s debut against Fulham, following a season loan move from Liverpool, had West Ham fans full of optimism. The England striker set up two, including Kevin Nolan’s opener after just 53 seconds, as we romped to an impressive 3-0 win over Fulham. Carroll proved a constant menace to the Fulham backline, winning a countless number of headers and creating plenty of chances. The only was worry was around the 70th minute mark when Carroll limped off with a suspected hamstring injury; however West Ham fans were thinking, we could just have the signing of the season on our hands here. Unfortunately, 6 months down the line, the big man hasn’t quite lived up to that debut.
2. Welcome home Joey
This one was for the fans who love a bit of romance in football. Joe Cole, one of the finest players to be produced from our exceptional youth system, returned to the club ten years after leaving for Chelsea. He was one of our own and seeing him back in the claret and blue was a great sight to behold. The reception he received on his ‘second’ debut at the Boleyn against Manchester United in the FA Cup sent chills down the back of the neck. And oh how did Joey respond. The 31-year-old set up both James Collins goals with two pinpoint crosses and it was only a last-gasp Robin Van Persie equaliser than ruined a dream homecoming for Cole. Despite the devastating blow at the end, Cole did not only show he still had the desire to play for West Ham, he could also play some football too.
1. The Momo show
On the 2nd December we found ourselves 1-0 down at home to a Chelsea side that had more or less played us off the park. We were fortunate to be just one down and like many Hammers fans, I feared a drubbing. However one man in particular had other ideas, that man was Momo Diame. The Senegalese midfielder was put on the bench for the game following some lion hearted performances in previous weeks. After a tough first half for the side Big Sam brought on his midfield warrior and the rest as they say, is history. The whole dynamics and atmosphere changed almost as soon as the second half began, this was largely down to Diame. The midfielder was everywhere, flying into tackles, making numerous powerful 30 yard runs and giving everyone a much needed lift in the stadium. Following a Carlton Cole equaliser, Momo’s moment came just five minutes from time. Cole laid off the ball to Diame 15 yards out and the clean, powerful strike into Petr Cech’s   right hand corner epitomised his powerhouse, all action display. Modibo Maiga added a third to add the cherry on top but it was Diame who had turned the game completely on its head who deserved the real credit. It was one of them incredible Upton Park occasions.
Agree with my selections? What other moments would make your top 5? Let’s just hope from now till the end of the season there are a few more to add to the list.