As I write, we currently sit third in the Premier League on 20 points from 10 games and plenty of excitement is buzzing amongst the fans.
Lots of talk of a very good season and even perhaps a top four finish shows just how optimistic we all are of sending off the Boleyn Ground in style, but we cannot repeat what happened last year.
At Christmas last season, we sat 4th in the league and ended up finishing 13th after an abysmal run after out tremendous first half of the season. Injuries and a change in tactics were a couple of reasons why we declined after the festive period, but this season feels like we can achieve something very special.
The difference in our squad this year from last is phenomenal, with the likes of Payet and Lanzini exceeding everyone’s expectations, and loyal boys in skipper Mark Noble and James Tomkins looking like transformed players.
If we can keep clear of any long term injuries to our key players, I think we can compete for a top seven finish, which should be a realistic target given the way the first 10 games have gone.
The depth and strength we now have in the squad is immense and it is showing in our performances, with many fighting for a first XI spot, which is having an impact on their individual performances, which players such as Collins have shown.
Slaven is a patient man and isn’t rushing the injured players back in, which I like. Last year Big Sam was heavily dependent on Carroll to be fit, and maybe brought him back into the fold sooner than he would have liked. Bilic doesn’t need to do this, he can gradually put him back into the team because others are putting in the outstanding performances.
Last season we had Arsenal and Chelsea in the space of two days just before New Year, which we couldn’t cope with. This year, we need to rotate the squad regularly over the Christmas period to avoid injuries to our crucial players, but the difference is this season we can afford to rest the likes of Payet. Our depth allows us to do this, so if everyone keeps performing well, there will be a lot of happy hammers come May!
I will say that there is a long way to go from now, we are just 10 games in, so we need to keep in touch with reality. We are playing extremely well at the moment, so if we take one game at a time and keep on doing things right then I see no reason as to why we cannot finish in the top seven, if not higher!
So let’s take each game as it goes, keep playing the way Bilic wants and getting the results we want, and we can definitely produce exciting things this season, particularly with the FA Cup in my mind.
Exciting times for us all, let’s enjoy our last season at Upton Park.