The East London Advertiser West Ham blog competition is here

The East London Advertiser blog-off is here. Below are three writers who wish to be regular bloggers on the site. Please read each contribution as well as their bio and you can vote for your favourite here. The blogger with the highest vote percentage by 10am Monday will be the winner, with their thoughts on West Ham published every Wednesday.

Paul is a 32-year-old reluctant city boy, who loves West Ham, Essex cricket, boxing and horse racing and tells hammers’ fans why there is no reason to panic about the club’s current league position.

As they made the journey back to London from the West Midlands, their side having secured only a point from a game described in various quarters as ‘must-win’, ‘a relegation six-pointer’ and ‘do or die’, West Ham’s magnificent travelling support could be forgiven for feeling downcast as they considered their plight, and the consequences of failing to win such a ‘crucial’ game, couldn’t they?

Well, no, not really. It’s true that the season has not, to this stage, been an unqualified success; but talk of relegation battles and must-win games is premature at best, and sensationalist nonsense more realistically.

The season is 8 games old & West Ham lie 4 points from 9th spot. Manchester United currently sit 5 points behind leaders Chelsea. Are we to assume that Sir Alex Ferguson’s team are in ‘crisis’, that every game between now and the end of the season for them is a ‘must-win’, or should we just hand the trophy to Chelsea now and be done with it?

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Yes, West Ham prop up the table with 1 win from 8 games, and of course, they need to turn performances into victories; but the overwhelming feeling amongst the majority of Hammers fans is that progress is being made, albeit at a slower rate than would be ideal. That’s not to say that everything in the Upton Park garden is rosy, but there’s plenty about which to feel positive.

West Ham are unbeaten in 5 games, 4 of those in the Premier League. The defensive frailties that so blighted the 4 successive defeats that kicked off the campaign seem, for the most part, to be a thing of the past; the midfield cordon are providing an excellent blend of defensive responsibility and a creative spark, and in the final third, Avram Grant’s side look lively and threatening - although this has not translated into the number of goals their all-round endeavour has warranted. Yet.

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Mile End-born Chris has been a season ticket holder at Upton Park for 15 years and gives his reasons why it’s time for the Hammers to move from Upton Park.

To Move or Not to Move, That is the Question

The big news is that UK Athletics are supporting the joint bid by West Ham and Newham Council to take over the Olympic Stadium post 2012.

Opinion is very much divided on this subject; stay at our spiritual home, or rebuild the club at a new home? It is more than 40 years since I first set foot in the Boleyn Ground and, for me, it’s a no-brainer.

If West Ham are serious about wanting to compete at the very top then we have to move. The Upton Park I loved and grew up with started to die the day they put seats in the West Side, a job that was completed with the demise of the North and South Banks. The ground as it is holds no particular affection for me, the best times, for example Eintract Frankfurt, 1976, and Aston Villa, FA Cup 1980, were stood on those terraces, those days are gone, football has changed forever, sadly there’s no going back.

The choices are stark; stay at Upton Park, with limited capacity, with poor transport infrastructure, with little room for development, or move to a stadium that, with a little imagination, could become a great place to play and watch football. True there are many problems to be overcome, the running track being a major bone of contention, but it is not beyond the wit of man to find solutions. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for West Ham to finally realise it’s potential, so while I will always have my memories it’s time to move forwards and look towards would could be a great future.

Peter Preston’s favourite West Ham memory is Bobby Zamora’s play-off final goal and here he talks of the importance of the Carling Cup.

With Stoke City coming up in next weeks Carling Cup last-16 tie, and the prospect of progressing through to the latter stages of a competition that we can rightly expect to do well in, we ask ourselves what winning the trophy would do for West Ham.

Along with West Ham’s slow start to the League season and the priority to stay in the top tier of English football for another year we also have a cold winter looming, the festive fixture list and the injury curse still lingering over the club’s shoulder.

How much can we demand from our squad to make the mid-week run-outs in the pursuit of a trophy that many teams consider a competitive assessment of their bench and reserves?

We can expect to give it a go, because for West Ham it will mean something. For too long that winning feeling, that rush of excitement and pride in something we invest so much in to, has been missing. We now seem to have a board-room and coaching team of people that are settled and focused on taking the club forward, and any success will help to draw a line under the past few seasons and stamp our intent and commitment to a more successful future. We will not win the league, and will do well to be away from the drop-zone comeApril, but a positive run in the Carling cup will install massive belief and purpose into the team for the rest of the season. And in the stands too.

So Come on you Irons!!

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