From the Newsroom

Daily Mirror football journalist Darren Lewis looks back at a memorable start to the season and previews the Crystal Palace game

Daily Mirror football journalist Darren Lewis reflects on a memorable start to the season for the Hammers and looks ahead to the London derby against Crystal Palace on Saturday.


West Ham United have been one of the surprise stories of the season and it is a shame that some of the victories have been overshadowed, because the focus has been on the opposition.

As far as West Ham have been concerned, they have been fantastic and have a real attacking threat.

We all know the times before when the Hammers have been reliant on one or two players, but the threat now comes from everywhere and defensively they look strong.

In the midfield they are very creative and Slaven Bilic has done a fantastic job putting this squad together.

If you consider the players that not have not even played yet, people like Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll has yet to hit his stride and Alex Song, who has not even played yet, I think there are good times ahead for West Ham United.

Dimitri Payet has already proved to be one of the bargain buys of the summer. He is the top assist maker in the Premier League and when he joined the Club, he created the most chances in the top five European leagues.

He has shown that he is really worth the investment. He is exciting to watch, creates chances, scores goals and he is a player who inspires the players around him. He goes to the big clubs and turns on the style.

I don't think there has been enough focus on him because the attention has surrounded other clubs, but Dimitri Payet is the kind of player who is very much a West Ham signing and gets fans off their feet.

He is fearless and likes to run at defences. You always get value for money when you watch a player like Payet. He delivers what he promises and the signs are that he is going to continue in this vein.

It will be a tough game for West Ham against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Newcastle are now finding out what they are missing because the problems they had were not down to Alan Pardew.

He was trying his best to lead them out of those problems, but he made a return to London and Palace are now benefitting from it.

The mood was quite low before Pardew arrived, but he has lifted the players and inspired them and it is now one of the toughest places to go in the Premier League.

I think Selhurst Park will not be an easy place for West Ham to travel to at the weekend. They will have to produce one of the performances they have shown at the big clubs if they are to come away with a victory.

But I still think the Hammers can come away with all three points and Payet and Lanzini are going to be key. I think they will sneak it and I will go for a 2-1 victory.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United