From the Newsroom

The Times Chief Football Writer Henry Winter predicts big things for the Hammers

Henry Winter is rated one of the best sports writers in the country and recently became the Chief Football Writer at The Times after spending over 20 years at the Daily Telegraph. Henry has over one million followers on Twitter and is predicting big things for West Ham in the final few months of the season.


I was at the West Ham game against Blackburn on Sunday and I have to say how impressed I was with the way the team performed at Ewood Park.

I thought there was such a strong spine to the team and James Collins looked so solid at the back.

There has been a lot said about Dimitri Payet but I thought he was sensational and was beating players for fun. He is an entertainer and plays with a smile on his face.

He has the perfect marriage with the West Ham United supporters and you have to credit the owners for giving him a new contract so quickly when other clubs might have shown an interest in wanting to sign him, considering the amazing form he he has shown for the Club this season.

I think it is brilliant for West Ham that he is not in the France squad at the moment.

Clearly he should be called up, but if it means that he is resting up over the international break and will have the summer off, that can only benefit the Club next season.

It was the perfect day for the Hammers at Blackburn with over 7000 fans cheering them on and it is a good snapshot of the season that they have now reached the quarter finals and stand a big chance of getting to Wembley.

The club have got a big move coming up during the summer and reaching FA Cup Final would be a wonderful way to mark the final ever season at the Boleyn Ground.

Who can forget the last big cup tie when Ogbonna scored in the final few seconds and the amazing atmosphere around the whole ground.

If they manage to get a replay against Manchester United it would be another special evening for the last ever FA Cup game at Upton Park.

I would be surprised if they don't get through against Manchester United. The team spirit is fantastic and West Ham are certainly United at the moment.

Slaven Bilic impresses me more every time I see him and he has been fantastic for the club this season.

I can still remember having dinner with him when he was Croatia manager in Zagreb and you could tell he had something about him. He is obviously very intellectual with his degree in law.

I love the way he stands there every game on the touchline in his suit with his top button undone and he is there in his element.

He is a warrior and a winner and you can see how the players respect him.

Even when he is talking in the post-match press conferences he offers so much and none more so than after the Blackburn result when he was talking about taking up poetry to find some new words to describe Payet. He is a joy for the media.

I believe West Ham are in a very good place at the moment and with Bilic at the helm, anything is possible.

The quality is there for the Hammers to finish in the top six and I expect them to finish above Manchester United.

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