In our final fan preview, Iain Dale from West Ham Til I Die talks about his hopes for 2013-2014 season. Follow @iaindalewestham on Twitter.

Scott: How did you rate 2012-2013 for your club?

Iain: You can’t argue with a top ten finish in your first season back in the Premier League. We would have all settled for that at the beginning of the season. Our home form was tremendous and if luck had gone our way in more away games we’d have finished even higher. In the first half of the season our defence was tremendous, with only Man United letting in fewer goals. That’s highly unusual for a West Ham side, but it shows how far team discipline has progressed under Sam Allardyce.

Scott: Who was your best player?

Iain: Winston Reid was a revelation in central defence. When he joined us four years ago he looked like a fish out of water. Today he bestrided our back four like a colossus. His timing in tackles is impeccable and he has also chipped in with the odd goal here and there.

Scott: Which player are you expecting most important in 2013-2014?

Iain: Andy Carroll. If he can remain injury free I expect 15-20 goals from him this season. He’s getting great service from Matt Jarvis on the left and Joe Cole is building up a good understanding with him.

Scott: If you could take one United player, who would it be?

Iain: Van Persie, of course.

Scott: Are you pleased Fergie’s retired?

Iain: Why would I be pleased? Fergie is without doubt the greatest club manager of all time. He was a colourful character in a sometimes monochrome game. I don’t envy Moyes in following him.

Scott: Where do you think your club will finish this season?

Iain: I’d like to see us progress a couple of places up the table. I still think we lack depth up front and need to sign another top class striker if we are to go forward. We’re also light in central defence and need a fourth central defender. In theory I ought to predict 8th or 9th, but I hesitate to do so!

Scott: Where do you think United will finish?

Iain: I think United will win the league again.

Scott: How pleased were you to see Joe Cole return?

Iain: I was delighted to see Joe Cole return. He showed in the last part of the season what a great player he still can be and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made an England return this year. He had a nightmare at Liverpool and frankly hasn’t fulfilled the potential he showed all those years ago. If he can get into double figures this year, that could be the key to whether we have a good season or not.

Scott: What are your first impressions of Ravel Morrison?

Iain: By all accounts Ravel Morrison is the real deal. Birmingham want him back but I hope he stays at Upton Park and fights for a first team place. He has been a revelation in pre-season, but of course discipline is the key with him. If he can control his head, he could make a first team breakthrough this year. Expect a few sub appearances in the first few games.

Scott: Have West Ham got a good deal in signing Andy Carroll?

Iain: Time will tell, but he was almost our player of the year. It’s his all round game that impresses. His scoring record wasn’t bad – 1 in 3, but he showed an all round commitment which perhaps we hadn’t been expecting. Newcastle supporters will know what I mean. He really fights for every ball and wins virtually every header he goes for. He’s not a typical West Ham striker, but the fact that we have taken him to our hearts says it all.




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