Irons have a certain chemistry, but it can’t create silverware...
Headmaster Alan Curbishley. Sporting a world-weary air these days – for the press, at least – Curbishley’s once rising star appears to have waned. The Irons were glued into 10th place last term, so something remarkable needs to happen to bring a spark back to the Upton Park crowd, who can be among the division’s most febrile fans. Maybe Kieron Dyer will play two consecutive games to cheer them all up?
Head boy Rob Green – looks like a farmer’s boy, moves like a gymnast. The sometime England keeper will be a key figure again, as will Dean Ashton, who’ll be keen to prove that he’s more than ‘just a fat Annie Lennox’.
Maths West Ham have scored 24 goals at home in each of the past two seasons. Who’s stuck in a rut?
English As East End as, er, EastEnders and jellied eels, apart from a Ghanaian, a Swede and a Portuguese.
History England won the World Cup with three Hammers in the squad. For Moore, Hurst and Peters in 1966, read Green, Ashton and Ferdinand Jr in 2010… Maybe not.
Tuck shop item A handful of change. Those pennywise Hammers have turned a little investment into gold: Carrick, Ferdinand, Lampard, Cole.
Predicted grade C The Irons manage to be less than the sum of their parts, so in the time-honoured fashion: could do better.
Detention Craig Bellamy or Lee Bowyer – probably for fighting each other.