27 December 2020 10:31

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West Ham should consider trying to bring Crystal Palace centre-back James Tomkins back to the club in January.

sébastien haller

West Ham trivia: Can you name these 15 obscure former Hammers?

West Ham should consider trying to bring Crystal Palace centre-back James Tomkins back to the club in January. The Eagles are willing to listen to offers for the 31-year-old defender in January. And Hammers boss David Moyes should not hesitate to bring the experienced ace back to east London. James Tomkins signing a no-brainer? The 31-year-old joined Crystal Palace from the Hammers in the summer of 2016 for around £10 million (BBC).

premier league

James Tomkins and Mark Noble (Photo by Avril Husband/West Ham United via Getty Images) In 100 Premier league games for Palace, Tomkins has racked up 137 tackles, 156 interceptions and 619 clearances (premierleague.com). If David Moyes can bring James Tomkins back to West Ham for a reasonable fee in January, he certainly should turn his nose up at the opportunity. The 31-year-old is a popular player in east London. And re-signing him in January seems like somewhat of a no-brainer for the Hammers. West Ham are just one of those clubs that never seems to do things sensibly in the transfer market.

david moyes

The last few windows under David Moyes excepted, the Irons have this unusual knack of bringing in big names who have no obvious place in the team, like Andriy Yarmolenko, and then supplementing them with budget signings who clearly aren't good enough, like goalkeeper Roberto. Throw in a few random has-beens for good measure - Alvaro Arbeloa, Patrice Evra or Mladen Petric, for example - and a couple of they'll-never-make-it academy graduates, and you're left with an incredibly bizarre mix of former players vastly ranging in ability. West Ham fans will blame David Gold and David Sullivan but this tradition far pre-dates the controversial co-chairmen. And while that's caused plenty of problems on the pitch, it has allowed us to put a very interesting quiz together - can you name these 15 completely forgettable and incredibly obscure former Hammers? West Ham boss David Moyes is encouraged by the growing togetherness and harmony at the club.

brighton & hove albion football club

The Scot is approaching his one-year anniversary at the London Stadium after he returned for a second spell on December 29, 2019 to take over from the sacked Manuel Pellegrini. At the time the Hammers were 17th in the table and tensions were high, with fans expecting a push for Europe that season, not a battle to survive. Moyes managed to turn the tide once again and lead them to safety before this term has seen a further upturn in results, with West Ham taking points off Manchester City, Tottenham and Leicester to sit 10th at Christmas. "When you're just outside the bottom three, and suddenly you've got yourself mingling near the top end and competing against nearly all the top sides, not looking out of place, I'd have to say well done to the players," the 57-year-old said. Even Monday's 3-0 defeat at Chelsea saw the Hammers ask plenty of Frank Lampard's side, but before the next test against the top six is a home clash with Brighton tomorrow, a team they have not defeated since 2012.

sébastien haller

Moyes added: "We'll continue trying to make progress. I think we've had a really good year here at West Ham. Hopefully we can continue, keep positive and trying to play well. "We've given a lot of the big teams a run for their money in some of our games and I'm hoping that we can go to the next stage and start beating them in the coming months." Steve Bruce feels the recent criticism levelled at his Newcastle side by fans is over the top – for a team whose chief aim is to survive in the Premier League. Magpies manager Bruce and his players have come under fire after some bad results in the past fortnight, most notably their disappointing Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Sky Bet Championship club Brentford last Tuesday. In all competitions, Newcastle have now gone four games without a win after they were also beaten 2-0 at Manchester City in the Premier League on Boxing Day. Bruce said: "We had a bad week and some of the mass hysteria was, in my opinion, unjust and unfair.

We have to accept it and keep, as I have said many times, trying to move it forward." Bruce felt Newcastle showed some spirit in defeat at Manchester City (Clive Brunskill/PA) Despite the result, Bruce felt Newcastle deserved credit for their performance on a wet and windy night at the Etihad Stadium. City dominated possession but Newcastle remained in the game after Ilkay Gundogan's 14th-minute opener until Ferran Torres added the hosts' second on 55 minutes. Bruce said: "There are plenty of positives to take out in terms of the attitude and application of the teams, which has been questioned over the last couple of weeks. "When I see people like Fab Schar who has trained twice in five weeks because of the problems we have had, with Feddy alongside him, and they show the resilience they showed – we were beaten by a better team but the effort and the endeavour, work rate and attitude of the players was there for everybody to see. We gave away a poor goal at the wrong time but we made a fist of it and gave as good as we've got. "That's all you can ask when you come to a big team like Man City. Cancelo: Nominally a right-back but he was everywhere, spending a lot of time near the middle of Newcastle's box and excelling wherever he was. A defence-splitting pass for the first goal, made the second and a threat all night. Gundogan: Another game spent higher up the pitch and a second straight home match where he has ghosted into the box and scored. De Bruyne: There were some dangerous corners and a few good through-balls for Sterling but he should have put City out of sight when through against Darlow in the first half. Sterling: Linked up very well with Cancelo and showed the intelligence he has to run behind the lines, even if he continues to struggle in front of goal. Bernardo: Hit the woodwork in the second half from close range but a more restrained performance after cutting loose last week. Torres: Another game up front and another goal. Aguero (for Torres, 77): Showed his instincts to get free in front of goal but couldn't beat Darlow.