Of course not!! But it seems to be a particularly poignant time to write an article on one of the most important players we have right now. I doubt many will agree but I really think that our best defender is quite easily James Collins. I trust him and feel more comfortable about the team in general with him in it. He is one of the leaders in the team and commits 100% to everything he does on a pitch. This season started off appallingly and that in particular is a time we need characters like him. I really don’t think the communication required is there without him.

A few years ago I did doubt him and the next game coming up was against Liverpool, against a bang in form Suarez and I feared the worst. It is still the case that if Collins times it wrong he will send an attacker in to the next week. But when he doesn’t he makes vital challenges, and the fact of the matter is much like on that day, he gets it right the vast majority of time and he kept him quiet that day.

He is in the same category that Mark Noble is for me. He should be kept at the club as long as he is happy to be and he should be brought in to the academy once his time playing is up. He might not have been born a hammer but he certainly is one of us. He has the same rapport with the fans and I don’t think I have ever seen anyone come to us and appreciate us as much as we do him. Right now he is the best example for the likes of Rice, Oxford and Burke to look at an model themselves on, maybe not in terms of playing style but certainly as a professional. He has been with us for a very long time now and he has been very consistent, the only thing that has changed is his hair.

That he has apparently come out and said he has heard nothing about a new contract is above all else disrespectful, he is one of the best servants to the club I have known so far, I get I am being nostalgic and we need to move forwards not backwards. But if it was down to me I’d keep Collins, Fonte, and if needed either Reid or Og. But preferably just Collins and Fonte. With the idea being these can bring through Rice, Burke and Oxford. When Collins and Fonte move on/retire then if those coming through haven’t come along to the point where they are ready to be playing regularly (possible of course but if you don’t play them how will you ever know) then go and buy but don’t keep buying and stifle the progress of those from the academy.

I for one have made it clear, James Collins is someone I think we MUST keep at the club, there are very few that I believe this ot be the case for but I will be gutted the day he walks off our pitch for the last time.

Think now is the time to let him go? Would the rumoured £2m from Brighton be enough for you to say bye?

Let me know – @myWHUopinion

By Jack Farrell

Jon Pope

By Jon Pope

Use to sit in the BML for 10 years, been a West Ham fan all my life, and my great grandfather was a founder member of the TIW. I also help run the Hammer Chat website.

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