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Not One Man Utd player would make it at West Ham

Adrian has performed just as well as David de Gea over the course of the campaign.

And, even though Chris Smalling started the season well, I don’t think he – or any other member of ­Manchester United’s back four – would get the nod at Upton Park.

I wouldn’t have Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick or Bastian Schweinsteiger ahead of Mark Noble nor would I put Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial or Wayne Rooney in front of Dimitri Payet.

Louis van Gaal’s Reds haven’t been potent enough in front of goal – they’ve scored 37 in the Premier League to West Ham’s 45 – which is why I’d take Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Emmanuel Emenike over any Old Trafford counterparts.

The two sides meet this afternoon in the FA Cup sixth round and, if you were to ask me to pick a best XI, it would be made up exclusively of lads in claret and blue.

That highlights how well West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have recruited, but it is also a major feather in the cap for manager Slaven Bilic.

Many people thought he’d struggle at Upton Park, that he wasn’t ready for the Premier League but, having locked horns with him during our playing days, I always felt he had what it takes to succeed here.

I always thought you could tell a lot about a man from the handshake you received at the end of a game, about his character, the man himself and not just the footballer.

Bilic would always be chatty, ­friendly and polite.

He’d have kicked you up and down the pitch for 90-odd minutes, but he was very old school in that way.

As soon as the full-time whistle blew everything was forgotten and I still see those beliefs in him now.

He is also very worldly wise, having worked in his native Croatia, in Russia and Turkey and in international ­management at a young age.

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That has given Bilic the ability to cajole and coax performances out of players at only a couple of days’ ­notice, so it’s understandable that he’s getting so much out of West Ham’s stars over the course of a season.

He knows what it’s like to work in a volatile football environment, having worked with Besiktas, so he’ll be able to handle pretty much anything. What Bilic has done at West Ham is create a very, very good spine.

To do that, you need a top keeper, one excellent central defender, the same in ­a defensive midfielder, ­attacking ­midfielder and up front.

But he has that and more, with three centre-halves in Winston Reid, James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna, and also with full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini.

A mate of mine is a Marseille fan, and he told me that Payet could be a monster at West Ham, so I haven’t been ­surprised by his form, despite ­having had a spell out injured.

It reminds me a bit of when Eric Cantona went to Leeds, then Manchester United.

At both, he found ­passionate fans, who loved to watch him and the enfant ­terrible became a hero.

These are hugely exciting times for everyone at Upton Park and, as the club prepares to leave the old stadium at the end of the season, they will be ­emotional times as well.

But they will leave their old ­stamping ground having finally got back the West Ham Way – and Bilic deserves a huge amount of praise for that.”

A poll of football supporters in the Mirror show 46.7% think West Ham will win, 42.7% thin Manchester United will win and 10.7% believe it will go to a replay.

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter