The irritation of trying to get something out of Manchester City has been completed and now the season really begins in earnest as the Hammers face a series of very winnable fixtures.
Starting today away to Newcastle, we the play Cardiff City (H), Crystal Palace (H), Fulham (A), Watford (H), Southampton (A), Burnley (A), and then Brighton (H) on the 2nd of January.
Anything less than ten points from those games would propel the Hammers into a relegation dog fight but with the return of Carroll, Wilshere and Noble things are looking positive.
Today, Pellegrini has again demonstrated his ruthlessness by making wholesale changes to the starting XI with Masuaku and Obiang dropped to the bench and Grady Diangana off the squad. Noble and Snodgrass come in along with a rare start for Chicharito.
Newcastle leapfrogged West Ham last week and are on a run of three straight wins. It's tight odds with the bookies with Newcastle at 6/4, West ham at 9/4 and the draw at 2/1. West ham's subs bench is possibly as strong as it has ever been so we can expect Pelle to shake it up if things don't go our way early on.
Starting XI: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell, Felipe Anderson, Rice, Noble (C), Snodgrass, Chicharito, Arnautovic.
Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Ogbonna, Obiang, Wilshere, Lucas Perez, Carroll