But defensive lapses and poor refereeing decisions have cost them dear in recent weeks to the tune of a place in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley and four crucial points in the Premier League.
Those four points would have seen the East Londoners a point clear in fourth place.
'He's been in the form of his life'
“He’s been brilliant,” Gabbidon told the Mirror.
“And fair play to him, at the start of the season things weren’t really going for him and he was out of favour with his contract up at the end of the season.
“But he’s knuckled down and shown what a good player he is, got himself back into the team and won a new contract.
"He’s probably been in the best form of his life."
Hammers missing Collins grit
Bilic will certainly have missed Collins' grit and determination to hold onto leads in recent weeks.
The Hammers have thrown away winning positions to draw in their last three games at Manchester United, Chelsea and Crystal Palace last time out.
Gabbidon and Collins were first signed by West Ham in a double deal from Cardiff by then Hammers boss Alan Pardew back in 2005.
Collins was sold to Aston Villa with the club struggling financially in the wake of the doomed Icelandic ownership but returned an even better player in 2012.
The Ginger Pele as he is affectionately known by Hammers fans has forged a brilliant partnership with Italian international Angelo Ogbonna this season conceding just eight goals in 18 games together.