West Ham have been a club that has been up and down in the Premier League and this certainly an ideology to describe their previous season. West Ham showed plenty of positive glimpses with some nice football but also showed some negative glimpses with lapses in concentration and issues between the fans and owners. However, the West Ham fans will certainly be hoping for a more exciting season with the owners showing plenty of ambition by appointing Manuel Pellegrini and allowing him to splash the cash like its out of fashion. While this may be ears to the West Ham fans, there will certain expectations at the club to achieve something this season whether that be a top 7 finish, or a strong cup run. West Ham will see a much more enterprising style of play which will delight the fans and board alike. The appointment of Manuel Pellegrini will hopefully boost the relationship between the fans and owners and should success arrive this season, the issues between them will be a thing of the past.
West Ham struggled for much of the previous season with both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes being sacked despite the latter steering West Ham to safety in the end. Both Bilic and Moyes attempted to find the best formation to accommodate the players available at their disposal but West Ham struggled defensively and didn’t score too many going forward and certainly Pellegrini will be aiming to sort both issues out before the season begins in August. One thing that must be established is who is West Ham’s number 1 this season with too many changes in the previous campaign creating instability in a key area of the pitch and this instability is highlighted by the poor performances of Joe Hart and Adrian and certainly Pellegrini will be wanting to establish a sustained number 1 for the new season. Similarly, West Ham despite the defensive setups from both Bilic and Moyes conceded plenty of goals and again this links to the idea of too much chopping and changing and many of the West Ham defenders will admit they didn’t have brilliant seasons. Despite having solid defensive figures in the likes of Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid and Aaron Cresswell, they struggled as a defensive unit and there is no way you can win games of football without a solid defence and Pellegrini will seriously need to address this if he is going to have any success with the club. Despite this, there is an abundance of attacking talent at West Ham including Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio. Arnautovic finally arrived at West Ham during the second half of the campaign and played an integral role in West Ham’s ride to Premier League safety and Pellegrini will be hoping the Austrian carries his momentum into the new season. Lanzini is a quality creative midfielder with a variety of skills and a nice passing range however, his injury will be a big blow as I’m sure Pellegrini would off been hoping to get the best out of him but Pellegrini will look for alternatives to be the creative force at West Ham.
The previous point brings us to the transfer window and as previously noted, West Ham have been splashing the cash in an optimistic attempt to bring some success to the club this season. Pellegrini has signed excited wingers Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko. The two wingers will add creativity and an abundance of skill and pace to terrorise defences this season. Costing West Ham a combined £60 million, they must hit the ground running immediately otherwise they will come under severe pressure. However, Pellegrini has also signed his new number 1 in Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski. The Polish international was excellent in the previous season despite Swansea’s relegation and Pellegrini will be delighted to have him on board and they are no denying he will be the number 1 in the new season. Furthermore, Pellegrini have also moved quickly to sort out West Ham’s defence with an array of new signings who are Issa Diop, Ryan Federicks and Fabian Balbuena. Both Diop and Balbuena are highly rated young centre backs in particular Diop who excelled in a poor Toulouse side and has captained France’s Under 19 during his short career so far so he certainly will be one to watch this season. As will Ryan Federicks the marauding full back who was brilliant in Fulham’s promotion season and he will add solidity and pace to the Hammers back line. Pellegrini will be delighted with his acquisitions but there is no denying that Jack Wilshere is by far his biggest coup so far. A fantastic servant to Arsenal, Wilshere will be hoping to spark West Ham’s midfield and bring the success the club is desperate for. Along side Mark Noble, Wilshere could form a partnership West Ham fans will enjoy watching in the new season and Pellegrini will hope to get the best out of him. However, Pellegrini could still be interested in signing new players and a new striker could be on his agenda as West Ham did lack goals despite having the likes of Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll, albeit the latter was injured for much of the campaign so with that in mind as well Pellegrini could be tempted by the prospect of signing somebody else. However, another issue for West Ham is getting rid of the fringe players Pellegrini feels are surplus to requirements because if they don’t succeed this season, there could be repercussions for the Hammers.
West Ham fans will be quietly optimistic their club can achieve something this season with the money spent and the quality of signings made by Pellegrini. A Premier League winner as a manager will please the West Ham fans and they will hope he can resonate his success from his spell at Manchester City. A top half finish is no doubt an easy challenge for West Ham however, the hammers fans will want more, and they will believe Europa League football isn’t out of reach or a potential cup run. If Pellegrini gets everything working nicely at West Ham it could be a very special and exciting season in East London. The Hammers fans will be noisier than ever this season with optimism spread across the whole football club and a quiet belief this could a season they never forget.