Premier League Previews: West Ham
What are you most excited about heading into the new season?
West Ham are always unpredictable, producing some world class performances against big teams, then struggling against lesser sides. It’s a real rollercoaster of emotion.
I’m hoping this season we can gain some consistency and iron out our erratic form from seasons gone by. Being rid of the likes of Arnie is a massive positive, and with the new arrivals of Haller and Fornals, we’re looking exciting.
What worries you ahead of the new season?
Because of the new signings, and the sheer volume of players that have departed this summer, I’m not sure how we’ll will line up – especially in attack. It’s just not possible to fit the likes of Antonio, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Noble, Wilshere, Fornals, Rice, and Lanzini all into the starting XI.
I think it’ll definitely take a bit of time to figure out, and our formation’s bound to change depending on the opposition.
What have you made of your clubs transfer activity this summer?
I’ve been very impressed with the way the club’s dealt with transfers this summer. It’s been well documented that we heavily pursued Maxi Gomez but unfortunately we lost out to Valencia. That didn’t stop our pursuit of signing a top striker, though.
Signing Haller – who’s proven himself across many different leagues – was a great bit of business. The deal was all wrapped up in what seemed like no time. All very professional.
Earlier on in the window we also signed an U21 Euros winner in Pablo Fornals, who seems to be a very exciting prospect.
What unpopular opinion do you have about your team going into the season?
I’m not entirely sure if this is an unpopular opinion, but I am sure some fans would disagree with me – I would take a decent cup run this season over qualifying for Europe. OK, hear me out.
I think we still have a lot of growing to do as a club before we’re ready to take on competitions like the Europa League. A cup run, however, would give fans something to cheer about and get behind. With the squad depth we now have, I’d say being competitive on multiple fronts is more than achievable.
Who would win if your squad had a WWE royal rumble style fight?
In years gone by, it would have most definitely been Mr. West Ham himself, Mark Noble. His strength and loyalty to the club means he’d be up for fighting almost anyone in the name of ‘doing it for the badge’.
That said, the player I’d put my money on has to be Arthur Masuaku. He’s an absolute maniac – as demonstrated by his spitting incident against Wigan in the cup – and he’s also partial to the odd horrifically-timed tackle. His complete disregard for the rules is something that would definitely stand him in good stead in a WWE ring.
Where do you think your team will realistically finish in the league?
I’d be extremely disappointed if we finished any lower than top half – that’s a must for me. I think 9th or higher is realistically which I’d be happy, with all things considered.
Like I said, a decent cup run could be on the cards so that would be another plus. All in all, I’d be happy with a top half finish and a good cup run.