Linked to every player, a team full of promise and fans not ones to hide their emotions – the West Ham way.

Often described as the Premier League’s Robin Hood – stealing points off the rich to give to the poor – West Ham enter the new season with great ambition.

Like Macbeth, the Hammers were defeated by their own ambition with the side closer to relegation than Europe in their first few seasons at the Olympic Stadium.

Albeit their European aspirations may soon be realised with manager Manuel Pellegrini setting a strong foundation in his first season at the club.

Finishing tenth – after four straight losses to open the season – West Ham found their groove through several of their star players and will look to build in the coming season.

Despite spending 100 million and having opportunities to climb as high as seventh during the season, finishing any higher would have been an over-achievement for the club.

Pellegrini’s first season was all about setting stable foundations while expectations for this coming season set to increase with the club eyeing a European finish and cup run.

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Breaking into the top six will be a tough ask for the Hammers, albeit not an impossible one but their best opportunity for European football will be via a cup competition.

The club has not won the FA Cup since 1980 and despite a final in 2006 and quarter final in 2015, the club has been dormant in England’s cup scene.

What makes this West Ham side different to previous ones is having a manager of Pellegrini’s calibre in charge.

Not only has he won the Premier League but has the pulling power and influence a club like West Ham desire.

They have made a good start, signing Villareal playmaker Pablo Fornals who is expected to start alongside Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson – creating an impressive midfield line in front of English international Declan Rice, who is shaping up as the club’s best academy product since Frank Lampard.

While their midfield is their greatest strength the challenge will be ensuring the fitness of their stars.

Last season Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko had lengthy spells on the sideline with ACL injuries while striker Marko Arnautovic, 30, will have his fitness tested should he remain at the club.

Arnautovic has been linked with moves abroad while Mexican international Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez set to move to the US, meaning the club will have to make a play for a striker or two in the transfer window.

Defensively the side had some trouble last season conceding 55 goals, the most in the top half and the club will be doing all it can to keep Issa Diop who has been linked to Manchester United.

It won’t be the first time the East Londoners enter a season with high aspirations, but will they be met?

 

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athossirianos
athos.sirianos@gmail.com
First year Journalism student at RMIT University. Looking to get the truth out while having a bit of fun.