Premier League Preview 2019-20: West Ham

West Ham United Football Club

Credit: West Ham United FC

Credit: West Ham United FC

2018-19 Premier League Finish: 10th place

2019-20 Premier League Prediction: 9th place

Transfers In:

Sebastien Haller FW - Eintracht Frankfurt £45,000,000

Pablo Fornals MF - Villarreal £24,000,000

David Martin GK - Millwall, Free Agent

Roberto GK - Espanyol, Free Agent

Goncalo Cardoso CB - Boavista, Undisclosed

Transfers Out:

Marko Arnautovic FW - Shanghai SIPG £23,000,000

Pedro Obiang MF - Sassulo £7,500,000

Edimilson Fernandes MF - Mainz 05 £7,000,000

Lucas Perez FW - Alaves £2,150,000

Reece Oxford DF - Augsburg £1,880,000

Sam Byram DF - Norwich City £780,000

Samir Nasri MF - Anderlecht, Free Agent

Adrian GK - Liverpool, Free Agent

Andy Carroll FW - Free Agent

West Ham have been in the Premier League for the better part of the 21st century. Sure they’ve had a few hiccups along the way but they’ve been the definition of a midtable team. They even flirted with Europe with their 7th place finish in 2016. West Ham are coming off a 10th place finish last season in their first season with Manuel Pellegrini as head coach. Pellegrini is an interesting coach. While he’s not won a lot, he’s been fairly consistent and is most remembered for his triumph with Manchester City in the 2013-14 season. Pellegrini lasted 3 seasons with City, winning the title in his first and then finishing 2nd and 4th place. That was enough to get him the boot, where he would then travel to China and he had an uneventful 2 seasons, before ending back up with West Ham. A 10th place finish is a good start but this coming season is going to be key in his future with the club. Worst case scenario for West Ham is around 15th or 16th. They’re too talented of a team to get relegated, but I could definitely see Pellegrini getting canned if they were to finish this low. Best case scenario for West Ham is probably 7th place. It would be tough and they would have to play great but 7th could realistically be achievable.

Strength:

Credit: WHUFC

Credit: WHUFC

Ownership. I can’t really choose anywhere in the team because they are just perfectly average throughout. A lot of players in the squad that show flashes of brilliance but are never consistent enough to take it to the next level. But if some of these players could, like Wilshere not getting injured every other match, Manuel Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko in his return from injury and then of course if the additions of Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals work out, then yeah this team could fight for a Europa League spot. But let’s talk about the ownership of the club. West Ham have taken quite the jump this decade in their attempt to establish themselves as a top club in England. It all started in 2013 with West Ham striking a deal to become tenants of London Stadium, which was the stadium built for the 2012 London Olympics. West Ham officially moved from their 35,000 seater stadium, the Boleyn Ground, which they had played at since 1904, in 2016. West Ham would nearly double their capacity with the London Stadium seating 60,000. Along with the new stadium, the West Ham ownership hasn’t been shy about spending in the transfer market. They’ve had net spending of £165,000,000 over the past 5 summer transfer windows. And again, that number is their net spending so it’s including the money they’ve made from transfers as well. West Ham have done good so far in the transfer window and it just shows what their ownership and management are working for and striving for with the club’s future.

Weakness:

Issa Diop  Credit: Hammers News

Issa Diop

Credit: Hammers News

Defense. West Ham’s defense isn’t horrible, but they are also not that great. Out of this entire squad they are definitely the weakest link and could lead to a near relegation finish. Right now, Issa Diop is the stand out on defense. He led the centerbacks with 33 Premier League starts last season. Paired up with Diop was either Fabian Balbuena or Angelo Ogbonna. The key for West Ham is if Diop can take the next step, as he’s only 22 years old, and form a great pairing with either of his options. West Ham reportedly wanted £75,000,000 from Manchester United from Diop so they are obviously high on him. For West Ham it gets a lot worse at the full back positions with both Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaka splitting time at left-back, neither that great of an option. West Ham could definitely upgrade here and use either Cresswell or Masuaka as depth. And at right back they have the ultra veteran Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks. Zabaleta has done a good job for West Ham, but at some point he is going to need to be replaced and Fredericks likely isn’t the guy to do it. Verdict: the center backs are too shabby if Diop can continue to get better and the left-back position needs replacing now and the right back spot will need replacing by next year.

Top Goalscorer Predictions:

Sebastien Haller: 14 goals

Felipe Anderson: 8 goals

Andriy Yarmolenko: 7 goals

Home Kit: Very solid jersey. The whole kit flows well together from the sleeve and shirt sponsor to the colors and design.

Credit: FootyHeadlines

Credit: FootyHeadlines

Away Kit: Incredible. I’m a Chelsea fan and to this point I thought they had the best away jersey but I think this one might just top it. The claret and blue stripes on the collar and sleeves are fantastic. Congrats to West Ham and Umbro for putting out a heck of a pair of jerseys. I’d buy the away kit for sure if I was a West Ham fan

Credit: West Ham Store

Credit: West Ham Store