West Ham’s remarkable achievements last season flew under the radar somewhat, due to the jaw-dropping performances of Champions Leicester City.
The Hammers finished in 7th place, qualifying for the Europa League at the expense of the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.
West Ham’s head to head performances against the top clubs in the league; Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool, were beyond impressive, defeating each of the mentioned teams at least once.
While most are not expecting Leicester to come anywhere close to the dizzy heights this time around, West Ham fans are quietly optimistic in contrast, and there is a reason to believe they can improve even more in the upcoming season.
The East London side’s move to the Olympic stadium alone is probably the most progressive development the club have ever made. Their new arena has a capacity of around 60,000, significantly surpassing their former stomping ground, the Boleyn Ground, which sat only 35,000.
The Olympic stadium is also a much more modern stadium fitted with world class infrastructure, while its location in London will undoubtedly help improve the club’s commercial standing. This, in addition to the additional match day revenue, will improve West Ham’s ability to compete with the big boys of the league in terms of player wages and transfer fees.
The stadium move aside, the best piece of footballing business the Hammers have completed this summer is keeping hold of Dimitri Payet. The midfield maestro, who delivered many eye-catching performances in his debut season in England, was equally impressive on the international stage, as he gave many ‘man of the match’ performances in France’s run to the final of Euro 2016.
Another player who will give West Ham fans reason for optimism this season is Argentine forward Manuel Lanzini, who was brought to the club last season on loan from Al Jazira Club.
Despite managing just seven goals in all competitions for the club last season, many impressive displays suggest he can improve on that tally in his second season after having developed a better understanding of the league.
On a final positive note, club owner David Sullivan is determined to bring in a marquee forward signing and has recently said the club is close to completing such a deal which will add additional firepower to the Hammers front line.
Given the calibre of strikers, the club have tried to recruit this summer – players such as Michy Batshuayi, Carlos Bacca and Alexandre Lacazette – fans of the club have every reason to believe that this striker will be one to add plenty of excitement and goals.
Ultimately, with their relatively young but dynamic manager, the retention of key personnel, the new stadium, and the good business done in the transfer market, West Ham are the dark horses to sneak their way into one of those lucrative top 4 places this season.