West Ham news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.
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Okay, time to focus on the Hammers…
West Ham United
2019-20 finish: 16th (10W-9D-19L, 39 points)
Head coach: David Moyes
2019-20 PL top scorer: Michail Antonio (10 PL goals)
Location: East London
ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on West Ham: Keeping a fan revolt at bay
Things are already starting to get ugly at West Ham and the season hasn’t even started. After selling young winger Grady Diangana to West Brom, fans were not happy and club captain and lifelong Hammer Mark Noble shared his displeasure with the decision too. West Ham’s owners have not been popular for a long time and we all saw that during a fan revolt during the season they moved from Upton Park to the London Stadium. The owners have said they did not want to sell Diangana but had to in order to provide transfer funds for Moyes. That shows the financial situation West Ham are in after plenty of heavy spending on poor signings in recent years is catching up with them. If West Ham do not start the season well, expect the fans to pile pressure on the owners and the team as another relegation battle seems likely. West Ham’s only hope is that Declan Rice can hold things together defensively alongside Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen can score enough goals up top.
West Ham news: The current situation
West Ham are coming off a highly disappointing campaign, in which they finished just five points above the bottom three. With his contract set to expire next summer, is David Moyes really the right man for the east Londoners going forward? After replacing Manuel Pellegrini, Moyes once again steadied the ship in his second spell in charge of the Hammers in recent years. He kept them up, again, as they finished 16th but were in relegation trouble for much of the campaign. They spent close to $140 million on transfers last season (summer 2019 and January 2020 windows), but many of their new additions haven’t worked out as Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals struggled and the previous incomings under Manuel Pellegrini have hardly set the world alight. West Ham are looking at a midtable finish, at best, and Moyes will aim to do that with defensive play and hoping Antonio can hit teams on the counter. Hardly inspiring stuff.
Key West Ham news, season objectives
- Keep Declan Rice: Chelsea continue to chase their former academy star but West Ham want over $110 million for the England international who is one of the best holding midfielders in the PL. If West Ham sold Rice then the fans would go bonkers. They have to build their team around him, and Moyes will. Rice will hold everything together for the Hammers.
- Haller, Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals all need to deliver: They all came in for big money and all three just haven’t delivered consistency. There has been flashes of brilliance but just no consistency whatsoever. Moyes will give them a few more chances because he doesn’t have that many options, but he’s more likely to trust experienced heads like Robert Snodgrass and Yarmolenko.
- Is Moyes the right man, long-term, for the Hammers? This is the $200 million (price of staying in the PL) question. Moyes will turn West Ham into a tough team to beat but it won’t be great to watch. The Hammers won’t be the ‘sexy team’ they wanted to become but they will probably sit just above the relegation zone. Moyes is only in charge until the end of the 2020-21 season but giving him a long-term contract is probably the smart, if slightly boring, decision.
- Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague for $19.5 million
ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for West Ham in 2020-21
This season has already started off on the wrong foot and it seems like being a season of struggle for West Ham. Look, David Moyes seems like a nice bloke and he’s done well on two occasions now to keep West Ham up when taking over in a dire situation. The Hammers won’t win any awards for style points but they should just be clear of a prolonged relegation battle. That said, a poor start and we know this underachieving team packed with talented individual has a tendency to nosedive. Fast.