Will the Hammers end up being the ‘best of the rest’ come May?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to make the short trip back into London and preview… West Ham United.
MANAGER: Manuel Pellegrini
CAPTAIN: Mark Noble
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 500-1 (via Oddschecker)
For the first time in recent memory, West Ham have a calm and productive summer. Whilst usually not being too far away from any sort of drama, The Hammers have been in total control in this off-season period.
Assembling a squad that appears to be solid on all fronts, along with removing the toxic situation involving Marko Arnautović, The Irons have a case of being the ‘best of the rest’ this campaign.
But will it happen?
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 12th (Premier League)
2015-16 – 7th (Premier League)
2016-17 – 11th (Premier League)
2017-18 – 13th (Premier League)
2018-19 – 10th (Premier League)
Premier League – 10th
FA Cup – Fourth Round
Carabao Cup – Fourth Round
Top Scorer – League: Marko Arnautović (10), All: Marko Arnautović (11)
Sébastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt – £45m)
Pablo Fornals (Villarreal – £24m)
Gonçalo Cardoso (Boavista – Undisclosed)
Albian Ajeti (FC Basel – Undisclosed)
David Martin (Millwall – Free Transfer)
Roberto (Espanyol – Free Transfer)
Marko Arnautović (Shanghai SIPG – £23m)
Edimilson Fernandes (FSV Mainz – Undisclosed)
Lucas Pérez (Alavés – Undisclosed)
Sam Byram (Norwich City – Undisclosed)
Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo – Undisclosed)
Reece Oxford (Augsburg – Undisclosed)
Adrián (Liverpool – Free Transfer)
Andy Carroll (Newcastle United – Free Transfer)
Samir Nasri (Anderlecht – Free Transfer)
Jordan Hugill (Queens Park Rangers – Loan)
Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion – Loan)
GK – Fabiański, Roberto, Martin
DF – Reid, Cresswell, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Cardoso, Ogbonna, Diop, Fredericks, Masuak, Johnson
MD – Felipe Anderson, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Sánchez, Noble, Fornals, Wilshere, Rice
FW – Yarmolenko, Hernández, Haller, Ajeti, Xande Silva
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – SÉBASTIEN HALLER
Whilst all the attention was on Luka Jović at Eintracht Frankfurt last season, another player who was key to the German side’s attacking play – which included getting to the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Europa League – was the French forward Sébastien Haller.
Equally comfortable receiving the ball in space or with a defensive player in close proximity Haller holds the ball up and manipulates it in tight space before bringing others into play. This was what made Haller and Jovic such a fearsome partnership.
Haller is a vastly underrated player and at just £45m… West Ham have got themselves a bargain.
Don’t be surprised if Frankfurt actually miss Haller far more than they do Jovic this coming season.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 112
Won – 40
Drawn – 22
Lost – 50
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
West Ham have the tendency to get the sporadic win over the Blues. But with only four wins in this decade, Chelsea should be safe to get the majority of the points once again when the two teams clash this season.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
If West Ham can keep their squad fit, they could be the surprise package of the season and knock on the door of the ‘Top 6’.
With that said, they’re competing with the likes of Leicester City, Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in doing the exact same thing. And looking on paper, it can be argued that the other teams mentioned have stronger squads than the Hammers.
Predicted position: 10th
Come back for part 20 – the final part – as we make one last visit across the Premier League and preview… Wolverhampton Wanderers.
• Part 1 – Arsenal
• Part 2 – Aston Villa
• Part 3 – Bournemouth
• Part 4 – Brighton & Hove Albion
• Part 5 – Burnley
• Part 6 – Chelsea
• Part 7 – Crystal Palace
• Part 8 – Everton
• Part 9 – Leicester City
• Part 10 – Liverpool
• Part 11 – Manchester City
• Part 12 – Manchester United
• Part 13 – Newcastle United
• Part 14 – Norwich City
• Part 15 – Sheffield United
• Part 16 – Southampton
• Part 17 – Tottenham Hotspur
• Part 18 – Watford