Our next article in the series takes us to East London, home of the Hammers. Formed as Thames Ironworks, a club for workers of the company Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co., the Hammers have been around since the late 1880s. Like most clubs in England, they have a rich heritage. The club has the unique tradition of having machines that […]
Our next article in the series takes us to East London, home of the Hammers.
Formed as Thames Ironworks, a club for workers of the company Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co., the Hammers have been around since the late 1880s. Like most clubs in England, they have a rich heritage. The club has the unique tradition of having machines that blow bubbles into the air when the players walk onto the pitch. They have never played below the second tier of English football, a feat achieved by only seven other sides.
They are managed by former Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini, who had a successful stint at The Etihad. They are still adapting to life at the London Stadium, moving there in 2016 from the Boleyn Ground. An exciting side, they have underperformed in the past season, finishing 10th on 52 points. They will be looking to Pellegrini to recapture some of the success he had at City.
This summer, the Hammers have made some adventurous signings. They have brought in Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals and striker Sebastian Haller for a combined 69 million pounds. This will provide the Hammers plenty of attacking threats, with Felipe Anderson on the left-wing being an industrious player. However, there are still midfield reinforcements to be made, with young Declan Rice and an aging Mark Noble being their two main players in the center of the park. They will need someone to shield the defense, as well as some defenders to help Issa Diop.
For a defensive midfielder, West Ham needs to find a versatile player who can shield either Rice or Noble with the ball progression. Surprisingly, Tiemoue Bakayoko is still available. I know, I’ve said his name a few times, but he has the quality to sure up any side. Another option could be bringing in Tyler Adams from RB Leipzig. He didn’t play much last season, but he is a promising young player. He had an average of 4.5 tackles and interceptions in his limited time on the pitch. That would definitely help the Hammers out in the middle of the park.
In the backline, West Ham needs an overhaul. A new fullback would be a start, with Pablo Zabaleta being 34. For a right-back, Kenny Lala from Strasbourg could be an option. 3.1 tackles and interceptions per game helps defensively, while his 14 goal contributions are perfect for an attacking side. He also had 1.8 key passes per game, which could be hugely influential to a side like West Ham.
A center back to pair with Issa Diop could be good too, with Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbona aging. Simon Kjaer is 30 but could be an effective distributor from the back. His passing is 85.7%, with 2.5 long balls per match. he can find players from some distance, or play the ball into the midfield. Perhaps the Hammers could get him for cheap and use him for two or three years.
West Ham has some gaps to fill before the end of the window. They will be boosted by Manuel Lanzini returning from injury, but they have more issues at the back. Hopefully, they will score a lot of goals. I think they will finish 9th, being able to score plenty but being vulnerable in defense, especially on the counter. It might take another year to get the team Pellegrini is looking to play with, but all signs are pointing to a more progressive, attacking brand of football.