Manager: Alan Curbishley (my least favorite manager at present)
Ground: Boleyn Ground
Pitch size: 110 x 70 yards
Year formed: 1895 as Thames Iron Works FC
1900 as West Ham United FC
Previous grounds:1895-96 Hermit Road Ground
1896-97 Browning Road
1897-1904 Memorial Grounds
1904- Boleyn Ground, Upton Park
Nickname: The Hammers
Goal Keeping: B/B+
With the additions of Craig Bellamy and Freddie Ljungberg West Ham all of a sudden have a wide open style of attack they can bring to the pitch. It should be exciting to see if they unleash said personal against Manchester City this weekend.
The Closed Season has seen numerous departures from the squad most notably Carlos Tevez. Tevez was the hero last campaign and the big question mark as well. Was his contract legit? Should West Ham have been punished for their third party contract? Did the FA handle the situation correctly? With most of the questions answered and Tevez now at Manchester United, West Ham has to build for the future. Alan Curbishley has shown brilliance in the past but he is tactically sound enough to run a Premiership club? I’d love to see a more free flowing style with the ball being moved out of the back quicker. I don’t really like the midfield at West Ham as far as a creative controlling presence. Let’s hope Curbs looks for more outside attacks. I also hope that Bellamy and Ljungberg don’t focus too much on coming back to help defend.
I question whether or not the West Ham midfield can hold up against the Premiership. I don’t see creativity moving the ball forward, nor do I see one strong figure in defense. Instead I see a few decent center mid-fielders that all are right footed. Instead of a straight four across which I’m fairly sure they will play, I would like to see West Ham in a more creative structure; either a diamond or four-three-two-one. Only time will tell.
I enjoy the back line Lucas Neill’s injury at the beginning of the season is slightly bothersome but Spector should be a capable fill in. Ferdinand is developing nicely but I’m looking for a lot more this season then I saw last. Upson doesn’t impress me but he seems to be in place if not always capable of making the plays, at least his body will be in the way. I don’t care who they put on the left McCartney or Pantsil both can play but I’d grade either of them at around a C.
In the net you’ve got to love Robert Green. Green will never take over as the English National team keep again unless something ungodly happens. Green gives it his all and as he showed last season he is capable of keeping West Ham in matches all on his own.
The front line is interesting. Dean Ashton is going to be sweet to watch in the coming season. I hate to see Bobby Zamora on the sheet, he just frustrates the hell out of me with his mental break downs. Bellamy needs to prove himself in my opinion. Is Bellamy good or was he just playing at Liverpool and that made him look good? Ljungberg is a stud and if he’s still got enough left in the tank he’ll add punch but I see him coming out of the midfield on his long patiented runs instead of being an out and out striker. Carlton Cole is a bit of a question mark. Can Cole regain his form of the early days after all he is still very young. If Cole finds himself I’d like to see him teamed with Ashton up top and then have Freddie and Craig supporting from the outsides.
On a whole I don’t see why West Ham shouldn’t stay up in the coming season. I also don’t see how they do any better then tenth. It should take them a few matches to find themselves and really establish their new brand of football. I think Curbs might want to add a little more depth to the midfield, but other then that they should be able to cope. They are suspect to injuries up top too though. I could see a January move if the goals aren’t piling up. I know I say his name a lot but Eddie Johnson would add the pure pace that West Ham is missing. If I keep throwing and speculating Eddie Johnson’s name all about I’m bound to find him a new home sooner or later.