Totally Buzzed is previewing every single Premier League team ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign and now it is the turn of West Ham.
How last season went:
West Ham had a season to remember when it came to their performance in the Premier League. The Hammers racked up 65 points, a club record, in order to finish 6th in the league, which not only saw them qualify for Europe but saw them finish ahead of London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal. When you consider that the Hammers finished 16th with 39 points in the 2019-20 campaign, it shows how far they improved in the course of one season. As for other competitions, the Hammers likely would have been a little disappointed. David Moyes’ side were ousted from the FA Cup in the fifth round of the tournament after Manchester United beat them 1-0 at Old Trafford in extra time and Everton sent the London club packing in the fourth round of the EFL Cup by beating them 4-1.
West Ham’s Premier League Stats – 2020/21:
*According to PremierLeague.com*
West Ham Player Stats – 2020/21:
Top Scorer Across All Competitions: Michali Antonio – 10 goals in 27 matches (0.43 goals per 90minutes, 207 minutes per goal) and Tomas Soucek – 10 goals in 41 matches (0.25 goals per 90minutes, 363 minutes per goal)
Most Assists Across All Competitions: Aaron Cresswell – 8 assists in 39 appearances (1.36 chances created per 90minutes)
Most Assists – Premier League Only: Cresswell – 8 assists in 36 games
Most Minutes Played Across Premier League Fixtures – Top 3:
- Soucek – 3420 minutes 2.Cresswell – 3172 minutes 3.Lukasz Fabianski – 3150 minutes
1st five league fixtures:
Newcastle (A): Newcastle did the double over David Moyes’ West Ham side last season as they recorded a 2-0 win at the London Stadium before eeking out a 3-2 victory over the London club at St James’ Park. It’s worth noting that the Hammers played 64 minutes of the 3-2 loss with 10-men as Craig Dawson was sent off after receiving two first-half bookings.
Leicester City (H): West Ham did the double over Leicester City last season as they achieved an impressive 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium in October before a Lingard brace helped them squeak out a 3-2 win over the Foxes at the London Stadium in April.
Crystal Palace (H): A 10-man Palace side managed a 1-1 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium in December, a game where Christian Benteke managed to get on the scoresheet and transform into a villain by getting sent-off in the 70th minute of the match. In the two sides’ last meeting, which took place at Selhurst Park in January, the Hammers just about escaped with all three points as they won the match 3-2.
Southampton (A): The Saints drew 0-0 with West Ham in December at St Mary’s before the Hammers secured a comfortable 3-0 win when playing Hasenhuttl’s side at the London Stadium in May.
Manchester United (H): West Ham suffered three defeats at the hands of Man United last season. Solskjaer’s side won 3-1 at the London Stadium in the Premier League in December, eliminated the Hammers from the FA Cup in February by beating them 1-0 at Old Trafford, before racking up another 1-0 win over the Hammers, when the pair clashed at Old Trafford in March in the league.
West Ham Fan Perspective: Jack Church
Best Player: Tomáš Souček is the total package as a defensive midfielder. Paired with Declan Rice, he controls the attacking possession, plays tough but clean defensively, has a lethal header on crosses and set pieces, and is both kind and respectful in how he conducts himself. He is the key to how Moyes’ 4-2-3-1 system operates from his position.
Promising youngster: Ben Johnson has gotten some appearances for the Hammers, most of which have come from off the bench. He is stuck behind some big names in the defense, but should be able to continue his development this season.
The player who is likely to surprise people (underrated/less known): Craig Dawson is primed for a breakout year. A centre-back, he is also great on set pieces and can get forward in the attack. The former Watford player excelled in Moyes’ 4-2-3-1 system and will only go farther this year.
Thoughts on the manager: David Moyes has mostly been responsible for the team’s great season last year. He was able to take a squad that finished 16th the year prior and, without too many signings, qualify for European football. He has the ability to bring a team up from its squad value, especially at a club like West Ham, whose previous manager (Pellegrini) brought the team down overall.
Worried About/Weakness: Depth is an issue for the squad. With a board that does not seem content on spending, I worry about how our thin squad will handle an increase in games this season.
Dream Transfer: A dream signing would be a star player for West Ham, one who, while with some youth left, would bring some attacking presence to a side that has never truly had a world-class striker since the days of Bobby Moore. In a world with unlimited spending, I think Marcus Rashford would fit well into the team. He could be a leader by example for the squad and bring the results and goals with him. This would also allow Antonio, who is injury-prone, to not over-exert himself and hopefully stay healthy for the entire campaign.
Realistic Transfer: I think West Ham have the potential to keep Jesse Lingard and buy him from Manchester United. Playing in a False 9 role, he has allowed more space and creativity for a club that lacked that at the beginning of the year. He truly revolutionised the way West Ham played.
Player I fear leaving: Declan Rice is going to leave. Eventually, our club will be too small for him and he will seek the bright lights of Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford. Hopefully, we can get some good value for him eventually, but with our board, I simply do not see it.
The person who I hope leaves…the board needs to head out. Gold, Sullivan, and Brady have taken a club knocking on the door of European football in 2014 to one near relegation, and Moyes’ achievements were in spite of them, not because of them. This board needs to leave soon, or, despite their achievements, this squad could face Championship football.
League expectation: The club should be looking to qualify for Europe once again. Nobody expects them to mix up with the top four and contend for a Champions League place, but they should look to maintain their position in the table. Decent runs in the domestic cups are expected, but there is no high expectation for the Europa League.
League Prediction: I believe that West Ham will slip to a mid-table position. The depth of the squad will be tested further this season, and I do not think it can stand up to that. I do expect Moyes to put a greater focus on the European competition, which should yield a decent run there.
Biggest Rival This Season/Love It If We Beat them: It has to be Chelsea. After taking six points from them in the 2019/20 campaign, the club lost both matches last season by an aggregate of 4-0. They like to carry themselves as a big club, and their supporters act as though they have a right to Declan Rice, so Hammers supporters want nothing more than a win against these London rivals.
Any Other Comments about West Ham: Last year, West Ham United were originally relegation favorites. Having only saved themselves in Round 37, and finishing in 16th, the future looked bleak. Furthermore, the board, led by David Gold and David Sullivan, refused to significantly invest in the squad, leading supporters and pundits alike to believe that another disappointing season was in store. However, the squad greatly surprised, finishing the year in 6th and placing themselves in the race for European football. David Moyes, considered by many to be the manager of the year, (even though Pep Guardiola won the award), took great strides forward from both his previous stint with the club and the time after his takeover the previous year. Now, with both the Premier League, both domestic cups, and, for the first time in several years, European football on the calendar, how will the Hammers cope with these challenges?