West Ham have enjoyed a fine summer transfer window and expectations have risen ahead of the new season, where the Hammers will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing maiden campaign at the London Stadium last term.
One of the biggest problems for West Ham last season was the fact that they didn’t really have an alternative plan for when things were going difficult, as their squad lacked competitiveness due to the wealth of under-performing players and the new signings that struggled to make it work.
With no competitiveness within the squad, performances from players dipped and Slaven Bilic wasn’t really able to shuffle his deck. Now, with the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, West Ham’s first-team is stronger but the back-up options are also stronger.
Hart’s arrival in particular means that Spanish goalkeeper Adrian faces a fight to force his way into the team and he’s stated that he’s determined to compete for the number one spot, showing that the positive effects of top-class additions are already paying off.
“Joe is a great ‘keeper and is an international for England he brings great competition. He is a great worker and, like everyone, we are both training very well. We have a lot of competition in goal this season, so I will try to give my best and we will see the manager’s decision.”
Adrian is almost certain to start as second-string, with England international Hart taking centre stage, but the loanee from Manchester City is under pressure to perform after being ousted from the Citizens by Pep Guardiola.
The fact that Bilic now has two top-class goalkeepers to choose from means he can afford to be ruthless and can chop and change as he sees fit, ensuring that nobody in the team lets their performances dip significantly as there will always be someone ready to step into the side.
West Ham’s competitiveness in the squad should drive the players in the team to consistently perform to their highest standard, otherwise they run the risk of being dropped and they could find it difficult to force their way back into the side.