West Ham are gearing up for their second season at the London Stadium and Slaven Bilic’s side will certainly be hoping for better results than they secured in East London last term, during a campaign where the Hammers flirted with relegation.
It’s been a positive summer for the club though as the additions of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez significantly improve the quality of the first-team line-up, though it’s clear there’s still work to be done.
West Ham’s pre-season campaign came to a close yesterday with a 3-0 friendly defeat to fellow Premier League side Manchester City in Iceland, where a Hammers side weakened by various injury problems was swept aside by Pep Guardiola’s team.
The result may not be too significant as it was a pre-season match but the Hammers will be aware that things will not get any easier over the coming weeks, as West Ham kick-off their Premier League campaign with visits to Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle.
If West Ham are to improve on last season’s performances, then they’ll need to cut-out the mistakes within their game- which is something that Bilic addressed after the match. Speaking to the club’s official website, he said:
“When we made a mistake, as we did before the first goal, they punished us straight away, either with a goal or with a big chance. So, I’m not overwhelmed and I’m not disappointed because it is part of pre-season and we will not only play against clubs like this in the Premier League.”
“That said, you can’t make mistakes like this, and to be fair we were making them last year, like when we played Man City at home when their first goal was similar. After they score, it is then a big problem for you to turn the game around.”
“When you don’t do those kind of mistakes, like for example against Spurs [in May], then you have a chance. We did the mistake very early in the game today and then it’s very difficult.”
There’s certainly improvements to be made if West Ham are to battle their way up the Premier League standings and challenge for a spot in European competitions next season but there’s time for these issues to be solved.