Shortly after the 2017-18 season ended interim West Ham boss David Moyes and his coaching staff exited the club having fulfilled their contracts and achieved the mandate given to them of keeping the Hammers in the Premier League.
When Chilean Manuel Pellegrini was appointed as the new West Ham manager it was clear the former Real Madrid and Manchester City manager was delighted to be back in what he called “the best league in the world” after a spell managing in the Chinese Super League.
The reaction from the fans was surprisingly mixed with some recognising the quality of the appointment while some felt the 65 year old was past it.
Pellegrini immediately started shaping the squad and was it has to be said seriously backed by the owners who clearly felt they had appointed the right manager to improve the club
While the season began in horrific fashion with 4 League losses in a row, including the 4-0 opening day loss to Liverpool, the calm Pellegrini maintained that his squad would deliver in time. So it proved as the Hammers recorded an impressive 3-1 away win over Everton where Marko Arnautovic and the unfortunate Yarmolenko were the stars of the show with the goals but people also watched the skills of £36million new man Felipe Anderson and new £22million centre-back Issa Diop who were revealing that they might just be Premier League players.
Declan Rice also featured in the win over Everton and it is no coincidence that the now England declared Rice has developed into one of the best Premier League midfielders out there while under Manuel Pellegrini.
West Ham are trying to push for the top 10 this season and then the goal will be to push on next season and try and break into the top 6. The Hammers will need to hold onto their best players like Rice, Anderson, Diop and Arnautovic but must also improve their operations off the field by operating better commercially and attracting well paying and quality sponsors like the deal they have with Betway.
West Ham need to develop their fanbase internationally too as the likes of Chelsea have done over the past 20 years. Chelsea did not have a huge international fan base back in the late 90’s but they have a massive one now. Manchester City are also now starting to build a more significant international fanbase as a result of success both on the field but also from completing astute and strategic commercial deals to build their brand.
Manchester United are the leaders when it comes to success commercially as the Glazers are long-time sports team owners and have made heaps of money with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL winning Super_Bowl_XXXVII and despite not winning since 2002 the Buccaneers remain very profitable.
West Ham can learn from these clubs off the field as they certainly can compete stadium wise with the now impressive feeling London Stadium becoming very much the Hammers home. However, first they must keep their stars as mentioned with Felipe Anderson perhaps the crown jewel as the Brazilian has had teams throughout the Premier League like Chelsea and Man United salivating over his ability to take players on, pick out the perfect pass to set up a goal or score himself this season and the Samba star has played well in big games against the top sides too.
Anderson wanted to repay Pellegrini, when he signed for the Hammers, for showing such faith in him and bringing him to London on such a huge transfer fee but the manager and player have delivered for the club in droves and we must keep the two together with the rest of the key squad members and add sensible signings in the summer if they are an improvement on our existing players.