West Ham set themselves lofty ambitions last summer following their move to the London Stadium and fans expectations ahead of their second campaign at their new home have been raised significantly following a wealth of top-class additions.
Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez have all arrived to bolster Slaven Bilic’s first-choice side for the new campaign and the Hammers have certainly created a side that’s capable of going toe-to-toe with the finest teams in the division.
The failures of last season will be fresh in the mind ahead of the forthcoming campaign though and that could spur fans, and the club themselves, into demanding a quick turnaround in fortunes. Whilst the Hammers will be expecting improvements, success is definitely not imminent.
Due to the competitiveness in the Premier League and English football in general, West Ham won’t find things easy in the new season and they should set achievable targets that can be met and then extended as things progress.
For the new season, fighting for a European spot is likely to be on the agenda, but will be difficult due to the strength of the Premier League’s top-six and the challenges of Everton, Southampton, Stoke City and company, so even achieving a top-half finish would be decent for Bilic’s side.
West Ham’s best chance of returning to the European stage may come via the domestic cup competitions and the Hammers need to take these seriously this season, after losing in the third-round of the FA Cup last season.
The Hammers did of course reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup and that should be the minimum objective for West Ham this season, whilst reaching a similar stage in the FA Cup should be a priority. Of course though, the danger is they could be handed a difficult draw.
Losing 5-0 in the third-round to Manchester City is inexcusable though, no matter how talented the Citizens’ ranks are, and the fact that it occurred at the London Stadium will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the supporters.
Major improvements at the London Stadium will certainly be the key towards West Ham’s push to success though as a return of just seven victories from 19 home matches in the Premier League is not good enough if West Ham are to push towards achieving their objectives.