With not much positivity around the club at the moment fans will be looking to get this season over with, hoping that the team can finish as strongly as possible, to raise hopes for the next campaign.
The Hammers, who lie in 12th place in the Premier League, actually have the 8th best away record in the league. It’s clear that their form at the Olympic stadium has been the main issue this season. The players, fans, and club as a whole have struggled to settle at the new ground.
West Ham have the 5th worst home record in the league. For a team that started the season with a crack at European football, this is just unacceptable. Although many are hopeful that fortunes will change next season as the players and the fans get used to their new surroundings.
There was a similar drop off in Arsenal’s performances following their stadium move in 2006 from Highbury to The Emirates. They finished 4th with 68 points the season after the stadium opened. Following that season though, the Gunners performed to a higher level, grabbing 83 points in a 3rd placed finish, 4 points of top. West Ham supporters will hope the same trend occurs in East London next season.
To help them along the way the board will need to spend in the summer transfer window. The team could do with some new additions, especially up front and in defence, where the Hammers have looked particularly weak this period.
Andre Ayew has failed to make the impact expected of him, although this has been partly due to injury; can he be relied upon to haul West Ham up the league next season? Ayew has however managed to score 3 goals in his past 4 games including 1 yesterday against Leicester City so he may be coming into form now. The injury-plagued Andy Carroll has looked impressive in patches but hasn’t done it for a full campaign in years. A striker who scores consistently would make a huge difference at West Ham, but finding one is easier said than done.
Furthermore, the defence is leaking goals at an alarming rat. Bilic needs to identify players who can make an impact in this area of the pitch. Drubbings like the recent home defeat to Manchester City need to be made a thing of the past. The Hammers look like they are lacking a real leader back there, somebody to organise the team and pick them up when the chips are down. Finding players of strong character, as well as technique, will be important the Hammers going forward as they look to turn the tide at the Olympic stadium.
With summer reinforcements and a year of settling into their new surroundings, next season could be a strong one for the Irons.