English Premier League: West Ham’s chances for the 2010-2011 season

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English Premier League: West Ham’s chances for the 2010-2011 season
West Ham are one of the few English Premier League teams that might surprise in the up-coming season. The London based club have a new manager as well as some new additions to their squad for the up-coming 2010-2011 season. West Ham have played in the English Premier League since its inception in 1992, bar the three years they were relegated from the Premier division of football in England.
Last season, the hammers just barely fought their way out of a relegation battle. They were competing against the likes of Hull City, Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wolves, Portsmouth and Wigan for survival in the English Premier League. Gianfranco Zola was appointed West Ham’s manager at the start of the 2009-2010 season and was given sufficient funds to turn the team’s fortunes from relegation battlers to mid table contenders. However, the ex-Chelsea player failed to make efficient use of the players that were available to him and thus West Ham found themselves struggling in the league once again due to severe mismanagement.
At the end of the 2009-2010 season, West Ham managed to finish 17th in the English Premier League, which consists a total of twenty teams. As far as cup competitions are concerned, Zola was unable to take United to any new heights.
West Ham only made it till the third round of the Football Association Cup as they lost by two goals to one against Arsenal. In the Carling Cup, the Hammers again failed to impress despite beating their staunch rivals Millwall in the second round of the competition in extra-time, West Ham lost to Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the tournament.
At the end of the season, West Ham announced that they had terminated Gianfranco Zola’s management contract with the club and later on in the summer, they appointed the former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager, Avram Grant as their new manager. Avram Grant has had previous experience in the English Premier League, as he managed Chelsea from 20th of September 2007 till 24th of May 2008. During his time with Chelsea, Grant took the present-English champions to their maiden UEFA Champions League final till date, in which they lost to Manchester United on penalties.
Grant also did a remarkable job during his time at Portsmouth in the 2009-2010 season as the financially troubled club to the F.A Cup final at Wembley against Chelsea. Grant’s appointment as West Ham’s manager is a pleasant one for the club’s faithful fans as Avram is expected to do well at the hammers. United have already brought in Thomas Hitzelsperger on a free transfer from Lazio; the German international footballer will add steel and creativity to West Ham’s midfield.
As far as West Ham’s defence is concerned, Paulo Barrera’s four million pound move to London from UNAM Pumas will provide some balance to a much criticized back four. The regular defenders at West Ham include the likes of Mathew Upson, Jonathan Spector, Gabbidon and Illunga. Recent arrival of Tal Ben Haim from Portsmouth on a loan deal, will also give Grant some back up options in case a surge in injuries is witnessed at the club.
In attack, West Ham’s most potent weapon is the English striker Carlton Cole. The powerful centre forward will have a lot of expectations associated with him as the club’s fans will expect a handful of goals from the ex-Chelsea man. Cole’s partner upfront will most likely be, Piquionne, who was bought by West Ham for around one million pounds from Portsmouth F.C. Another option that Avram Grant might have upfront is to deploy Benny McCarthy upfront with Cole, in a big man-small man combination upfront.
Most West Ham United fans, expect their team to do well in the quickly approaching season, which means at least a finish which see them comfortably in mid table. However, given Grant’s ability to work miracles, West Ham might be a good bet for a Europa League finish in next season’s English Premier League.



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