Monday, 16 August 2010

Premier League Preview - West Ham

West Ham United

West Ham have had a rocky past few seasons in recent years while last season they narrowly avoided relegation finishing in 17th place. With safety secured for one more season, and with new owners in place; former Birmingham owners David Gold and David Sullivan, manager Gianfranco Zola was unceremoniously sacked. In came former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss Avram Grant.

Now with more money available to club, Grant brought in Frederic Piquionne from Lyon, who played under him at Portsmouth, and Mexican midfielder Pablo Barrera from Universidad Nacional. Also joining the club is former Lazio midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger on a free transfer, who formerly played with Aston Villa in the Premiership, while fellow Israeli Tal Ben-Haim comes in on loan from Portsmouth.

Key Player: Scott Parker

The 29 year old midfielder is currently considering a new improved contract from the club, in order to dispel interest from both Liverpool and Tottenham. Parker is a very loyal individual and is vital to West Ham steering clear of relegation this season. A tireless, hard working midfielder who plays with his heart on his sleeve, he is the Hammers best player.

Manager: Avram Grant

Key Signing: Frédéric Piquionne

The 31 year old midfielder was vital in helping Portsmouth reaching the FA Cup final last season. The one time French international has played his whole career in France playing for clubs such as Rennes, Saint-Etienne, Monaco and Lyon. Never the prolific goal scorer, he should be able to chip in with a few goals to help the West Ham cause.

Aims: Avoid Relegation

Prediction: 13th

I believe Avram Grant should be able to steer the Hammers clear off relegation, while consolidation looks to be the main aim for the side this year. The chairman’s prediction of West Ham playing Champions League football in the near future is all but a dream. 13th would be a very respectable finish this year.

First Five Fixtures: Aston Villa (A), Bolton (H), Manchester Utd (A), Chelsea (H), Stoke City (A)

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