2008 – Many die hard and passionate West Ham fans may remember the year as the year the mighty Hammers finished above arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The East Londoners finished in tenth, and edged ahead of Spurs narrowly on goal difference. This was also the campaign where Alan Curbishley was in charge, Man United ended up Champions and Man City were just an insignificant mid-table club – they finished ninth.
Seven years on, and Spurs have finished above the Upton Park outfit ever since, much to the annoyance of everyone associated with West Ham.
However, this is the year all the disappointment about not finishing above the North Londoners will finally be diminished.
With new management, a better playing style than under the guidance of former boss Sam Allardyce, a plethora of new faces to the Hammers’ ranks and the strive to succeed in all competitions in the final season at the atmospheric Boleyn Ground are just some of the reasons why Slaven Bilic’s men have a fantastic opportunity to finish above their London rivals.
The summer recruitment for the E13 club has seen Pedro Obiang, Darren Randolph, Dimitri Payet, Martin Samuelson, Angelo Ogbonna, Carl Jenkinson and Manuel Lanzini join West Ham, totalling a £25m spend and still the prospect of more exciting players joining.
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino has brought in centre-back Kevin Wimmer, unproven in the best league in the world and right-back Kieran Trippier, who was relegated with his last club Burnley.
On paper, the East Londoners have done the better business by a huge landslide so far.
Under former Besiktas and Croatia chief Bilic, the Hammers have been playing with more fluidity in the games against FC Lusitans, Southend United and Birkirkara (at home).
The long ball philosophy under the stewardship of Allardyce is now a distant memory and now the Hammers’ incredible faithful can enjoy attractive and attacking football ahead of the new season.
Not only has the new style of play bread of new lease of confidence throughout the West Ham squad, but it is more than enough to match, or even better, Spurs’ exploits.
Furthermore, like West Ham, Tottenham also have a new stadium awaiting them in the near future which will ensure the North Londoners are one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League with the new 56,000 seater stadium ready for the 2018-2019 campaign.
However, the claim of being London’s biggest club could be taken away from them when the Hammers move into the iconic Olympic Stadium next year.
West Ham are almost certain to make an impression in the final season at the beloved Upton Park ahead of the switch to the 54,000 capacity arena.
So, with Tottenham struggling for signings, a final season at the home of West Ham to say goodbye with success under the claret and blue belt, a quick tempo pass and move attitude and the much anticipated move to the Queen Elizabeth park, a final song of ‘oh Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happening again’, and finishing above the overrated Premier League team by May 2016, will certainly put a smile on many a Hammers fan.
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