Slaven Bilic, who managed to beat Sleve McClaren’s England 3-2 at Wembley. A stunning new kit we all seem happy with. Linked with international stars like Yohan Cabaye and Dimitri Payet on a regular basis. Moving to a 54,000 seater stadium next season.
What next, an injury free season for Andy Carroll?
Where has our West Ham gone? The West Ham that is usually full of doom and gloom. The West Ham that is usually linked with players that hardly get us jumping out our seats. The West Ham that has us all moaning nearly everyday. Can this finally be our turning point? Can this finally be the season that see’s us mix it with the big boys fighting for Europe? The answer is, noone knows, and it’s for that very reason I’m cautiously optimistic for the upcoming season at least.
Firstly, Slaven Bilic. Most certainly an upgrade on Sam Allardyce, don’t get me wrong. But no one knows how the team will react to changing to a new system. From a system that was previously drilled into them constantly, every week, by Mr Allardyce and will surely take some time to get our their game.
Even with the famed change of approach last season, we still scored more headers and put more in more crosses than mostly any other team last season, if not, the most. As much as we all want passing, attacking football, we do need to be patient for this to click and work.
How the fans react if it doesn’t work will be important. Fans will expect instant change after the last four years of football we’ve experienced, so a good start is imperative, if only results at least for now, as I believe the performances will come during the season.
Onto a good point, the fixture list. Putting sentiment aside, the fixture list could not have been any kinder to us. We don’t play any of last season’s top seven in two games consecutively. Most of our games against the so called top 4 are followed by very winnable games. Manchester City followed by Watford for example, or Arsenal away followed by Leicester at home as our season starts. And I’d take West Brom, Swansea and Stoke to finish the season off any day of the week.
If anything comes down to that very last game, did we really want an emotional last game at the Boleyn to finish on? Would have been more diffucult and unpredictable than any game against a Chelsea or Man City – it could have been very tough.
As much as most people find it harsh on us, I think it’s for the best and hopefully, on that last day of the season, the emotion of the day would have mostly passed and we can concentrate on a hard, but winnable away game at Stoke and if I’m being really optimistic, competing for a European spot or FA Cup final!
There will be tears of sadness, and cries of laughter. There will be some massive wins along the way, and some miserable losses. There’ll be some players leaving this summer who having given everything for this club, and we’ll be welcoming some new signings that will hopefully excite us for years to come.
My aim in this article, and this is my first for the site, was to write about my feelings for the upcoming season. You may have guessed from my differing points of view, I have absolutely no idea what to expect.
We are all in complete darkness but full of optimism for what promises to be an exciting future. This could be a season fighting relegation, or a season pushing for a Champions League place, who knows?
What is for sure though, and something we’ll all agree on, no matter what views you have for the next 12 months, is that the Boleyn Ground is going to get one hell of a send off this season from the best fans in the Premier League, and no matter what, we’ll be singing Bubbles through thick and thin.