At the time of writing West Ham have currently played two of their pre-season fixtures. One away to Cork City, which the Hammers won comfortably 6-2, and the other away to Boreham Wood, which was won 3-0.
Now I know not to get too excited by these fixtures as I’m pretty sure, under a certain Avram Grant, we won every single friendly prior to a season that I would much rather forget.
Nonetheless, there have been some promising features. Mainly the inclusion of a fair few youth players, which is to be expected. Most notably for me, though, is the inclusion of Dan Potts and Jordan Spence in the full back positions. These two have been in and around the first team squad for quite a while now so, I wonder, could we possibly see them feature a lot more regularly next season in the starting XI?
I personally hope we do, as I think they’ve got a lot of potential and feel they will only improve with more experience, unless they go out on loan to a Championship club for a full season and we monitor their progress closely to see if they could become starting players.
Another player is Ravel Morrison. West Ham fans have been calling for this young guy to be given a shot in the first team for ages and it appears, after a successful loan at Birmingham City for the duration of last season, that he may well have a chance this year of breaking into the side and I fully hope he grabs this opportunity with both hands. He has managed to bag two goals in two in these friendly fixtures, so maybe he could begin to put some pressure on the midfield trio of Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diame and Mark Noble, as well as those as back up, such as Jack Collison.
I think that, if he continues to work hard and put in good performances when he gets the chance, there is no reason why he couldn’t break into the first team. There is no denying Nolan’s age and maybe giving him a rest now and then could help improve us even further. Whatever happens, I hope we continue to see him feature in pre-season and maybe eventually see him break into the starting XI.
If all of this carries on, I feel it could be a very exciting time for West Ham with good experienced players and some decent young players putting pressure on those already in the first team, which should give valuable competition for positions and making everyone perform to their best ability.
We also mustn’t forget that we’ve also seen Elliott Lee, Paul McCallum and George Moncur feature as well. All these players, in my opinion, are a bit too inexperienced to push into the first team yet, but hopefully they could go out on loan this season, just as Morrison did, and gain some valuable experience to come back to the squad stronger than ever, hungry for success and looking to get into our side.