By Craig Bird
All has not been well at West Ham United for some time. Not only did Pelligrini leave under a cloud after attempting to bring pure football back to the East End, but David Moyes was appointed and the club were almost relegated at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
Then there’s a perceived lack of leadership and investment by the board but there any silver linings among the clouds? More specifically, did the summer transfer window provide a glimmer of hope?
Thankfully, the team pulled together and managed to ensure one of the longest-serving Premier League sides didn’t drop down into the Championship. During the final stint of the fixture list, the Hammers played nine games, only losing three. Along the way, Antonio became the first West Ham player to smash in four goals in a Premier League tie, while there were positive results against Man United (1-1) and bitter rivals Chelsea (3-2). A good run of form meant that we hit the 39 points mark and stayed up with five to spare.
But is that enough?
Obviously, every Hammers fan on the planet was over the moon when Premier League football was officially on the cards for the 2020/21 season. There’s nothing like looking at the fixtures and imagining what the atmosphere will be like against some of the biggest sides in Europe. Still, it was relief more than celebration because West Ham United shouldn’t be in the same conversation as Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion. Compared to the 2015/16 season with Bilic, when we made it into the Europa League places, the summer of 2020 was a massive step back for a club with the fanbase and history of West Ham.
The transfer window
If you’re a West Ham supporter and have spent most of the summer playing UK casino games online rather than watching the news for transfer updates, nobody can blame you! The window has been nothing short of dreadful, with only three players coming into the squad to strengthen the team.
Yes, the UK transfer market is open until the 16th of October and Craig Dawson is rumoured to fill the centre back slot, but the players the board missed out on are telling. Fikayo Tomori didn’t want to come even though Chelsea were offered £50k every time he didn’t play, Caleta-Car said no, and Wilshere left the club. As far as the summer is concerned, it was a very difficult time for supporters, and it was only made easier by the fact Declan Rice didn’t leave.
Beyond the summer
On the face of it, the summer of 2020 was a failure for the club. The team stayed up, but shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place, while the players needed to ensure it doesn’t happen in 2021 are nowhere to be seen.
Thankfully, there is cause for excitement as the failures in the summer seem to have galvanised everyone. After a slow start, the last two games saw us score seven goals in total, three of them against red-hot Leicester City away from home. Hopefully, if this form continues, West Ham fans can say it’s been a successful year.