Welcome to a new season and a realistic ‘next level’

So here we stand 48 hours away from a new season when hopefully talk of ‘fortune always hiding’ and ‘dreams fading and dying’ can be put to bed for a while!

Instead we are considering that mythical ‘next level’ – one of the hardest scenarios to nail  as it means so many things to so many different people.

Nobody it seems is quite sure what they are talking when it comes up for discussion  but personally I believe we are going to a place which will do for me after so many years supporting this club.

Given that we are a work in progress this season -we still look a bit light in midfield I reckon – we must take this step by step so the next level for me is straightforward.

It’s a freedom from worrying season in and season out whether of not we are going to find ourselves in relegation trouble come Christmas.

It’s seems to have been an issue during all the time I have followed this great club and I reckon the spend-up this summer signals a change of philosophy in the club which is aimed at ending that nightmare scenario once and for all.

It may not be the high flying European bid that most of us would hope for but it would be a very nice start indeed after the miserably worrying yo yo existence we have endured for far too long.

Where will we finish: I believe seventh or eighth is possible – it would have been higher but for the midfield situation. However, if we pass through this season without once looking over our shoulder, the rest can wait until next season.


About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

11 comments on “Welcome to a new season and a realistic ‘next level’

  1. I would be happy not looking over my shoulder Beating the teams we would hope to beat and
    nicking results against the top four.To progress in the premiership you have got to beat the teams from the lower half thats were west ham needs to get there points from not a spectaculer win at main road and then get ripped to bits at watford (no disrespect to watford)

  2. Well said. Really looking forward to this season. Am intrigued to see how we set up. Not sure we should expect much from the first game, but you never know.

  3. Hugh agree with your comments the best thing about this season is SURELY no worries about relegation at Xmas .
    I be happy 7th but as always I am over confident heart running away from my head let’s get 5th Pellegrino plays a good game as well as talk one

  4. Despite all the money we have spent this summer, we should not build up too much over-optimism for this coming season.
    There are still massive unknowns to be decided and learnt, mainly due to the number of new players we have bought with that money. As I have said before, the CB pairing is the most crucial unknown we will find out about during the first 10 games. During pre-season all possible pairings using Ogbonna, Balbuena, Rice and Diop were tried, none of which were near perfect. The right pairing will become clear in time ( hopefully the first 5 minutes of the first game ).
    So many new players is always a source of instability at first; it’s just about how long it takes to come right.
    In central midfield it is the positioning of Wilshere which needs discovering also in the first games. Holding / box to box or number 10.
    Up front, is it to be lone striker, or Arnie supported by Perez, or could Hernandes get a look in?
    Not much is clear yet. Of course it could all turn out like a dream, but I will watch the first 10 games with very cautious optimism and enjoy what is put before us with hope.

    • By the way watch out for Everton who have also bought in some great signings. Even Fulham and Wolves have spent much more than promoted teams usually spend, so it puts our spending a little into perspective.

  5. Early season always throws up some freak results, usually one of the promoted teams does better than anticipated and one or more of the bigger teams struggle, we should know it has often been us in the latter right ? If we do manage a great result against Liverpool and either 1 or three points who knows, Everton have signed a lot of good players on paper but like us many are unfamiliar with the PL, Richarlison may not be the same and they are a club also that are paying top dollar in wages so if they start to slide we know their manager has shown at two different clubs he can’t arrest the slide, they could do a QPR. I think the article is great Hugh definitely feel the same as you on all the points, next level at our stage is being stable and around the mix for European places, the level following that is regularly qualifying for Europa League and threatening in the cups, CL is a long way off and may require deeper pockets than we have, as mentioned 7th or 8th would be brilliant but more important is to watch us getting gradually better and to genuinely enjoy watching us play attacking football, passing and moving that would be wonderful COYI !!!

  6. Pretty much agree Hugh- in terms of realistic aims & also what will make me a Happy Hammer. I feel a bit less optimistic than I did three weeks ago, in light of the spending by the likes of Leicester, Fulham & Wolves- which has put our own efforts in perspective to an extent. Long term it also concerns me that the way the PL is going similar amounts will be needed season on season as players age or move on. Canwe sustain that? I am also concerned that this new breed of owners will angle for a Euro Super League with no relegation to threaten their investment. The game as we all know it could then be transformed into one most of us would not recognise, or want to watch. But that’s all for another day. After many years I can still get excited on the first day & this year I feel more hopeful than for several years. It may take a bit of time to fit the pieces together but I think it can be done. For Sunday I suspect the best we can hope for is a good performance, but you never know. Let’s hope we can all enjoy a season with more highs than lows & have some genuine pleasure from watching our team. That’ll do me!!!

  7. Next level for me is a positive goal difference and finishing above Everton and Wafford in the top eight.

  8. Good article and nice comments. Breaking into the top six means one of last season’s top six needs to implode – I think top 10 would be good

    Agree it would be nice not to have to worry about relegation at Xmas

    Meanwhile I will watch with morbid fascination which club gets off to a stinker and which manager is the first for the chop and when BFS and Moyes get called in


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