It has been a relatively low-key summer for West Ham, with only a handful of new faces making the switch to Upton Park. Romanian defender Razvan Rat was one of the Premier League's earliest signings of the season, with his arrival being announced back in May. Striker Andy Carroll commanded a club record fee of £15million to make his move from Liverpool permanent, while Spanish goalkeeper Adrian was brought in on a free transfer from Real Betis. Carlton Cole and Gary O'Neil both left the club after a number of years' service but outgoings have been few and far between.
Sam Allardyce's brand of football has taken vast amounts of criticism down the years but last season his direct style of play proved to be a big hit at West Ham, helping them to maintain their Premier League status without too many fears of relegation. He will now be looking to progress from their 10th-placed finish and in having the backing of the Hammers' owners in the transfer market, he has the tools at his disposal to do so. Allardyce managed to bring the best out of Carroll and wants more of the same.
Ins and Outs
- Andy Carroll - £15m
- Razvan Rat - Free
- Stewart Downing - £6m
- Robert Hall - Undisclosed
- Carlton Cole - Released
- Gary O'Neil - Free
It looks to be a huge season for the 24-year-old as he eyes the reclamation of his place in Roy Hodgson's England squad in time for the World Cup next summer.
The West Ham captain seems to improve with age and last season was no different. Netting on 10 occasions last term, his goalscoring ability from midfield is often invaluable.
The winner of the Hammer of the Year award for 2013, the New Zealand defender really came of age last season, cementing his place in Sam Allardyce's defence.
Strengths & Weaknesses
The signing of Carroll proved to be a perfect fit, with Allardyce using the striker's attributes to the advantage of his side. Upon Carroll's arrival, the Hammers adapted their style of play to utilise his aerial threat, and they reaped the rewards. Joe Cole and Matt Jarvis offer the quality deliveries from out wide while Nolan and Mohamed Diame bring the strength in the middle. Despite signing Carroll on a permanent deal, Allardyce is still likely to be in the hunt for another striker as he still seems to lack someone capable of challenging at the top of the goalscoring charts.
In recent years, Allardyce has often favoured doing deals later on in the transfer window and that could very well prove to be the case again this year. Carroll, Stewart Downing and Rat are undoubtedly additions that will make the Hammers stronger but their squad still appears to be in a very similar shape to how it was last season. Another striker is likely to be a priority acquisition for Allardyce who will surely be looking to increase his attacking options before the window slams shut.
"This has been one of the quietest summers I have had. We have done some good business. Andy Carroll has come in, we have got a new goalkeeper in Adrian from Real Betis, who seems to be settling in very well, and Razvan Rat will help strengthen the defence."
"We want to finish higher than last year. The main thing for me is to get in the West Ham team, play as many games as I can, play well and we'll see what happens from there."
Facts and Figures
West Ham did not win back-to-back Premier League games in 2012/13
Matt Jarvis created the most chances without assisting a single goals
West Ham had the best cross completion rate in the Premier League
Jussi Jaaskelainen made the most saves in 2012/13's Premier League
West Ham conceded the fewest headed goals in the last Premier League
Andy Carroll is a good signing for West Ham and that signing alone, if he can get fit and stay fit, will keep them in the league. I think he and Kevin Nolan have a great record and the outcome of assists and goals when they play together is incredible, both at Newcastle and now at West Ham. Keeping those two fit is a massive priority for West Ham, because they will be able to keep them up on their own. They are probably a bit better than a relegation battle, but they could get dragged into trouble if those two players are not fit.