West Ham United is another team making moves in the transfer window to get ready for the 2013-14 Premier League season.
Last year West Ham earned themselves a tenth place finish with a record of 12-10-16. While they were level on points with Swansea, they had a worse goal difference at -8.
West Ham fans haven’t always enjoyed the style of play that Sam Allardyce sets out, but it was mostly successful. In the 2013-14 EPL season they will need to start scoring more goals and turning those 16 losses into wins.
Defensively they added some competition for Jussi Jaaskelainen by bringing in Adrian San Miguel del Castillo. Otherwise their defensive unit stays basically the same. The real changes came in their attack.
The most recent addition is the £5M signing of Stewart Downing from Liverpool. This should add some width and pace to the West Ham attack and give them a player who can send in those crosses for Andy Carroll up front.
As far as forwards go, they did bring in Danny Whitehead, but he is a young player and will be one to develop for the future. The big deal was to bring Andy Carroll over from Liverpool on a permanent basis. While midfielder Kevin Nolan was their leading scorer in 2012-13, this had to do as much with Carroll being injured through last season.
West Ham need to keep their players healthy this year if they want to finish as well as they did last season. Other teams around the middle of the table have strengthened and will challenge them. Teams that finished below them like Norwich City and Aston Villa, are going to push them more than before.
My prediction for West Ham is a finish just below the top ten, somewhere around 11 or 12. They haven’t made many signings that will dramatically change how they play which means teams will be better prepared and able to counter them easier.