Thursday, August 13, 2009

West Ham United: A Look At The 2009/2010 Premier League Season

West Ham kick off their 2009/10 Premiership season with an away tie against promoted side Wolverhampton Wanderers. There is no reason why the Hammers cannot open the campaign with a resounding victory.

It should be fair to say that the major concern for West Ham is the lack of depth upfront. Apart from Carlton Cole, no other West Ham player had scored above five goals last season. The club recently issued a statement saying that they will endeavour to ensure that a striker is brought in before transfer deadline. Signing a striker is a priority. Let's hope that Zola and the club management are able to make good on that promise. Despite being linked with a number of players, that striker or two have yet to show up at Boleyn Ground.

Luis Jimenez, on loan from Inter Milan, therefore remains the most significant signing of the season. During pre-season, "Jimmy" as he is known, has shown that he is a neat little player. A tricky player who takes defenders on, displaying flicks, little cute passes and smart interchanges mean that his talent and style of play is in keeping with the West Ham tradition. He will very important to the Hammers this coming season.

West Ham's strongest department is the midfield. Scott Parker is undeniably the engine of the Hammers' midfield. He is the ideal person to take over as captain of this side and forcibly drive the team forward towards positive results. A preferred midfield quartet of Parker, Mark Noble, Luis Jiminez and Jack Collision looks a strong balance of industry and creativity. There is significant strength in midfield for West Ham and Zola may opt to play with five midfielders across the park.

Defensively, the return of Welsh international, Danny Gabbidon will be a boost to Zola and Steve Clarke. The emergence of young James Tomkins as a reliable Premiership defender meant that the imminent departure of Lucas Neill, the Aussie mercenary will not be felt at all. It is nevertheless important for the Hammers to hang on to Matthew Upson who was one of the most consistent performers of last season.

The wait for the perpetually injured Dean Ashton has been painful and meaningless. He is a great player but if Stoke City wants him, then Zola should do business. Zola and Clarke still believes in Savio Nsereko, who is still only 20. Zola must get this youngster to start believing and performing.

After a great first season, the management team of Zola and Clarke will be put to more tests in this second season. Getting more out of Collision, Stanislas, Tomkins and Noble will prove to interested parties that he is indeed a Premiership manager.

This is the full First Team lineup for this season's campaign.
Player Profiles (as seen at West Ham United FC Official Website)
1 Robert Green Goalkeeper
4 Daniel Gabbidon Defender
7 Kieron Dyer Midfielder
8 Scott Parker Midfielder
9 Dean Ashton Striker
10 Savio Nsereko Striker
12 Carlton Cole Striker
13 Luis Boa Morte Midfielder
15 Matthew Upson Defender
16 Mark Noble Midfielder
17 Luis Jimenez Midfielder
18 Jonathan Spector Defender
19 James Collins Defender
20 Julien Faubert Midfielder
21 Valon Behrami Midfielder
23 Herita Ilunga Defender
26 Nigel Quashie Midfielder
27 Calum Davenport Defender
28 Peter Kurucz Goalkeeper
30 James Tomkins Defender
31 Jack Collison Midfielder
33 Fabio Daprela Defender
35 Josh Payne Midfielder
41 Zavon Hines Striker
44 Bondz N'Gala Defender
45 Jordan Spence Defender
46 Junior Stanislas Midfielder

Marek Stech Goalkeeper

Onwards then to the Molineux Stadium for the first match of the Hammers' 2009/10 Premier League season.

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