5 reasons why West Ham United are doing well in EPL this season
The 2010-11 season saw the Hammers get relegated to the Npower Championship after six consecutive seasons playing top flight football. Finishing at the bottom of the table was not something on the mind of then Hammers’ manager Avram Grant. The relegation to the championship triggered a new look to the club. Ex-Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce was roped in at the start of the 2011-12 season, and instantly made his mark by signing Kevin Nolan (now captain), which turned out to be a shrewd signing. Despite the departure of ‘Hammer of the year’ Scott Parker to Tottenham, Allardyce’s men finished 3rd in the championship. Three victories in the play-offs sealed the deal as the Hammers beat Blackpool to qualification into the Premier League.
The current season has seen West Ham come into the league high on confidence. They are sitting pretty in sixth place with five victories in the 11 matches. Their amazing run of form can be attributed to:
The big summer signings are staring to click:
Like many of the newly promoted clubs have done this season, West Ham too splashed the cash this summer, the most prominent signing being Matt Jarvis. Jarvis, who moved from relegated Wolves, made headlines with his transfer to West Ham making him the club’s record signing. After an unsuccessful bid, Andy Carroll was signed from Liverpool on loan. He has been a big bonus upfront for the Hammers, adding strength to the attack. Seeking first team football, Jussi Jaaskelainen was roped in on a free transfer from relegated Bolton Wanderers. The other transfers who have made an impact this season are Mohamed Diame, James Collins and ex-Hammers player Yossi Benayoun, who is on loan from Chelsea.
Experienced boys increasing the stability:
The likes of Mark Noble, who has been in the club for 5 years now, Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien have helped to add stability to the team. Their experience has helped the new signings fit in to the squad. Kevin Nolan has been inspirational with his performances throughout the time he has been with the club. Their 0-0 draw to Manchester City was something many people are not used to watching. Their outstanding performances this season have got the fans buzzing, with rumors about European football around the corner. Players such as Carlton Cole and Jack Collison are always reassuring to have on the bench despite the fact that they have not been started very regularly.
A well settled starting lineup:
While everyone in the club has contributed towards the success this season, manager Sam Allardyce can be credited for their sensational form this season.He put out a starting XI which has stayed pretty much the same this season. Mohamed Diame and Mark Noble have been in splendid form this season, with both of them starting all the 11 games played. Andy Carroll’s physique has provided strength upfront while captain Kevin Nolan has hit the ground running with 5 goals and 2 assists in the Premier League this season.
An experienced goalkeeper:
Jussi Jaaskelainen has been in top form this season, starting all the 11 games. He was the unsung hero in Bolton Wanderer’s little success in the previous season. However, he was signed on a free transfer at the start of this season in a bid to play top flight football. Since his arrival, he has kept 4 clean sheets and has made innumerable saves and bailed his team out many a time this season.
A much improved all round display:
The Hammers have shown good intent while attacking and have been very stable in defense. Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te have been outstanding this season, which is indicated by their impressive 14 goals in the season already. Matt Jarvis has been a revelation this season. Since arriving from Wolves, the England international has 7 appearances with 2 goals to his name. Kevin Nolan, however, leads the goal scores list for the club with 5 goals. The defense has been good with the occasional slip-ups, but with the in-form attack, West Ham can still try and pursue their quest for European football.