‘Big Sam’ has made some astute signings in a bid to improve on a 10th place finish on West Ham’s return to the Premier League. Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing have joined from Liverpool, whilst Real Betis ‘keeper Adrian will provide competition for Jussi Jaaskelainen and left back Razvan Rat has also joined. Although the aim will be to consolidate their league status, West Ham will also want to show that they are not a long ball team.
Key Player: Kevin Nolan. The captain has a major impact on West Ham’s play, and the permanent signing of Andy Carroll will see the two reunite and, hopefully for Hammers fans, rekindle their Newcastle form. Nolan top scored for the Hammers last season with 10 goals, including a hat-trick from midfield against Reading on the final day.
One to Watch: Ravel Morrison. The 20 year old has had a turbulent career so far, but his form in pre-season, including a goal from the half-way line, suggests that this could be the season that he matures and becomes a first team regular. Sir Alex Ferguson described Morrison as “one of the brightest talents of his Old Trafford reign”, however his discipline led to him leaving Old Trafford. If he puts that behind him Morrison could yet prove Sir Alex right.