Date: 8th August 2019 at 7:15am
Written by:

OPINION

David Sullivan and David Gold have received a lot of criticism for the way that they have run West Ham in the last few years.

Some supporters are still struggling to adapt to life at the London Stadium after the Irons said farewell to the Boleyn Ground in 2016 and the move to the old Olympic Stadium led to increased worries over the lack of investment in the squad.

It has been almost a year-and-a-half since fans invaded the pitch and tried to storm the director’s box at the London Stadium during a 3-0 defeat to Burnley in the Premier League, but a lot has changed since then.

West Ham spent over £100million last summer on revamping the squad and most importantly hired Manuel Pellegrini, a Premier League title winner, as their new boss.

Although the Irons initially struggled last season, they eventually rescued a 10th place finish in the Premier League and laid down the foundations of what could be a promising term at the helm for the popular Chilean.

Since the end of last season, West Ham fans have waved goodbye to financial drains like Andy Carroll and Samir Nasri while also cashing in on fringe players such as Lucas Perez and Pedro Obiang. They have also waved goodbye to one of the most disruptive players at the club since Dimitri Payet when Marko Arnautovic was shipped off to China.

As far as incomings go, Pablo Fornals and club-record signing Sebastien Haller look like absolute masterstrokes by Pellegrini and Mario Husillos, though the jury will remain out on new goalkeepers Roberto and ex-Millwall man David Martin and youngster Goncalo Cardoso may be seen as one for the future more than anything else.

West Ham’s business is not yet finished though.

According to reliable Irons news website Claret & Hugh, Switzerland international striker Albian Ajeti is set to sign from Basel today (Thursday) in an £8million deal.

It is understood that the deadline day transfer could rise to £11million with add-ons and that will take the Irons’ summer spend to over £85.5million.

While there will no doubt be some fans who are still unhappy, the general feeling is that this has been a good transfer window and some sections of the support are now confident of a seventh or eight-placed finish in 2019/20.

It’s not out of West Ham’s reach but it is worth noting that teams like Leicester and Everton have also had decent summers themselves.

However if we just solely focus on West Ham, we can see that the second phase of Pellegrini’s plan is about to start.

Ajeti, 22, will help put together a promising strikeforce that boasts youthful exuberance, experienced class and an absolute powerhouse who will no doubt become a Hammers hero if he can meet expectations in London.

In midfield, Fornals will be joining a whole host of exciting names like Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Andriy Yarmolenko, club captain Mark Noble and wonderkid Declan Rice.

At the back there are certainly weaknesses by Issa Diop’s stock is rising while Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid could prove a point over the coming campaign now that they face the pressure of being forced down the pecking order by teenage ace Cardoso.

And who can forget Lukasz Fabianksi? West Ham’s 2018/19 player of the season will no doubt be ready for another imperious campaign in between the sticks.

Gold and Sullivan deserve a lot of credit for the way things have gone under Pellegrini’s rule.