West Ham are going through a transitional phase. They are trying to break away from the mould that has been so successful for them in the past. Big Sam has clearly been told to change his defensive ways, or see the door. The change in tactics hasn’t paid off during pre-season, with the Hammers enduring a horrid run. All things considered, things don’t look promising for them early.
West Ham have been playing with a 3-5-2 formation, using to win their first and only game of pre-season. If they were to play a 3-5-2, Collins would have his job security greatly increased, whilst Cresswell would have to be serious considered in the left wing back role after his 14 assist season in the Championship. If he starts at LB, I’m not sure he will live up to his value. With Jenkinson out injured they don’t have a recognised right back, Tomkins can fill in whilst needed. Once Jenko returns, Collins‘ spot comes under jeopardy. Reid is locked on, but at 5.0 is slightly expensive considering their recent defensive form. Adrian is too much of a risk with Jaaskelinan as back up.
There’s honestly not much of note here. Downing doesn’t impact games enough to consider selecting, whilst Jarvis will have a battle on his hands with Zarate joining the club. Noble is on penalties but doesn’t offer much else, whilst Diame shouldn’t be considered. Nolan is the pick of the bunch, however he has struggled in the past without Carroll’s influence in the air. It remains to be seen whether Valencia can bring that back.
Two options stand out in the Hammers line-up, and they’re both up forward. Typically West Ham have struggled going forward, so we must proceed with caution. However it seems this season they are looking to be more expansive, which could help their prospects long-term. Zarate should slot onto a wing, with the ability to cut inside and become a much needed support man to their big striker. That big striker is Enner Valencia, and he is the key to West Ham’s potential success this season. If he fires, he can be a 15+ goalscorer and be amazing value at just 7.0. He looks likely to miss the first couple of gameweeks, which could mean one of two things. Either Zarate starts up front and becomes a great POD, or Carlton Cole starts and you can resign West Ham to 2 defeats to open their season. Both Zarate and Valencia will start whenever fit.
Wait & See: Valencia, Cresswell, Collins
AVOID: Diame, Adrian, Downing
So that’s it, the final projected XI. We sure hope this series has helped with all your research needs! You can check our our projected XI’s for each of the promoted teams over the in pre-season tab. Look forward to the team reveals up next, before we turn our focus onto the possibilities of GW1!