Hello friends, welcome to my West Ham story 2016/17 pre-season report. Before i proceed any further, i forgot to mention in my last post i had quit the national job of Chile in order to focus on my West Ham team.
After finishing our highest position and completed the double last season, we are looking for more glory this season. First of all lets take a look at the board’s expectations for the coming season.
The board offered us a lot of money this season. They were looking at a minimum of Champions League qualification and 42.5 million was available for players purchase. There was also an extra of 150k for the players’ wages. I felt we should be up there challenging for the title and chose title challenge as our target. This resulted an increase by another 9.5 million in transfer funds and 100k in the salary.
I didn’t intend to spend every penny as i thought we have a pretty strong squad. Maybe just a couple of additions should be sufficient. New players arriving mean some of the old guards will be leaving. Lets proceed to the transfer out screenshot to see who was released.
The biggest name to leave the club was Bressan who joined us during our championship days. He is 27 and i felt he has realized his potential with us. He was sold to Shakhtar for 5.25 million. Another midfielder who left was Swedish international Ivo Pekalski who never really perform as well as i should expected. This season also saw the departure of Jordan Spence who had fallen down the order in the right-back berth.
Not too many transfer activities, we will see six new arrivals. Luca Dolce and Luis Barros are two young players who will see first team football in few seasons time. Only Cristian Orellana is worthy for a first team place. The rest are back-up players who are young and need to train hard to break into the first team.
Cristian Orellana is an Argentinian who joined us from Dynamo Kyiv for 9.5 million. He has pretty strong attributes in the physical and mental department. Strong and comfortable with both feet, he is a natural leader with his energy and determination.
Gregory Vandevelde is a 18 years old Belgian youth international. Villarreal allowed him to join us for 3.8 million. His stats is very impressive consider his age and he can be the perfect player to take over Younes Belhanda when i decide to sell him away.
FM always produce lots of good regens for the Argentinians. Federico Rodriguez is another player from South America who will be slowly introduce to the first team. His technical attributes can’t be faulted but need to improve on his physical side to be a complete striker.
That’s pretty much for the transfer news. I have a big squad. Most of them are young and should be ready to step up at any point of time when required. We still have 30 over million transfer funds untouched. The squad can be strengthen anytime in the next transfer window.
I purposely arranged some tough opposition from European League and i was surprised with some of the results. We beat AC Milan and Barcelona quite comfortably. Only Inter denied us a 100% record in pre-season friendlies.
Man City is still the favorites to land on the Premiership title with Man Utd and West Ham not far behind. I still believe Man City prove to be our biggest threat this season if we are to win our second consecutive title.
I had an approach from the Inter chairman shortly after the friendly game earlier. No second thoughts, i rejected straight away as i believe we are on par with them in club reputation. Besides, my job is not yet finish in West Ham.
We had a chance to win our first trophy before the league kicks off with a meeting against Man City in the community shield. It was a dull match. Chances were far and few. We took the lead with a fast counter attack and Yaya Sanogo laid the ball for Younes Belhanda to strike it in. Man City hit back with a Vincent Kompany header early in the second half and the game headed for the penalties after 90 minutes. Our regular takers were substituted and young players like Christophe Labadie, Andreas Llama and Frederik Lassen missed the spot kick to gift the community shield to Man City.
Though we lost the community shield but the real challenge starts six days later. We need to overcome the disappointment to have a good start against Aston Villa. Our target this season is to sweep all the trophies coming our way. I hope we can do that.
That’s all for my pre-season updates. Thanks for the read and i look forward to any comments you have.