Hello friends, welcome to the latest update of my West Ham story. We have reached mid 2020 and this is my 10th season in charge of West Ham. We continued our dominance in domestic front but fell short in CL after we were knocked out by eventual winner Barcelona last season. There were plenty of transfer activities this season and some crazy sales which i let go a few players who helped us to where we are today. First let’s take a look at the season expectation for this season.
After winning the Premiership titles 3 times in a row, the board maintained their expectation of a continental finish with a promise budget of 174million for players purchase and 1.7million wages per week. I decided to choose the minimum target this time for safety reasons as i couldn’t predict where we will finish after the crazy sales this pre-season. Alright here is what you are waiting for, the transfers. There were some big names leaving, be prepared for some surprises.
Are you surprised with some of the transfers here? The biggest name to leave the club is definitely club legend and fan favorite Yaya Sanogo. The other four influential players are captain Ryan Shawcross, Lenny Nangis, Lorenzo Crisetig and Kyriakos Papadopoulos. I had my reasons in agreeing to the sales of these loyal servants.
Lorenzo Crisetig, Lenny Nangis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos were sold mainly for profits as i want to replace them with younger players. Ryan Shawcross had one year left for his contract and we couldn’t reach to terms on his playing role for the club. Besides i simply couldn’t reject 15millions for a player reaching his twilight soon. I actually don’t want to sell Sanogo but looking at his past injuries record, i decided it was a good time to let him go.
We received a total of 108million and 100% were added to our transfer funds which saw our spending power increased to 200 over millions. My immediate task is to act fast and look for replacements to cover for center-back, right-winger and striker position. Without further ado, lets take a look at the new players joining us.
Only three players were signed for the first team, the rest are young players who will be place in the reserves for developments. I will introduce our three most important signings.
Anthony Gross is my record signing, signed from Anderlecht for 18.5million. At 20, he is already an established Italian international. Strong, great pace and unbeatable in the air. I doubt any strikers will be able to get past him easily.
Emauel Pereyra is a 12.5million signing from Dinamo Moscow. He is a player who is similar to Grosso. Very strong in the air and good pace. Both of them will take up the positions left vacant by Shawcross and Papadopoulos.
Emilio Pisculichi had his debut outing for Argentina shortly after he put down his signature on the contract. A 11.5million signing from Argentinian club Estudiantes. Fast, skillful and good on the ball. I don’t think we will be feeling the loss of Sanogo and Nangis with Pisculichi able to play up front and comfortable on the wing as well.
Not too many first team players were signed. Though we lost quite a few important players, i feel we still have the quality to compete in all the competitions this season.
We did pretty well in the friendly and last three games was a trip to the US where we were gaining in popularity. It was good workout for the team and we played the usual fluid style we possessed. The new players were able to blend in nicely and i was looking forward to the start of the new season.
Man City is still the media’s favorite to win the Premiership title. They had been very quiet in the transfer market with them adding just two new players to their ranks. We were not far behind at a 3-1 odds. After winning three titles in a row, will this be our year again after the departure of so many first team players? We will find out later on.
Being the champions and FA Cup winner last season, we faced 2nd place Man City in this curtain raiser for the new season. They beat us 3-1 last season. This time round, it seemed we were more well prepared than them as they struggled to get into the game. New signing Emilio Pisculichi had a great outing for us as his goals in each half saw us leading Man City by 2-0 after dominating the game. Ganso managed to pull a goal back for them three minutes from full time. 2 minutes later, Pisculichi turned from hero to villain as he received his second caution and was sent off. Though we were one man down but it was too late for Man City to claim a draw. We won the Community Shield at the expense of them this season.
To me, this season proves to be a bigger challenge for us due to the fact we sold almost half of our first team squad. Will this affect our quest for honors? What do you think? Thanks for reading this pre-season updates and i am looking forward to your comments.