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Premier League Season Preview: West Ham United

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IJuly 24, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10:  Alessandro Diamanti of West Ham United (#32) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring the first goal for West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Birmingham City at Boleyn Ground on February 10, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

With the Premier League season now rapidly approaching, I have decided to take a look at each of the 20 sides that will be playing at the top level of English football during this upcoming season.

To start off my countdown, I have decided to actually go in reverse order with Wolverhampton starting off the list, and Arsenal concluding this list right before the start of the Premier League season.

In the third part of this preview, I will look at West Ham United, who finished 17th in the Premier League last season, as they had unstable ownership and a manager in Gianfranco Zola that was somehow able to stay on until the end of the season.

Review of Last Year:

West Ham had a terrible season in the Premier League after finishing ninth the season before.

From the beginning, ownership issues and the fate of manager Gianfranco Zola were always in the air, and West Ham moved extremely close to becoming the second Premier League club of the year to be put into administration.

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It was not until new owners David Sullivan and David Gold took over that providing stability to distance the Hammers away from administration, and were a huge reason why West Ham were able to barely avoid relegation.

After the season ended, Zola was sacked and Avram Grant was put in charge of the club.

Transfers:

Incoming Players:

Thomas Hitzlsperger (Lazio), Frederic Piquionne (Lyon), Pablo Barrera (UNAM) and Tal Ben-Haim (Portsmouth).

Departing Players:

Bondz Ngala (Plymouth Argyle).

West Ham United Premier League Fixture List

All Times are GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Saturday, August 14 2010
Aston Villa -West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, August 21 2010
West Ham United - Bolton (15.00)

Saturday, August 28 2010
Manchester United - West Ham United (17.30)

Saturday, September 11 2010
West Ham United - Chelsea (15.00)

Saturday, September 18 2010
Stoke City - West Ham United (12.45)

Saturday, September 25 2010
West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur (15.00)

Saturday, October 2 2010
West Ham United - Fulham (15.00)

Saturday, October 16 2010
Wolverhampton - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, October 23 2010
West Ham United - Newcastle (17.30)

Saturday, October 30 2010
Arsenal - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, November 6 2010
Birmingham City - West Ham United (15.00)

Tuesday, November 9 2010
West Ham United - West Bromwich (20.00)

Saturday, November 13 2010
West Ham United - Blackpool (15.00)

Saturday, November 20 2010
Liverpool - West Ham United (17.30)

Saturday, November 27 2010
West Ham United - Wigan Athletic (15.00)

Saturday, December 4 2010
Sunderland - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, December 11 2010
West Ham United - Manchester City (15.00)

Saturday, December 18 2010
Blackburn - West Ham United (15.00)

Sunday, December 26 2010
Fulham - West Ham United (15.00)

Tuesday, December 28 2010
West Ham United - Everton (15.00)

Saturday, January 1 2011
West Ham United - Wolverhampton (15.00)

Wednesday, January 5 2011
Newcastle - West Ham United (19.45)

Saturday, January 15 2011
West Ham United - Arsenal (15.00)

Saturday, January 22 2011
Everton - West Ham United (15.00)

Tuesday, February 1 2011
Blackpool - West Ham United (19.45)

Saturday, February 5 2011
West Ham United - Birmingham City (15.00)

Saturday, February 12 2011
West Bromwich - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, February 26 2011
West Ham United - Liverpool (15.00)

Saturday, March 5 2011
West Ham United - Stoke City (15.00)

Saturday, March 19 2011
Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, April 2 2011
West Ham United - Manchester United (15.00)

Saturday, April 9 2011
Bolton - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, April 16 2011
West Ham United - Aston Villa (15.00)

Saturday, April 23 2011
Chelsea - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, April 30 2011
Manchester City - West Ham United (15.00)

Saturday, May 7 2011
West Ham United - Blackburn (15.00)

Saturday, May 14 2011
Wigan Athletic - West Ham United (15.00)

Sunday, May 22 2011
West Ham United - Sunderland (15.00)


Major Questions Going into this season:

1. How will West Ham play under Avram Grant?

Last year, Portsmouth's players played admirably under Avram Grant as they reached the FA Cup final despite being in administration and the future of the club was still completely uncertain.

Now, Grant will go to a club on better footing in West Ham, and maybe he can get the entire squad to play up to their full potential.

2. Will West Ham be able to cut down on their amount of goals allowed?

Last year, West Ham conceded 66 goals, a number that is way too high for a side contending for a European birth.

West Ham should be able to cut down on this total, but they will need to cut off about 20 goals in order to be in European competition.

3. How will the ownership duo of Gold and Sullivan perform?

Last year, the new ownership duo of David Gold and David Sullivan helped to keep the club afloat and stay in the Premier League.

Once again, they should be great this season, but they will certainly need their players to live up to the standards that are in front of them.

4. Will West Ham be able to play in European competition in 2011?

West Ham does have the ownership willing to get the Hammers into European competition and has some incredibly skilled players that could get them there.

They will need to have a complete turnaround this season, but West Ham could easily find themselves in European competition in 2011 if they played like they did in the first part of the calendar year of 2009.


In case you want to see a preview of Wigan's Premier League season, please click here.

In case you want to see a preview of Wolverhampton's Premier League season, please click here.

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