For 3 straight seasons West Ham have been that mid table team, that play mid table football with mid table quality players. Since Dimi Payet’s stunning 2015/16 season they’ve sporadically teased us with players who appear to be a nice value picks within our FPL teams. Arnautovic, Antonio, Carroll (for the 4 GWs a season he’s fit) and Cresswell have all had periods where we have picked them in our droves, only to be disappointed when they do sweet eff all. Yet this season feels very different.
With bad egg Marko Arnautovic forcing a move away, there appeared to be real question marks around whether there were goals in this team. West Ham responded by spending a combined £70m spent on Pablo Fornals and Seb Haller this summer so there is now real excitement around the London Stadium. An excitement that they can finally get back to the fight for a Europa League place.
Pre season form
July 11th – Altach 2-3 West Ham
Scorers: Sanchez, Antonio, Diop
July 17th – Man City 4-1 West Ham
July 20th – West Ham 0-1 Newcastle
July 27th – Fulham 0-1 West Ham
July 31st – Hertha Berlin 3-5 West Ham
Scorers: Fornals, Lanzini, Haller, Diangara, Antonio
August 3rd – Athletic Bilbao 2-2 West Ham
Scorers: Lanzini, Wilshere
A mixed pre season results wise with 3 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw but from a neutral perspective there appears to be lots of positives to extract. Although they look a little porous at the back, it is very evident that they have the ability to score at any given moment. Not only do they have a front 4 with bags of quality they have some impressive depth beyond them. So this appears to be the start of a fun season watching West Ham. Did someone say over 2.5?
Star Man – Felipe Anderson (£7.0m)
155pts scored last season was far from disappointing but there was a clear tailing off just after the turn of the year from the Brazillian. Following his move from Lazio he seemed to hit the ground running and ended the season with 9 goals and 6 assists. With a full season in the Premier League under his belt I strongly suspect he will push on and become a consistent and key figure in the Hammers’ 19/20 season.
Hidden Gem – Pablo Fornals (£6.5m)
At the time of writing, the Spanish midfielder has an ownership of just 1.7% but I suspect that this will change pretty quickly as soon as people see how talented he is. He will likely be starting as one of the 3 behind Haller and with the way they’ve been attacking in pre-season something tells me he will be in and amongst the attacking returns early doors. Once the City away game is out of the way the Hammers only play 1 of last season’s top 6 (Man Utd at home) between GW2 and GW13. So there will be plenty of opportunity for him to showcase his ability.
Gamble Pick – Manuel Lanzini (£6.5m)
This pick was a toss up between Lanzini and Haller but the Argentine just about edges it for me given that his clear potential is being offset by concerns about his fitness. Following his lengthy injury lay off, Lanzini only managed 685 minutes of Premier League football last season, registering 1 goal and 2 assists. With a very impressive pre-season under his belt, where he scored in the last 3 games, he will be raring to go. His ownership currently sits at a paltry 1% but I’m sure, as I am with Fornals, that this will rise considerably from GW2 onwards.
Fredericks – Balbuena – Diop – Cresswell
Rice – Wilshere/Noble
Lanzini – Fornals – Anderson
Written by FPL Guru (@FPL_Guru_)