“First Of All I Would Like To Wish Everyone A Merry Xmas And A Happy New Year”
So down to business and life at West Ham.
We had a busy transfer window in the summer bringing in 8 players on permanent deals along with 1 loan signing. We spent £41.05m in total which was offset with the £40.85m brought in to the club with player sales, the biggest being the sale of Dimitri Payet to Juventus for £27.5m a deal I mulled over for a while before eventually doing the deal. My biggest worry was would I be able to replace the quality what Payet gave us. I am pleased to say the answer is yes Manuel Lanzini has stepped up and provided me with some dazzling performances and has returned 10 goals in 22 appearances making his £5m move to us look like a fantastic deal. Another notable signing winger Denis Cheryshev from Real Madrid has started life well with us which gives us something to build on as we go into the new year. M’Baye Niang and Ryan Shawcross have both also given us options in our philosophy. We have also looked more long term with the purchases of Reed,Gray,Emmanuel,Esposito and the possible option of signing Ojo long term.
Premier League 2016-2017
Expectation Europa League Qualification
At the start of the season the board wanted us to qualify for the Europa League which we are on course to do at the midway point in the season however I feel we are on the verge, dare I say it of a Champions League spot if we can eradicate our defeats in games we seem to dominate before throwing away games with silly errors both from myself and the team. In fact we have not managed to beat any of the top 7 teams in the table giving me food for thought for the return games and how we approach them. Our possession and passing statistics are the best in the League so we now have to turn this in to goals and 3 points more often.
Expectation Reach Knockout Round
We missed out on qualifying for the knockout round in a tight group after yet again 2 defeats in similar fashion back to back against Lazio and Monchengladbach games we should have got at least a point from each after dominating play.
Capital One Cup
Expectation Reach Quarter Final
Wins against Derby and Birmingham gave us a Quarter Final clash against Chelsea and a late 1-0 defeat.
Expectation Reach 6th Round
Not yet entered
Has we head in to the January 2017 transfer window my thought’s are that we need to look at bringing in a new Goalkeeper, Adrian has done a good job for us however I feel we can do better with Darren Randolph our back up keeper not showing any sign of improving. We need to improve our consistency in the League and push on the development at the club with an hope of introducing some of our home grown players in to the first team squad for next season. A Champions League place is my target for the 2nd half of the season which with no Europa League games we have a chance of turning out a fitter squad week to week.
A few Screenshots of our pre season
So after days pondering about my future I am focused again on West Ham and the forthcoming season. We are still in pre season and building towards our objectives for the season ahead. I have switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation and a 4-3-3 depending on our opponents.
Its a new era for the Hammers with the move to the Olympic Stadium and a transfer budget of £63m on the expectation we qualify for the Europa League. Last season we came close to a Champions League place losing out on the final day of the season, so I have set my self the goal of qualifying for the Champions League this season.
We have had a decent pre season and look to have a clean bill of health ahead of the big kick off.
Louis Reed £1.2m Sheffield Utd
Demarai Gray £7.75m Birmingham City
Manuel Lanzini £5m Al-Jazira
Denis Cheryshev £4.1m Real Madrid
Ryan Shawcross £11m Stoke City
Joshua Emmanuel £1m Ipswich Town
Pre Season Results
Season 2015-2016 Draws To An End
So how did we do? Well the board are pleased with our performance over the season, they wanted a mid table finish and we finished 7th after going in to the last game of the season against Arsenal in 4th place and Champions Lge qualification, however we came up short in the final game meaning a 7th place finish and Europa Lge qualification. For me I think we underachieved after going through a difficult period were we lost 9 of our last 20 games in all competitions. We lost in the 5th rd of the FA Cup to Middlesbrough at the Riverside and lost in the 2nd knockout round on away goals to Liverpool in the Europa League.
So were did it go wrong? no excuses we had a number of injuries at critical times in the season but for me I have to take the blame I trusted our tactic and failed to recognise early enough that we needed to tweak our system to get the best out of the squad. A learning curve for me which I hope to put right in my next season in management. Will I be moving with the hammers to the Olympic Stadium? I am not sure yet (1) I have thoughts of moving down the pyramid to try and bring a club up to the Premier League. (2) I move abroad and develop in new surroundings or (3) I stay at West Ham and honour my contract and build on the foundations I have lay down this season.
Whilst the board are pleased with last season maybe I am being a little hard on myself because there was many positives in our season. Player wise we brought in some good quality in January non less so than Brazilian duo Ganso and Pato along with Breel Embolo who looks a beast of a player. Our attacking philosophy worked well with us creating most chances in over 90% of games, we also dominated the ball in most games averaging 60% possession. I may look to change the shape of my tactic next season.
Results Feb 16-May 16
Final Table 2015-2016
Season Review 15-16
West Ham Board Set Initial Budget For Season 2016-2017
West Ham will start a new era in 2016-2017
For the coming season the hammers will see both Victor Moses and Carl Jenkinson return to their clubs after their loan spells end. Lanzini will stay at the club after agreeing a deal to keep him. Winston Reid and Diafra Sahko have both expressed a desire to move to a bigger club, Enner Valencia has also concerns about his limited games played so it will be an interesting pre season which I will get under way with maybe one eye on vacancies available elsewhere. Wherever I am next season I am looking forward to developing my FM career.
Results December 15-January 16
Summary January 2016
Has you can see from the above screenshots we are in 5th place in the Premier League and lost to Watford in the Semi Final of the Capital One Cup in a game that we dominated from start to finish. I played a strong side in all the Cup games has I want to get some silverware in the cabinet so I was disappointed with the Watford result but we are still in the Europa League and FA Cup so we will be going all out to advance in both competitions. We had a busy transfer window with Jelavic and Andy Carroll leaving the club with Carroll returning to old club Newcastle United.
Incoming I brought in defender Tin Jedvaj , wonderkid Breel Embolo and Brazilian duo Pato and Ganso. I feel these 4 signings will add quality to our squad from front to back. With the sale of Carroll and Jelavic we have a net transfer spend of £14m with all our signings paid over 48 months.
I have tinkered with a 2nd formation by taking charge of the youth team to trial it before using it with the first team it’s a possession based tactic that has seen our youth team dominate games with 65% possession. It utilises a false 9 and 2 shadow strikers. I introduced it to the first team for our last 4 games which consisted of a 4-1 win v Crystal Palace followed by a 6-2 win v Bournemouth then the Semi Final defeat 1-2 v Watford and a 1-0 win v Leeds Utd in the FA Cup.