By all accounts, last season was a banner year for West Ham United, who finished the league with 62 points—a record for the team in Premier League competition. Dimitri Payet played brilliantly and was named to the PFA Team of the Year in addition to being the leading scorer for West Ham United in all competitions with 12 goals. The club hoped to improve on this performance through a couple of key signings during the summer combined with continued form, but things haven’t quite worked out so far.
The club spent a record amount (for West Ham) to sign Ghanaian winger Andre Ayew for £20.5 million on a three-year contract only to see him quickly taken off with a thigh injury on August 15. He has yet to return to the pitch and has only played a whopping 35 minutes of football so far this season. Thankfully, the Mirror reports that Ayew has returned to training and plans to be match fit within six weeks, which should place him for a December comeback.
The club has also been forced to play without striker Andy Carroll, who was tied with Payet as the top scorer in league play with nine goals. It looked as though the forward was finally starting to realise his potential when he went down with a knee injury early in the season. He’s been on the sidelines ever since, but he should be returning in a few weeks as well. Along with the pending return of Ayew, that should help to greatly bolster West Ham’s offense in the second half of the season.
On top of the team’s injury woes, the form of star midfielder Dimitri Payet has been lackluster, to say the least. According to the Daily Mail, until he finally scored in a draw against Middlesbrough, no player in the Premier League had taken as many shots as Payet without scoring. Not exactly a statistic you want to be known for. He is the most expensive player on the roster with a salary of £125,000/week and has only scored once so far this season. At the same point in the league last year, he had already found the back of the net three times. Payet will need to find his top form again soon and step up his game if he wants to justify his price tag.
But there are signs that things might finally be on the mend. According to Betfair, it’s looking as though West Ham is starting on the road to recovery. The win against Crystal Palace was the first step in the right direction, but the club will have to maintain its momentum if it hopes to finish in the top half of the tables. The victory marked the first win for the Hammers since August and only their second for the season as of this writing.
Fans are hoping this could be the start of something of a hot streak for the club, but there’s a tough schedule coming up before the holidays with Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool all on the books. West Ham desperately needs to salvage points wherever possible while waiting for its stars to return. If the team can stay afloat during that time, it just might turn this season back around.
Picture Credits: Google
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