Season Preview: West Ham United

Last updated : 16 August 2009 By Iain Dale
How did you fare last season?
Better than expected at one point, but we were disappointed not to grab seventh place.

How do you expect you'll do this season?
It all depends on whether we can get another couple of strikers and whether Dean Ashton gets fit. If not, then midtable mediocrity beckons. Otherwise I'd expect us to do better than last year and finish 7th or 8th.

What have you done in the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
There is little money available. Luis Jimenez from Inter is the most exciting incoming player, but we also have a very exciting young striker from Chelsea who has scored several goals in pre season. He's one for the future. We have also singed Radoslav Kovac, a holding midfield player from Spartak Moscow. He was with us on loan last season.

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
Our defence looks quite good, but we may need another right back if Spector or Faubert fail to step into Lucas Neill's shoes. Also up front, if we don't get anyone in this window.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
Where do I start? Junior Stanislas is a tricky little winger, Zavon Hines is a powerfully built striker who looked hot in pre-season. There's Jordan Spence at right back and Josh Payne in midfield. We have a really good crop coming through.

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
Definitely, and almost definitely!

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
We are in limbo in ownership terms. The MD, Scott Duxbury, has emerged from the shadows and has given interviews to fan sites and seems genuine in his wish to communicate properly with fans. So yes, given the circumstances I do think the club is being well run.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Most West Ham fans would says Spurs. I say Chelsea, just to see the look on Lampard's face.

Who do you think will win the league?
Chelsea unfortunately.

Who do you think's going down?
Burnley, Birmingham and Portsmouth

How do you think Hull City will fare this season?
I think you will have a more consistent season than last. I do worry where your goals are going to come from, though. A bit like us!

Iain Dale writes Hammers diary West Ham Till I Die