December 11 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Corrspondent
Friday, August 16, 2013
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is looking for an improvement on last season
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says the spending is over, most of the players are fit and the target is 50 points as the new Premier League season kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) when Cardiff City come to Upton Park.
The £6 million signing of Stewart Downing from Liverpool on Tuesday is the final piece in the West Ham jigsaw and Allardyce says he is very excited about his attack-minded side.
“I like crosses and I know there are a lot of managers who don’t anymore,” said Allardyce.
“But from my point of view, Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole, Ricardo Vaz Te, Kevin Nolan, Modibo Maiga and Andy Carroll will be our most offensive players and we are looking for them all to provide and score goals.
“It is great competition for places and everyone is on their toes about whether they are going to be in our out which gives us a bit more of an edge.”
Allardyce hopes that Downing will provide an even sharper cutting edge to the team.
“Stewart wanted to join and his quality is something I couldn’t dismiss,” said the boss.
“The quality of the player meant we could not waste any time because he would have been snapped up. I think he is great value for money.”
Cardiff provide the opposition for the season-opener and the manager fired a warning to all those who think it will be an easy game for the Hammers.
“The perception outside of Cardiff and among West Ham fans is that we are going to win easily, we only have to turn up on Saturday to win,” said the boss,
“But my message to the lads is there are no easy games in the Premier League. If we don’t hit the ground running and find our top form, this will be a very difficult game for us.
“The last thing you want is to start the season with a home defeat because the pressure comes straight on.”
West Ham will be hoping for a similar start to last season when they managed 11 points from their opening six games.
So what will be a good season for the Hammers this time round according to the boss?
“I want 50 points,” he insisted.
“There is a bit of ‘keep our feet on the ground’. The object of the exercise is to do better than we did last season if we can.
“We achieved 46 points last year, so if we got 50 it has been a great season.
“That will be our target to begin with and we will break it down to see how we are going to get those 50 points.”
Hull City manager Steve Bruce believes that Arsenal have the ability to win the league this season.