Runner-up with Chelsea, relegated with Portsmouth... what can Avram Grant achieve with his third Barclays Premier League club?
Grant has quietly transformed his reputation since his arrival in English football four years ago as Technical Director of Portsmouth. After being thrust into the hotseat at Chelsea post-Mourinho, his lugubrious demeanour initially made Grant a figure of fun, but after appearances in the Champions League final and FA Cup final (with Portsmouth), he’s now rightly taken very seriously as a top-level, top-flight coach.
Matthew Upson was given the armband last summer, but has recently been linked with a move away from Upton Park, with Sunderland favourites to snap up the England defender.
All-action midfielder Scott Parker has been named Hammer of the Year for two consecutive seasons, and new owner David Gold admitted he is their team’s talisman, calling him “Mr West Ham”.
Former Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has returned to England after five years with Stuttgart and Lazio. Mexico winger Pablo Barrera has joined from Pumas and Frederic Piquionne has arrived from Lyon after playing under Grant on loan at Portsmouth.
Dates for the diary
28 August 2010 (h)
2 April 2011 (a)
3-0 (h), 4-0 (a)
Last three seasons
2009/10 - 17th
2008/09 - 9th
2007/08 - 10th