Can the Hammers expect more cake and comfort in 2013/14?
High expectations from the Hammers this term? We expect they’ll be more than happy with another campaign like last year’s. Having been promoted via the play-offs in May 2012, West Ham under Big Sam made this top-flight lark look like a piece of cake, finishing comfortably in 10th position.
The fans must have been delighted with that return… Yes, and they were happy with another return, prodigal son Joe Cole re-signing for his original club in the January transfer window. The fans voted with their feet, their 34,720 average league attendance at Upton Park the highest in the club’s 118-year history. This season they’ll be looking for an improvement away from home – their 11 away goals last term was the worst record in the entire division.
So what happened with us and them last time round? An early RVP goal saw us sneak past the Irons at OT in December, and the 2-2 draw at Upton Park during the run-in was considered a point won by the title-chasers rather than two points dropped. We also faced off twice in the third round of the FA Cup, a Rooney goal doing the job at OT following a 2-2 draw in east London.
And this time round? West Ham visit M16 on 21 December, while we hit the East End on 22 March 2014.
Who’s their main man then? Kevin Nolan may be the team’s leader, but his mate Andy Carroll is now the main man having made his loan deal permanent this summer, for a club record £15m.
Any interesting facts or figures? The number of PL wins chalked up by the Hammers at Old Trafford – more than any team other than Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.