West Ham United
2016/17 was a big season in the history of West Ham Utd Football Club. This season was the first in their new home - London Stadium, or more commonly known as the Olympic Stadium, in Stratford, London. West Ham United was founded in 1895 and had played their home games at the Boleyn Ground, which is more commonly called Upton Park, since 1904. The new stadium, which is about 5km from their old home, has a capacity of 60010.
The current manager is Slaven Bilic, who is from Croatia and was a successful Premier League player for Everton and West Ham! West Ham have two nicknames, 'The Irons' or 'The Hammers', both of these names are related to their original name which was 'Thames Ironworks FC'. On the club badge, you can see two hammers, which relate to the club's industrial past.
West Ham play in claret shirts with blue sleeves, white shorts, and claret socks. West Ham's colours are the same as Aston Villa's because in 1899, Bill Dove, the father of a West Ham United player, went to a fair in Birmingham. Bill Dove was a professional sprinter and was challenged to a race by four Aston Villa players. The Aston Villa players made a bet that they could beat Bill Dove, but in the end, they all lost and didn’t have the money to pay. The Aston Villa players gave Bill Dove a complete team’s football kits instead of payment and Bill gave these kits to his son.
West Ham have played in the Premier League for a total of 19 seasons, they have been relegated twice, in 2002-03 and 2010-11, and promoted to the Premier League three times, in 1993, 2005 and 2012. The highest West Ham have ever finished in the Premier League was 5th place in 1998-1999 but they did finish 3rd in the league in 1985-86, which was their highest ever finish in the top division. West Ham have won four major trophies in their history; they won the FA Cup in 1964, 1975 and 1980 and they won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965, beating 1860 Munich in the final. That winning team included Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who would also win the World Cup with England the following year.
"Bobby Moore was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against." - Pelé
In 2016/17, West Ham finished 11th in the Premier League after a largely disappointing season under Bilic. For most of the season, The Hammers were in the bottom half, and at one point it looked like they might even be involved in a relegation battle. In the end, they improved and moved up the table. The Hammer’s top scorer was England international Michail Antonio, with 9 Premier League goals. Bilic has been busy trying to improve West Ham's strike force and has bought Javier Hernandez, who used to play for Manchester United, from Bayer Leverkusen and Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City. Bilic will be hoping for more from Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew and Andy Caroll this season, too. West Ham have also signed the England goalkeeper, Joe Hart, on loan from Manchester City. Can the Hammers finish in the top half of the Premier League this season?
Prediction 2017/18: 9th
Key player: Javier Hernandez
Did you know......?
In 1965, West Ham became only the second English team to win a European trophy, after Tottenham Hotspur (1963).
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