After an exhilarating summer in the transfer market, West Ham United return to Premier League football this weekend.
The last few months have heralded major changes at the club, with the Hammers hierarchy bringing in Manuel Pellegrini as the new manager and signing a host of new players.
As such, odds of West Ham finishing in the Premier League top six at https://www.toals.com have dropped and there is an excitement in the air at the London Stadium.
While the new men, and the new manager, will take time to settle into life at the club, there is a feeling that there is now real quality within the playing group.
West Ham’s attacking options look considerable, with club-record signing Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko bringing skill, speed and penetration in the final third.
Jack Wilshere’s addition provides the side with a sublime passer of the ball and if the England international can sit fit and firing, he will be a key man this season.
Other shrewd acquisitions have been made and West Ham certainly have more options in defence, which was a major issue at times last season.
Both Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena are slightly unknown quantities but Pellegrini at least can change things at the heart of his rearguard if it is not working out.
While the West Ham fans have every right to be excited ahead of the campaign starting, there should also be an air of caution.
Last summer most supporters agreed that the capture of Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic represented a transfer window of ambition and enterprise.
However, with the Austrian attacker the only one of the four to be a real hit at the club, it remains to be seen how West Ham’s latest crop of signings will fare.
While a positive start to the campaign would be a bit boost, the supporters will need to be patient as the first-team squad is in transition and many will take time to find their feet.
That said, after managerial changes, heavy defeats and the threat of relegation last season, West Ham’s 2018-19 Premier League season looks set to be much more positive.
One thing that must improve is the club’s home form, with the requirement to make the London Stadium a more-difficult place for opponents to come to evident.
On the road, away days at Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton straight up will test the new players’ resolve in fronting up in hostile atmospheres.
However, despite some supporters being sceptical of the club’s owners, the fact that considerable money has been spent this summer breeds confidence and the hope that a positive season awaits us.