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OPINION: West Ham United in a better place than last season

We’re still a little way off from being 100%, but we’re as close as we can be

West Ham United take on AFC Bournemouth at the London Stadium on 21 February 2017

I, for one, am glad to see the Premier League return!! It’s been far too long since we said farewell to football and I’ve been resigned to watching highlights of old West Ham United matches on YouTube. But as we prepare for our all-important opener against Manchester United, we need to reflect on last season’s opener against Chelsea, more importantly, how prepared we were.

Cast your minds back to this time last year when West Ham United were dealing with Europa League qualifying football as well as an exhaustive trip to the United States of America for pre-season. We sat and endured the signings coming to the club, in time for our debut season at the London Stadium. But we didn’t realize how poor some players would be.

Michail Antonio flies down the wing in West Ham’s 2-1 defeat to Astra Giurgiu on aggregate
West Ham United

But if you compare our preparation between the two pre-seasons, you’ll see the Club are very well prepared for this season. Yes, we do have a couple of worrying injuries at the moment, but in all fairness, we can manage. We don’t have Europa League Qualifying football, we didn’t have an exhaustive trip to the U.S and we haven’t had a bad transfer window thus far.

So what can we do to get ourselves mentally prepared? I think it comes down to our four away games which will be the draining aspect of the first few weeks of the Premier League season. Manchester United, Southampton, Cheltenham Town (Carabao Cup) and Newcastle United will see the first team travelling from one end of the country to the other as they play football away from home, but the side has a couple of weeks reprieve as we do have an international break as well as our first Home game against Huddersfield Town, but we’re on the road again as we travel to the Midlands for a League clash against West Brom.

West Ham fans at the London Stadium

Hectic, right? Mentally, this could have a big impact on the players as they’d no doubt be wanting that first home game as soon as possible, especially as it’d be the first time for the “new kids on the block” to experience London Stadium from a players perspective as one team.

Looking at the Premier League’s first five fixtures for West Ham United, I’m thinking we could have 10 points from 15 games, but keep an eye out for Jack Kavanagh’s Brace The Hammer Predictions articles every week for predictions from myself, as well as our other brilliant writers.

Click here to watch The Kiwi Hammer’s Match Preview video for Manchester United away

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