To enhance my 2016/17 Premier League projection I’m reviewing factors that may impact each team’s strength compared with last season, as explained here. Next up West Ham United.
West Ham had an excellent 2015/16 season – comfortably achieving their ambition of Premier League survival, and even securing European football. As I discussed here the market continually undervalued West Ham, perhaps this is due to thier high shot conversion rate – which was second highest in the league, after Leicester City.
To illustrate the relative strengths of key players joining and leaving, the numbers below compare defensive, passing and attacking strength against the average premier league player in 2015/16 (0% means at the same level as the average premier league player, greater than 0% is better and less than 0% is worse). Defensive assessment is the sum of defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks). Passing is number of completed passes, and attacking strength is goals plus assists (all measured per match). This isn’t a robust statistical analysis, and can be skewed due to acquisition from a weaker league or lack of minutes played – but the purpose is to simply indicate the comparative strength of incoming and outgoing players.
West Ham have made some interesting signings, but the loss of James Tomkins may weaken overall defensive strength.
Yes Europa League. West Ham were knocked out in the qualifying round last season, a longer run will provide more of a distraction this season.
Probably little change. West Ham are difficult team to assess this season – for example, the move to the Olympic Stadium may have a positive or negative impact. Overall probably little change, but that does depend on the extent of their Europa League involvement.