There was a time in the season when Dimitri Payet was not considered part of Didier Deschamps’ plans ahead of Euro 2016 in his home country, but it became difficult to ignore a player who simply lit up the Premier League in his first season in England. It was a joy to watch such a talented player make a big impact at the Boleyn Ground, and it was probably no surprise to Hammers fans to see Payet light up the European Championship on the opening day with a performance right out the top drawer.
West Ham United kick off their Barclays Premier League Fixtures with an away match at Chelsea followed by a home match against Bournemouth, the first match against Tottenham is an away tie on the 19th of November with the return match being played at the Olympic Stadium on the 6th of May.
A full list of all West Ham's Barclays Premier League Fixtures follows: (all match times and dates are subject to change by the FA and the TV broadcast organisations)
Chelsea v West Ham Sat 13th Aug 15:00
West Ham v Bournemouth Sat 20th Aug 15:00
West Ham United have signed winger Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia on a three year deal on a free contract but with a 'significant' undisclosed signing on fee, he is the club's second signing this summer following that of Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Havard Nordtveit, who joins on the 1st of July 2016. Feghouli, a 26 year old Algerian International, spent six seasons with Valencia scoring 42 goals in 243 appearances. Feghouliwas the 2012 Algerian Footballer of the Year, has 40 caps and has played in three major tournaments for his country.
Joey O'Brien is to leave the club after five years of service, his contract is not being renewed freeing him up for a possible reunion with Sam Allardyce at Sunderland, O'Brien had not featured for the team this season which is why he was regarded as expendable. Loanees Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike and Alex Song will also return to their parent clubs at the end of their season long loan deals, and sadly Young professionals Elliot Lee, Leo Chambers, Amos Nasha, Nathan Mavila and Jordan Brown will also depart after not being offered new contracts.
West Ham manager Slaven Billic is no mug, he may be quiet voiced but is steely in the extreme when crossed. Billic's dispensing of 'justice' following Alex Song's needless winding up of Diafra Sakho was swift and to the point, as was his early season verdict on Morgan Amalfitano's attitude which saw the player bounced out for being too lippy.
According to Italian media sources, West Ham United have reportedly offered €13.5million (£11.5 Million) for 25 year old Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra. The Argentine creative midfielder managed only 16 appearances in all competitions this season due to injury problems, and as such his signing must be seen as a considerable risk especially bearing in mind the 'Andy Carroll' syndrome which seems to afflict 'marquee' signings made by the club. It’s believed Juve want €17m, as he is under contract until June 2020, but would be prepared to release ‘Tucuman’ for €15m.
Silly season is about to kick off at the beginning of June when the transfer window opens, however that doesn't stop a raft of spurious rumours surfacing at every opportunity. This leads us to the Michail Antonio to Middlesborough 'distortion' currently doing the rounds, firstly 'Boro are in no way to blame for this 'story', all that has happened is that a 'spokesperson' for the club replied yes when asked if Antonio would be the sort of player they were looking at following their promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
Manchester United's narrow Emirates FA Cup victory in extra time over Crystal Palace has opened the door for West Ham United to enter the Europa League, thus ensuring some kind of European football for the inaugural season at the Olympic Stadium. Hammers will enter the Europa League at the same stage as they were knocked out this season, victory over Stoke City on the last day of the season would have meant going straight in to the group stage, instead of having to play in the third qualifying round.
Printing false or spurious information seems to be the bye word for those working at News International's Sun newspaper, what initially looked like lazy journalism is actually a rather unpleasant occurrence of 'media led' player destabilisation. The Sun's report claims 17 year old Reece Oxford, Slaven Billic's favourite young player, wants £40,000 per week in wages and a 'signing on' fee of £1 Million! Wait a minute, a 'signing on' fee for a player who is already signed up? Confused, you should be, as is Oxford himself.
It is rather typically West Ham United that the club's European competition qualification rests out of their hands, those who woke up today thinking that Southampton couldn't possibly have pipped Hammers to the final Europa Cup berth yesterday will begin having to accept the fact that Manchester United and Crystal palace will dictate whether European football comes to the inaugural season at the 60,000 seat Olympic Stadium.