London is home to some of the most successful and illustrious clubs in the history of English football. From Arsenal to Chelsea , from Tottenham to Leeds , the City has provided glorious history in all eras of English football. While the areas of Merseyside and Manchester have also enjoyed considerable periods of domination, clubs from the Capital city have been ever presents at the top end of the footballing pyramid.
However, one club from the city is conspicuous by its absence from the list – West Ham United , one of the best supported clubs in the league but also one of the biggest underachievers throughout their history. Despite providing the pillars on which England’s 1966 world cup success was built, the club has never enjoyed any sustained period of dominance of English football.
The last few decades have been even more painful for the supporters, with the club pin balling between the Premier League and the Championship. Bizarrely, they have all the ingredients that make a successful club, from patient owners, availability of funds, a reasonably talented playing contingent and a phenomenal fan base that is prepared to live and die by the club’s side.
Frankly, we, the Chelsea fans , find it a tad bizarre that clubs with similar or less resources than our London counterparts have achieved much more than the Hammers.
However, since the club have been granted the right to make London’s Olympic Stadium as their home from 2016/17 season onwards, something seems to have stirred within the club. It is evident by the moods of both the owners and the supporters , as well as the money that has since been invested in the squad , that the club has now realized that the sky ought to be the limit for its ambition.
With the high profile signings of French midfielder Dimitry Payet and Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna already confirmed this summer, it is clear that the club are targeting proven quality rather than potential as they look aim to target European qualification next season.
It appears that next on the list is Italian International and Roma Striker Mattia Destro, who is edging closer to a move to the Hammers after it was reported that the player’s agent is in London to negotiate a move for his client.
The striker spent the second half of last season at Milan after he lost his starting spot at Roma. The San Siro club have not exercised the option of purchasing him, and with Roma making it clear that they no longer need him, the striker is poised to depart the club and West Ham now appear his next destination, despite being previously linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea.
The deal is reportedly close to conclusion and an announcement is expected in the coming days. West Ham are looking at the option of an initial loan with an option to purchase at the end of the season.
With 24 goals in 57 Serie A games for Roma, Destro has shown in the past that he can be a reliable goalscoring option at a top level. West Ham United have seemingly landed a player who has the motivation to prove himself all over again and has the ambition to match the soaring aspirations of the Hammers faithful.
As a Chelsea fan, it is always worrisome watching another club vying to make it to the top end of the table. However, on the other hand, increased competition can only be a good news for a settled club like Chelsea, because as we Blues very well know, success never is a constant.