Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic was appointed to replace Sam Allardyce at Upton Park in June Getty

Last season

Premier League: 12th

FA Cup: Fifth round

League Cup: Second round

Top Scorer: Diafra Sakho (11)

Summer's work

Slaven Bilic has kicked off the post-Sam Allardyce era with a number of promising signings including former Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet, Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang and Juventus centre-back Angelo Ogbonna.

Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson has also returned to Upton Park for a second loan spell, Darren Randolph has joined the club on a free transfer from Birmingham City and Manuel Lanzini arrives on loan from Al Jazira.

The club are still expected to make further additions before the end of the transfer window, with the likes of Atletico Madrid striker Raul Jimenez and Barcelona's Alex Song among the names being bandied about.

Meanwhile, Bilic has allowed the departure of Stewart Downing to Middlesbrough for around £5.5m while Nene, Carlton Cole, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Dan Potts and Paul McCallum all leave the club.

Manager – Slaven Bilic

Following the decision against extending Allardyce's spell at the club, the Hammers were linked with a number of high-profile managers to lead the team in the last campaign before their move to the 54,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

But with the club unable to attract the likes of Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez or Europa League winner Unai Emery, former West Ham star Slaven Bilic was anointed the chosen one.

The Croatian's recent spells at Lokomotiv Moscow and in the Turkish league with Besiktas were not very encouraging, but having previously led his national sideto the Euro 2008 quarter-final he looks ready for the Premier League challenge.

Key player – Dimitri Payet

Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet provided 21 assists in Ligue 1 last season Getty

The arrival of the 28-year-old French attacking midfielder from Marseille for around £11m is a big statement of the club's intentions as well as their desire to play more attractive football than was served up during the Big Sam era.

Payet was one of the most creative footballers in Europe last year, scoring seven goals and providing 21 assists in 36 Ligue 1 appearances.

His link-up play with Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and any expected new strikers will be key in new West Ham season.


Some may say that the early and unexpected elimination in the Europa League against Astra Giurgiu was not the best way to start the Bilic era. However, the experience of Everton last season – who struggled in the Premier League due to European exertions – suggests that waving goodbye to the competition will have a positive effect on their league campaign.

West Ham started in impressive fashion last year with some even talking of Champions League qualifications – but they eventually finished 12th, with fans growing increasingly frustrated with Allardyce's playing style.

Bilic's biggest challenge will not be to improve on Big Sam's league results but to bring joy to a fanbase who are sick of defensive tactics.

IBT prediction – 12th

With both Valencia and Andy Carroll starting the season injured, bolstering the attack before the end of the transfer window is a must. The level of the new additions and Payet's adaption to the Premier League pace will determine whether West Ham finish closer to Europe or the middle of nowhere.