Drama off the field has plagued West Ham United, however full attention now turns to the Premier League as they come up against Newcastle United.

David Moyes’s first full season in charge gets underway at the London Stadium against a Magpies side looking to improve on the 13th place finish they achieved last season under Steve Bruce. 

Appointing Steve Bruce at the beginning of last season was a controversial move with the former Sunderland manager leaving Sheffield Wednesday ahead of last season starting. It also divided the fan base with toon fans slating owner Mike Ashley for a lack of ambition after Rafa Benitez failed to sign a new contract as manager. 

However, Bruce has managed to steady the ship and has strengthen the squad this summer bringing in striker Callum Wilson who will be the biggest improvement to their attack. They have also added depth to both wings adding Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick to the squad both on free transfers. 

For the Irons their summer transfer window has been so far a disaster signing not one player with Tomas Soucek signing before the window officially opened after a pleasing loan spell from Slavia Prague. 

Grady Diangana spent last season on loan with West Brom under former Hammers boss Slaven Bilic and was supposed to be part of Moyes plans this season but his reported £18m transfer to the Baggies has left a sour taste in the club and fanbase.Image Credit:Football.London

The reported £15m price tag for Soucek seems to have paid off for Moyes with the Czech finding the back of the net three times in thirteen league appearances.

However, after a number of positive tests for Covid 19 in the Czech Republic squad Soucek is set to miss the first game of the season against the Magpies due to quarantining. 

Newcastle have their own issues though with starting goalkeeper Martin Dubravka facing a period on the side-lines after picking up an ankle injury during pre season. 

Both sides had similar pre season campaigns, both teams head into the new season on the back of defeats with the Hammers suffering a shameful 5-3 defeat at the hands of a new look Bournemouth. 

The Irons lacked a sense of togetherness which could have stemmed from the frustration caused by the sale of Grady Dianagana to rivals West Brom.

Players looked disinterested when it came to defence with sloppy goals being conceded, however a player who has been in fine form is Josh Cullen. 

The 24 year old has spent the last two seasons on loan at now League One club Charlton Athletic under former Hammer Lee Bowyer. 

Making 66 appearances the Irish international has been solid in midfield and has gained vital experience his goal scoring antics might not be the best but his on the ball ability at league one and Championship level has made him one of the shine out stars in the Charlton line-up. 

Cullen has started at both midfield and right back for the Irons during pre season and has bagged an assist in both positions and could be a useful tool heading into the new season especially if Jack Wilshere does not get a look in. 

Cullen has grown during his time at Charlton and will be looking to cement his place in the first team. Image Credit: LondonNewsOnline

The fact the Hammers have had no activity in the transfer market is a worry, they lack quality fullbacks with Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Creswell and Arthur Masuaku failing to impress during pre season. Investment in these positions was a key objective for the club but the lack of investment by David Gold and David Sullivan has left the fanbase of the Irons looking for questions. 

However the most important thing for David Moyes right now will be getting this season off to the best possible start and coming away with all three points against Newcastle. 

 

Score Prediction: 

West Ham United 1 – Newcastle 2