Jake Humphrey Exclusive: “I’m Really Impressed By West Ham”

BT Sport is where the best in domestic and European football go head to head, and West Ham could be in for a great season in 2017/18.

Well, at least that’s what BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey thinks.

Speaking exclusively to Moore Than Just A Club, he is impressed by The Hammers summer business – especially the signing of Javier Hernandez for £16 million from Bayer Leverkusen – and believes the new signings can take the club to the next level.

“I’m really impressed by West Ham.

“This is the best summer window I remember them having in a long time and the standout signing is Javier Hernandez. I just want West Ham to have a striker that works for them.

“Certainly in the case of Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic, and Hernandez, they’ve got them at the right time.

“There’s a question mark if Pablo Zabaleta is coming to the end of his career but these players are still good enough.

“They aren’t in their prime but they will be good enough for the next few years.

“It might be a short-term fix but I don’t think that’s an intentional thing. For the players they’ve got, if they are all five years younger, that’s £200 million of outlay.

“The hope is that these players kick West Ham on to that next level. They’re not there for the next 10 years but for the next three or four, and if they can move West Ham up into the Europa League then it inspires the club to spend again, push again and go to that next level.

“They’ve done brilliantly.”

Manager Slaven Bilic came under a lot of pressure throughout last season, but owners David Gold and David Sullivan have stuck with him and backed him in the transfer market, much to the delight of Humphrey.

But, because of this, the BT Sport presenter believes that the Croatian must now deliver.

“I’m pleased they’ve stuck with Bilic but he has to deliver.

“He’ll be under pressure now because last season was simply not good enough.

“Now they’ve stuck with him and spent the money, the message from the West Ham owners must now be, we’ve back you early and with top players, so go out there, perform and do well.”

The Hammers also moved into the London Stadium last season, and fans have not been happy with their new home so far.

However, Humphrey thinks the stadium plays and important part in the clubs future and development.

“Don’t underestimate how important that stadium is.

“They’ve done an amazing financial deal on it, they’ll fill it week in, week out, and that moves them onto the next level, into the same financial league as your Tottenham’s and your Arsenal’s.

“Regardless of the results, they need to make the atmosphere amazing.

“Upton Park used to rock but West Ham need to almost just accept that they aren’t in a football stadium anymore, that it is an athletics stadium.

“It may not feel like home yet but it is the long term answer because it moves them to the next level.”

So how will West Ham United do this season?

Humphrey is unsure where the club goes next, but thinks they could make it into the Europa League position, although he does worry if the Irons get off to a bad start.

“The question is, where do West Ham go?

“Do they break into that top six? Or are they challenging Southampton for eighth in the Premier League?

“They’ve got the potential to be one of the biggest teams in the league, based on their location and their fan base.

“They are filling that massive stadium every week and I think it’s going to be an exciting season for West Ham.

“I do fear for West Ham if they have a bad start to the season, I really do. If they have a really difficult first few home games, I fear for the manager and their season because it will knock them.

“However, I think they’ll challenge for the Europa League spots as the signings they’ve made are really astute.”