West Ham can become entertainers again

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West Ham United are a club built on fine footballing traditions. Speak to any regular Upton Park attendee and they will tell you that it was their club responsible for English footballs defining moment, when West Ham's favourite sons Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst were key contributors to World Cup glory in 1966.

'West Ham won the World Cup' is regularly heard in the East End of London.

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There hasn't been too much too much to shout about for the club in recent seasons. A yo-yo existence between England's top two divisions has become the norm, with an agonising FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool in 2006 the closest the claret and blue have come to silverware. Could all that be about to change?

Sam Allardyce

In Sam Allardyce, West Ham have a manager who knows the ins and outs of the Premier League like few others. He keeps teams in the division, it's as simple as that. That, however, is not enough for the Upton Park faithful who believe in the traditions of their club and playing attractive football. Not since the team of the early 2000's containing the precocious Joe Cole and maverick Paulo Di Canio have West Ham consisted of a team of entertainers.

Allardyce found himself under increasing amounts of pressure last season with fans disgruntled at the teams direct tactics centre around the towering target of Andy Carroll. This summers signings however indicate a different approach may be round the corner.

Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia

A distinct lack of goals was apparent, the club scoring just 40 for the season, the same amount as relegated Fulham. Their response? The signings of strikers Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia. Zarate was once the subject of a €20 million move to Lazio.

After reviving a stalling career at Velez Sarsfield in his native Argentina, he returns to the Premier League for a second spell after a loan stint at Birmingham City when he was 21. If his attitude is right he has the potential to be the player West Ham fans have been searching for since the departures of cult hero's Di Canio and Carlos Tevez.

Valencia was somewhat of a coup for the club. Linked with large European clubs such as AC Milan after starring at the World Cup for Ecuador, Valencia has arrived for a fee just short of the club-record shelled out last summer for Carroll. Whilst signing players based on a World Cup can be dangerous (El Hadji Diouf to Liverpool anyone?) Valencia has all the attributes to be a major player in the Premier League.

Promising youngsters

Add into the mix highly rated youngsters Diego Poyet and Aaron Cresswell, plus the addition of much coveted central defender Cheikhou Kouyate, and West Ham have made some positive additions.

With continued links to players of the calibre of Yevhen Konoplyanka, who has been courted by the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, West Ham may just be building a side fitting to play in the Olympic stadium they inherit next summer. There may just be something for Hammers fans to shout about once more.

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Mauro Zarate
Premier League
Sam Allardyce

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