In a season of great achievements by teams outside of the ‘top four’, West Ham United’s excellent and unexpected seventh-place finish was certainly one of those.
The Hammers clearly overachieved last season and they remained relatively consistent throughout, giving their fans a season to remember before finally bidding farewell to Upton Park.
Like Leicester City, who went on to win the league in extraordinary fashion, West Ham had a similar team spirit, and also displayed a high level of confidence and determination.
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Manager Slaven Billic has been a massive part of their success and has been able to galvanise the squad.
Last season, his tactics, clever use of players, and passion, contributed to their excellent form, and he will be keen to take on the upcoming season and all the challenges that come with it.
One of those challenges will be European football. Their seventh place finish last season meant they qualified for the Europa League. Although they will need to negotiate the qualifying rounds first, they have an opportunity to make a mark and compete with some of the best teams on the continent.
Bilic could be forgiven for looking back at last season and feeling proud of the achievements of the team, however, a new season awaits, and he’ll have whole new list of targets he’d like to achieve.
We’ve put together a number of minimum targets that are likely to be on his to-do list.
Top Six Finish
Many of their performances last season were fantastic and they more than deserved their seventh place finish.
However, Hammers fans will be keen to go one step further and secure European football again and maintain a level of consistency.
They are currently in the qualifying rounds and if they can secure a top six finish or above, it will mean a more hassle-free entrance into Europe next season.
Win A Trophy
Progress will be one of the key words for next season. With a new stadium and a team high on confidence, they will be expected to do well.
Despite their achievements last season, they were unable to win any silverware and the fans will be eager to end the trophy drought.
Of the four trophies that they can win, the FA Cup and the League Cup will be the easiest to clinch.
It’s been decades since their last major trophy win and this may well be the season of change as far as trophies are concerned.
Progress in Europe
West Ham fans will be eager to ensure they do well in Europe, and under Slaven Bilic, the team has have every chance of doing just that.
Although they are not backed to win the competition, they can take inspiration from Fulham’s exploits in the competition in 2010, where they reached the final against all the odds only to lose against Atletico Madrid.
The West Ham faithful will be keen to see how they get on in the Europa League if and when they negotiate the qualifying rounds. With all the shocks we have witnessed this year, anything is possible.
What should West Ham United's main target be for next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!