The future looks bright at West Ham United right now, so much so that even their much-maligned owners are earning praise.
If West Ham’s record-breaking December is anything to go by there is plenty to look forward to in 2019.
West Ham picked up more points last month (15) than any in their Premier League history.
Five wins from seven games is indicative of the deeper evolution taking place under Manuel Pellegrini in East London.
Europe remains a genuine aim for the club such has been the turnaround.
But as exciting for Hammers fans has been the emergence of several young stars into the first team picture.
Declan Rice has become one of Pellegrini’s key players and is a cert to succeed Mark Noble as captain after signing a new long-term deal.
Results and stadium improving, youngsters impressing
Grady Diangana has followed Rice into the Hammers first team as has striker Xande Silva. The likes of Marcus Browne out on loan are promising big things while Connor Coventry and Joe Powell have also been in first team squads.
Improvements at the London Stadium – including a capacity boost to 60,000 and eventually up to 66,000 – and the introduction of a claret pitch surround promise to make matchdays even better.
To that end fan parks are on the way for supporters before games too.
West Ham’s owners David Sullivan and David Gold have been lambasted by fans.
Indeed back in March last year angry protests saw supporters calling for the duo to sell up.
Hammers coach praises board over developments
The pair splashed out to bring in Pellegrini in the summer. And they backed him with an unprecedented £100million splurge on transfers.
And now the club’s academy director Terry Westley has praised the board for shelling out to make exciting improvements behind the scenes which will help continue his good work producing young talent for Pellegrini’s first team.
“What better way to start off with the new developments to Chadwell Heath, which are getting more exciting by the day as more of our new build gets completed,” Westley told whufc.com.
“Our indoor pitch is already finished and in use, while the rest of the building, which will house many, many new suites, ranging from changing facilities to education classrooms, is set to open soon.
‘We’re so excited’
“We look towards February and so many of the things that we require to run a real Category One programme. We’ll have analyst suites, an appearance lounge, education facilities, a new gym right next to the indoor pitch so that our players can do their gym work and then rehab work, staff offices equipped for the modern era… the list goes on.
“It is such a jump for us, and being able to stay at the iconic training ground and not having to move is something that we all really look forward to.
“We obviously give our huge thanks to the board and everyone who has backed the decision, and the quality of the work by the builders and Neil Waite – the project manager – is first class.
“We’re so excited for completion.”