Predicted by many to struggle after what was a less than convincing pre-season campaign West Ham are certainly looking like being just fine this season after all.
They have started their campaign relatively well and currently sit on seven points in eighth place in the table. Last weekend they won an excellent game against Liverpool. They showed their mettle in a rip-roaring performance at Upton Park that harked back to some of the good old days.
And they have of course been doing all of this without Kevin Nolan, their captain and last season's top goal-scorer. He is currently out of action with a shoulder injury but is set to return to action in the next couple of weeks.
But he knows that he will not automatically walk back into the side. The club have been performing well with their current midfield options, so Nolan knows an immediate return is not likely.
He told the London Evening Standard:
"No one is guaranteed a game. If you don’t play well there is someone breathing down your neck and that can only be good for the squad. If you want to get better you need that strength in depth.”
Strangely enough however Nolan's return may be coming at the perfect time. West Ham sold Momo Diame earlier this month and have just loaned Ravel Morrison to Cardiff City until Boxing Day. Add to that the injury to Cheikhou Kouyate and the club suddenly find themselves down on central midfield options.
For now Morgan Amalfitano and Diego Poyet are likely to help cover the area they now find themselves light - but when Nolan returns to action, with the tie against QPR on October 5th pencilled in as the most likely date, do not expect him to have to wait too long to get back in the action.