West Ham United legend Alvin Martin told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he doesn’t necessarily believe the Hammers finishing lower this coming season than they did last, can be considered a lack of progress.
Martin has stressed the importance of the club staying in the Premier League under Slaven Bilic’s guidance, but feels the club can progress even if they finish lower than 12th with fewer than 47 points on the board.
“If he doesn’t and we finish in the same position as under Sam, it doesn’t mean we haven’t moved forward as a club – What he’s got to do is keep us in the Premier League next year, keep us in the top half,” he told talkSPORT.
“We don’t know what the impact of Slaven’s arrival is going to be until the season starts – I’d rather he was just coming in and had a real good run at the Premier League.”
What should West Ham be aiming for?
West Ham have a good quality squad, a new manager and owners who seem keen to back him in the transfer market.
Bilic has already made a good signing with the arrival of Pedro Obiang and he’ll be full of ideas over players he can bring in, who should help the club progress further.
How can the club progress despite finishing lower?
Bilic could choose to focus on area of the club like the youth ranks, giving younger players more of a chance than they were getting under Sam Allardyce.
West Ham could finish lower next season, but they could end up with younger players who are ultimately better off long term in terms of experience.
They may also have progressed in terms of style, which is important for when the Hammers make the move to the Olympic Stadium.