Former West Ham academy graduate Matt Holland says old club will be worse off under Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic

Pundit Matt Holland, who started his career at West Ham United, has predicted where he thinks his old side will finish in the Premier League this season.

The 41-year-old former midfielder started his career with the Hammers but subsequently joined Bournemouth, before spending long spells at Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic, where he retired in 2009.

He was a consistent Premier League performer and played more than 550 games in his career even representing the Republic of Ireland 49 times and scoring five goals.

Since retiring Holland has worked as a pundit for the likes of the BBC and more recently Talksport.

Hammers will be worse off under Bilic according to Holland

And he told the radio station he thinks the Hammers will be worse this season under Slaven Bilic than they were last time out under Sam Allardyce because he predicts his first club will finish 13th.

That's one place worse off than last season's 12th place finish which was deemed so disappointing it ultimately cost Big Sam his job in east London.

Most fans accept Bilic would have to go some to match Allardyce's first half of last season, which was the club's best ever start to a Premier League campaign and had them fourth by the turn of the year.

Signings and new style breed optimism Holland doesn't share

But with nine signings so far this summer and the promise of more to come, as well as the appointment of former Croatia boss Bilic, Upton Park has been buzzing with excitement.

Holland, who never made a senior appearance for the Hammers, has put a dampener on any hopes for at least a midtable finish, though, predicting West Ham will finish below the likes of Stoke City, Southampton, Swansea City, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.

He has backed the Hammers' London rivals Chelsea to retain their Premier League crown, Arsenal to finish third and Tottenham Hotspur to finish sixth.

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