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Key Players
 

Manager Gianfranco Zola seems to have settled in nicely into his new role without much fuss even though the club is in dire straits financially and facing more misery over the Carlos Tevez saga.

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Zola has managed to retain the faith of key players like Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole. Other players who have developed immensely over the last 12 months are Danny Gabbidon, Jonathan Spector and Jack Collison.

 

Scott Parker, Dean Ashton and Valon Behrami have also combined well in the mid-field area and will once again have to bear a huge burden as their club looks to break into the top five.

 

Zola was hoping to bring over Eidur Gudjohnsen to Upton Park, but as of now the deal seems to be static.

 
2009-10 Season
 

The departure of Craig Bellamy to Manchester City was a big blow to West Ham last season and they are yet to recover from this. Although the management have promised to bring in at least one more striker, no deal has happened so far.

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The biggest deal so far has been the arrival of Luis Jimenez from Inter Milan on a season-long loan. David Di Michele and Diego Tristan have been let go by the club after they failed to make any impression.

 

Zola was said to be in the market for Michael Owen and Darren Bent, but these players have gone elsewhere and he now needs to make shrewd decisions before the transfer window closes.

 
History
 

The club was launched in 1895 as Thames Ironworks by a local league referee Dave Taylor and Arnold Hills. While it was started as a strictly amateur club, it soon turned professional in 1898 when it participated in the Southern League Second Division.

 

The club gained promotion to the First division in the debut season itself and while the next season was an anticlimax (with the club finishing second from bottom), it managed to survive in the division by defeating Fulham 5-1 in the relegation play-offs.

 

Financial disputes between the members of the club led to Thames Ironworks folding up in June 1900. However it was soon relaunched in the next month as West Ham United with Syd King and Charlie Paynter at the helm. The club continued to be linked to Thames Ironworks and hence to this day is fondly called as Hammers.

 

The new club continued to play matches in the 1900-01 season at old Memorial Ground in Plaistow. However the club decided to play in a new ground the next season after cutting off all ties with the company.

 

For three years West Ham played their matches in the grounds of various local clubs. In 1904, the club moved into their new home in Upton Park where they won their first match against Milwall 3-0.

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West Ham, who had been invited to play in the Western League in 1901, won its first silverware as the Western League Division 1B Champions in the 1907 season. The club then went on to defeat Fulham to finish as the overall champions of the Western League.

In 1919, West Ham had qualified to play in the Football League Second Division and four years later was promoted to the First Division. The initial years of the club in the first division were fairly successful, with West Ham twice finishing in the top half of the table. The club also reached the final of the FA Cup in 1923 and semi-finals in 1927

 

The 1932 season for West Ham proved to be disastrous as it finished at the bottom of the table and was relegated to the second division. Sydney King, who was the manager of the club since 1901, was sacked from his post and assistant manager Charlie Paynter was handed over the reins.

 

West Ham came very close from getting relegated from the second division the next season itself, but managed to hold on and finished in the 20th position. The club spent the next 30 years in the second division, coming twice close to getting promoted.

 

West Ham were relegated in 1978 and while there were some calls for the sacking of Lyall, the Hammers board stuck with the manager and was rewarded with a FA Cup win in 1980. The club won promotion to the first division next season and Lyall guided the club to its highest ever standing in the first division after West Ham finished 3rd in the 1986 season.

 

However the club could not hold on to its place in the first division and was once again relegated in 1989. This time around, Lyall could not save his job and was sacked by the West Ham board, who replaced Lyall with Lou Macari. However Macari resigned from the most in less than a year and was replaced by former player Billy Bonds.

 

The club gained promotion from second division in 1991, but was unable to avoid the drop next season, missing out featuring in the inaugural season of the newly created English Premier League. The club gained immediate promotion to the Premier League, after finishing second in the newly structured first division.

 

Harry Redknapp replaced Billy Bonds in 1994 and went on to re-build a new team, with a number of players bought on Bosman ruling. West Ham finished 5th in 1999, but had to play the Intertoto Cup tournament in order to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

 

A decline in performance and arguments with board members saw Redknapp getting the sack and youth team coach Glenn Roeder was given a chance to prove his managerial abilities. Roeder got off to a good start in his debut season with West Ham, finishing in the 7th position.

 

However this began to go downhill next season and the club was unable to avoid relegation. West Ham's campaign in the first division went off to a bad start and Roeder was removed from his position and was replaced by Trevor Brooking on an interim basis. Brooking already had some taste of managing the club as he had stepped in during Roeder's absence during his illness.

 

In October 2003 Brooking was replaced by Alan Pardew who guided the club to the play-offs final before losing out to Crystal Palace. Pardew continued to impress at the club and once again managed to lead West Ham to the play-offs final and this time succeeded in getting promoted to the Premier League.

 

The 2008-09 season was also a good one for the club with Zola guiding them to a 9th placed finish; just outside of the Europa league play-offs spot, which may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise for the team.

 

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