George Parris: The Boys of 21 have had a great season – Here’s hoping it wasn’t a one-off

The following season could be hard because expectation increases with the fans

David Moyes (West Ham manager) at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

Overall, I think we’ve had a great season. I think it’s important not to think about it as a failure in any way – despite some of our results in this final month.

Heading into May, for me, finishing anywhere in the top six was something that I thought would be a great result for this squad. It’s certainly an improvement on the last few seasons. 

But now that we’ve had a good campaign, the following season can be hard because people know what to expect and the expectation increases with the fans.

It’s important when you’ve had a good season that you acknowledge it and then focus on building on it to make sure it’s not just a one-season wonder.

We need to make sure that we strengthen the squad – something we didn’t do following our season in 86.

Admittedly we weren’t able to play in Europe the next season but we will need to bolster the squad if we want to build on this campaign.

I think if this side had got into the Champions League that would have been a far greater achievement than the Boys of 86 because of how much the game has evolved and changed over the years with it becoming more business-oriented.

I think it’s inevitable that any good West Ham squad is compared to ours from 86.

What I will say is that both sides were well equipped and both played to their strengths.

So many players – back in 86 and this campaign – have had great seasons and that is the most obvious similarity to me.

We need to move fast

One player that I think we need to sign as soon as the window opens is Jesse Lingard.

He knows what we are about and it’ll be great if we were able to sign him but it all depends on what he wants.

We need to move fast because he could get into the England squad for the Euros and have a great tournament; This’ll increase his value and he’ll also become a target for other clubs.

It’s important that we do the rest of our business quickly, and hopefully the campaign we’ve had will encourage one or two better quality players to move to us.

We also keep our key players that have done so well for us over the past year and a bit.

If we get this summer right, hopefully the lads will continue to give fans something to cheer about but back inside the London Stadium.

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