West Ham may be stuttering on the pitch but the east London club is still a major draw with interest growing about next year’s major move to the Olympic Stadium.
The club has revealed that it has already more season tickets for the first season in Stratford than in any other year in its history.
The stadium received another profile boost with the Rugby World Cup and, on the pitch, Slaven Bilic has knitted together a team that is both exciting and resilient – a potent combination that has prompted fans to look ahead to the 2016/17 season already.
There are more people on the waiting list than there are season tickets available and fans are being urged to join the Priority List to stand any chance of landing a ticket.
Midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who took the opportunity to visit the Stratford centrepiece, told the club's website : “It is a very impressive stadium, not only the stands and the pitch but all the other facilities, they are just excellent. I think the move is really going to give West Ham a boost and that is very important.
“I really think the fans and the players will enjoy it and I’m sure we’ll have some successful years in the near future.”
Meanwhile, the squad is gearing up for a run of games over the festive period which will test their stamina and skill as they await the return of key players from injury.
Manager Slaven Bilic has a hotline to the treatment room awaiting news. And he has cautious cause for optimism.
He said: “Every day I talk to my medical department. We had Enner Valencia back ahead of schedule and also it looks as though Lanzini and [Dimitri] Payet might also be ahead of their planned return date. Lanzini looks the most likely to return. Whether that will be for Swansea next Sunday I don’t know.”
As well as a new stadium next year, Bilic moved the players to a new training ground on Monday. Rush Green is now favoured over Chadwell Heath after the pitches put defender Winston Reid out of action with a damaged hamstring.
West Ham will play managerless Swansea on Sunday (December 20, 4pm) hoping to secure the win that has eluded them since October. The return tie on May 7 will be a red letter day for supporters. The Welsh club will be the final team to play the Irons at the Boleyn Ground.