Tomkins looks for positive start

West Ham United defender James Tomkins cannot wait for the big kick-off, following Wednesday's fixture announcement

James Tomkins is looking forward to an exciting kick-off for West Ham United when they travel across London to face Arsenal on 8 August.

The Hammers defender says that while it will be a tough match at the Emirates, there is no reason why the team can’t go there with a bid to upset the odds.

“It’s a tough game to start with, but one we will relish and look forward to. While results haven’t been kind to us in recent times there, it is the first day of the season and we will go there confident we can do well.

“All teams are in the same position – they will have new players to settle in and sometimes they do say it can be good to play a top four side right at the start. They will be buzzing from the FA Cup win, but as I said, it is the first day, a new season, everyone fresh and everyone will be going into these first games looking to kick-off with a good result.”

With matches against Leicester City and Bournemouth at home before ending August with an away trip to Liverpool, Tomkins says having a good start to the season is important.

“We would look to try and start off positively at home as well, especially with it being our last season at the Boleyn Ground and wanting to give the ground a good send-off in our homes games there this year.

“But you saw how Leicester finished the season, they will bring the confidence they gained from that and the Bournemouth lads will be out to show what they can do and get off to a good start.

“We finish the month with a trip to Liverpool, which is also tough but we will be going out to make a strong start. Points on the board early do help, especially when you do have a difficult part of the season, those points early doors can help you get into a nice position from which you can go on from.

“I can’t wait for the start of the season. For me, although it was great to get on for the last game against Newcastle, as I have been injured, it seems like ages since I have played. I can’t wait.”

It’s a tough game to start with, but one we will relish and look forward to.

An Academy graduate who has made his way through the ranks, West Ham’s No5 knows more than most what an emotional season it will be coming up as the Club looks to say a fitting goodbye to the Boleyn Ground before the exciting move to the new Stadium.

The last home match on 7 May will be against Swansea and Tomkins says that will be something historic to be part of.

“That is going to be some game for everyone associated with the Club. Fans, players, everyone. Again, no game will be easy, Swansea are tough. But we will be determined to send the ground off with a winning result and that is what we will be trying to do.

“It’s an exciting time for the club, making sure we can give the ground a good send-off and then looking forward to the move to the new Stadium, we are all looking forward to it.”