Andre Ayew: Our actions will speak louder than words
Andre Ayew knows a thing or two about playing under pressure.
The Ghana star has been capped more than 75 times by his country, appeared at seven major tournaments, featured in the UEFA Champions League and is the son of a three-time African Footballer of the Year.
This summer, having signed four experienced internationals, expectations have risen sharply that West Ham United will enjoy a successful 2017/18 Premier League season – but Ayew has cautioned against getting carried away by the Hammers’ potential.
“I think we have the squad, the players and the quality to be able to do something good, but I think a lot of other teams also have great players and great squads, so we need to be calm and work hard,” said Ayew, who won four trophies and Player of the Year honours with former club Marseille and has twice inspired Ghana to the Africa Cup of Nations final.
“We know what we want and the gaffer [Slaven Bilic] has given his directions and we are following them. It’s only with time and games that you can start to feel what you can do.
“Last season, I wouldn’t say it was a bad season but we had a lot of ups and downs and we only finished one point away from eighth position. We need to work hard, stay calm and have the belief that we can do something great.”
I think we have the squad, the players and the quality to be able to do something good, but I think a lot of other teams also have great players and great squads, so we need to be calm and work hard
West Ham kick-off the new Premier League campaign with a trip to Manchester United on Sunday, the first of three straight away games to start the new season.
With the Hammers also journeying to Southampton and Newcastle United before welcoming Huddersfield Town to London Stadium on 11 September, forward Ayew is anxious that people do not let their emotions run away with them before the season is even a month old.
On the other hand, the African says a decent return from those three away matches will set the Hammers up nicely ahead of the visit of the newly-promoted Terriers.
“We shouldn’t really talk too much,” said the No20. “It’s difficult for us to start the season already with three away games so we need to see how we start the season and from there we can start to know where we are.
“The best way for us is to start well and if we get a good start I think we’re going to do a good season. That’s football. When you start well, it puts you in a positive mindset and gives you the confidence to believe you can do something.
“If we have a good start this year, we have experienced players and good young players so we have a good blend. I believe the gaffer knows exactly what he wants, we are right behind him, so we are going to push and see if we can finish as high as we can because the Club and the fans deserve to be smiling at the end of the season.”