West Ham star Valon Behrami eager to see the back of 2009

Ben Welch WEST HAM midfielder Valon Behrami says he will be glad to see the back of 2009.

Ben Welch

WEST HAM midfielder Valon Behrami says he will be glad to see the back of 2009.

The Swiss international is hoping 2010 will prove far more prosperous for the East End club after a traumatic 12 months.

In spite of their unrelenting off the field problems, the Hammers have had their supporters purring with Gianfranco Zola's brand of attacking football, which earned them a ninth place finish in the Premier League last term.

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However, financial turmoil coupled with legal disputes, the loss of key players and an ongoing battle for ownership of the club, has left a bitter taste in the mouth for Behrami.

"It was frustrating and I hope for myself and West Ham that the next year will be a lot better, because there have been a lot of negatives this year," said the 24-year-old.

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In March of this year (2009) the long-running spat between the Hammers and Sheffield United over Carlos Tevez was finally brought to an end after the clubs reached an out-of-court settlement.

The Blades had originally claimed �45 million as compensation for their relegation in the 2006-07 season.

The claim began after United successfully argued that Tevez played a significant role in their eventual relegation, while in breach of Premier League third-party rules.

The recession saw the club plummet into financial chaos after former chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was forced to hand the club over to CB Holding, a company made up of creditors of Hansa.

CB Holding are keen to off-load the Upton Park club and its debts, but are waiting for a substantial bid, which has left the club in a state of flux.

Add to this the loss of striker Dean Ashton, who decided to end his playing career at the age of 26, after failing to recover from a debilitating ankle injury.

And, with the Hammers swimming dangerously close to the relegation zone, 2009 ended on a low with a 2-0 defeat away to arch rivals Tottenham on Monday.

"I think we can match any team with our injured players back. In the last two games we played like a team, which is most important. We need a bit more quality at the moment," said Behrami.

Given their current plight in the Premier League, West Ham's number 21 believes the players should focus on their physical condition, rather than Sunday's FA Cup tie with Arsenal at Upton Park.

"We are struggling in the Premier League. We have a lot of injuries and at this moment in time it is not a great game for us," admitted the former Lazio player.

"It's very nice to play in the FA Cup, because it's a different atmosphere, but it's a tough game.

"It is not a very kind draw, but when we are at home we play like a team and can get a good result.

"I think a cup run can help with our league form, but the most important thing is the condition of the players.

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