Is it totally conceivable to think that West Ham United could be relegated from the Premier League this season? To put it into perspective of how poor a start to the season it's been for the Hammers, let's take a look back to this exact point last season.
Under Slaven Bilic's new look West Ham side in 2015; he'd guided us to an above average 6th place whilst being within touching distance of league leaders Manchester City. He had the fans excited again, playing the stylish and attacking flair football that supporters had been crying out for since the days of club legend Paolo Di Canio.
Let's not forget, West Ham hadn't just been winning against average Premier League teams either, boasting the impressive scalps of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, most of which came away from home. The Boleyn Ground was once again a fortress in its final season and teams were beginning to fear the counter attacking style Slaven had his team playing.
However, what has changed in a few short months?
Kicking off the new season in which saw the new stadium and hefty expectations, it was to be arguably the biggest in our clubs recent history. Nevertheless, few would have predicted the outcome with a third of the season already gone.
After twelve games, West Ham have managed to win just three, losing seven and conceding a near league high 23 goals’ in the process. For a team that last year had only lost eight, yes eight games ALL season long it's far from the start that anyone had imagined. In fact, it's been West Ham's worst start to a top-flight campaign after twelve games since 1988-89, when the Hammers were relegated.
Fans have become increasingly frustrated and if the issues off the pitch weren't distracting enough, the results the team are picking up on the pitch are utterly abysmal.
Speaking to the BBC back in October after drawing with Middlesbrough, Slaven said:
"I believe in my team and I'm a hard worker. Although we didn't win, we showed that the team is alive. We are together. We have to show it more often"
Fast forward a month and you have to ask yourself, is that truly the case? Are we in fact together at all? Coming off the back of an emphatic 90th minute capitulation to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, the answer would be a resounding no with West Ham now lying in a dangerous 17th spot, one point ahead of Hull City who sit in the relegation zone.
In case you haven't already seen West Ham's next three fixtures, I'll fill you in. First it's the easy task of Pogba and Zlatan in Manchester, followed by a trip back home to take on high-flying Arsenal at the London Stadium and finally a long journey up to Merseyside for a meeting with Jurgen Klopp's free scoring Liverpool side. Piece of cake, right?
For a football team devoid of all confidence right now this can signal the start of the slippery slope headed into a clustered period for the Premier League, three straight losses could start the beginning of the end for our life in the top flight.
Right now every team surrounding West Ham are starting to pick up points, even Sunderland, who, only a few short weeks ago couldn't even buy a result. They've won two straight including the 3-0 drumming they gave to Hull City at home this weekend and it’s sent alarm bells ringing.
With January fast approaching Slaven has to perilously navigate his way through unscathed in the Christmas period, otherwise he could find himself out of a job sooner, rather than later. Dimtri Payet could say, "Enough is enough, I'm tired of losing" and exit stage left, whilst a number of senior players could also potentially jump ship before we truly sink.
The next month in reality is our most defining in the clubs history, what we do and how we do it will determine the direction in which the club are willing to go and the lengths we're willing to take to get there. All we ask is to see the same fire, heart and passion each and every week that had so many of us dreaming last season.
Unfortunately with the owners seeming somewhat reluctant to spend big money on a world class striker we were promised in the summer to push us to the next level, we could find ourselves in a position no one thought possible before the season began. It's left many of us questioning where West Ham can actually go from here, whilst we're still left fighting to save our season.
Trying to be optimistic whilst we're still languishing down in the bottom half of the table is tough, it is however what West Ham teams of old thrived off to push through and succeed. Unfortunately, you begin to question how much more we can take before the curtain truly falls.