Last year was an incredible season for West Ham United. We saw a former player come in and take over as manager, we saw incredible new signings in Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, and Michail Antonio, and we saw West Ham fight back from deficits to salvage points in ways that we never would have seen under Big Sam. We had money to spend, and a move to the Olympic Stadium coming up. The future was exciting, and this season we could dream for European football.
“And like my dreams they fade and die”
This season has not gone the way many had hoped. Our main needs for this season in the summer transfer window were a striker and a right back. We found neither. We dropped points against teams we had no business dropping points against, such as Watford and West Brom. People from the outside in looked at us and laughed. There was no debate anymore. The dreams of European football turned into a reality of a relegation battle.
And then came the gauntlet. Spurs away, Manchester United away, Arsenal home, and Liverpool away. Throw in a cup match away at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a difficult stretch.
So far, West Ham have one point out of two games in that stretch, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. West Ham played arguably their best game of the season at White Hart Lane against Spurs, only to have two mistakes, with some questionable substitutions, cost them in the end, and while Manchester United is having their worst start in Premier League history, it’s still difficult to go into Old Trafford against Zlatan, Pogba, and De Gea and get away with a result. The two performances against their two toughest tests have West Ham actually playing pretty well.
So is the sky falling? Far from it.
According to Squawka, West Ham is 9th in total performance this season, and Dimitri Payet, who many (including West Ham fans) have thought is a shadow of what he was last year, actually leads the Premier League in chances created with 46. The club still have points in 4 of their last 6 matches, and it really should be 5 of 6 if it weren’t for the disaster against Spurs. Their performance has been mostly solid all year, they’ve just been unlucky.
Right now, West Ham is 8 points out of 6th place, the last European football slot. The club form is good, Payet is still playing very well. If they can get a healthy Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll, this team can still make some noise in the Premier League, and to be honest, I still expect them to finish inside the top 10 this season.
The performance is there, they just need to get some luck to go their way.