What can we expect from the Hammers’ final few games?
Nine points clear of the drop zone with only five games left to play, it was would seem that a collective a sigh of relief is the order of the day down Stratford way, but should it have ever come to this?
As a West Ham fan of 40 years, experience tells you that one good season very rarely rolls into the next. Finishing seventh in 2015/16 was a great achievement and raised expectations amongst pundits and fans alike, but backing that up was always going to be difficult in a year of upheaval.
No matter how many times coaches say that it is irrelevant where a match is played, claiming that it’s just a pitch with two sets of goal posts, for a traditional club like West Ham a change of home was always going to have far reaching consequences.
Despite what has been a relatively troubled season, a top half of the table finish is still not impossible. If you’re brave enough to take a punt on this, you may want to check out these free football bets before placing a wager. If we do manage a top ten finish, people will wonder what all the fuss is about. Fortunes can and do change that quickly in football.
Having bagged four points from their last two games, West Ham can now start to look up the table not down. Watford, who currently are slap bang in the middle of the table are only three points better off whereas there is a nine-point gap between us and Swansea, who occupy the third and final relegation spot.
Admittedly, Watford have played a game less and our run-in isn’t the easiest on paper, which is why the win over Swansea and the draw at Sunderland was so priceless.
A visit from Everton is never that welcome at the best of times, such has been their dominance in the head-to-head ratings, but especially so in the current climate when there seems to be no stopping Ronald Koeman’s side. It will be almost 10 years to the day that Everton last lost a league game away to the Hammers when they travel south this weekend and they will be confident of maintaining that run following good wins over Burnley and Leicester.
Like Everton, Stoke City fall into the bogey side category, we are without a win against them in seven outings and I expect another fruitless journey to the Potteries in the final game of the month of April.
May’s programme kicks off with a visit from title-challenging Spurs. Here, I expect a response to the 3-2 defeat at the Lane back in November, that was a game cruelly taken away from us and to deny Spurs a chance of winning the League title, even if it hands it to Chelsea, is one everyone will be up for.
Liverpool at home is another game that could go either way, whilst the season ends at the less than glamorous surroundings of Burnley’s Turfmoor. Having seen us win 3-0 there the last time the other Claret and blues were in the Premier League, I am optimistic that we can pick up all three points to finish on 44 for the season.
Whether that’s enough to climb into the top half of the table is debatable but 12th place wouldn’t be so bad, would it?