Have West Ham Seen the Last of the Relegation Zone?

*It's fair to say that things were looking pretty bleak at the beginning of November, with West Ham deeply entrenched in a battle for survival at the foot of the Premier League table. Fast forward two months and the Hammers sit in 16th and whilst far from secure, they appear to have gained the belief and the momentum to keep them away from a return to the dreaded drop zone.

Source: West Ham Social via Twitter

David Moyes wasn't high on the managerial wishlist of many West Ham fans but there is little doubt that the former Everton and Sunderland boss has changed the mentality of the squad, who were on the downward spiral under previous coach Slaven Bilic. Moyes has asked his players to stop looking over their shoulders and concentrate on moving towards much sought-after but occasionally derided mid-table obscurity. At the beginning of 2018, Swansea, West Brom and Stoke occupied the bottom three positions and all three have been beaten by the side from the capital already this campaign. West Ham should consider themselves a cut above that trio of strugglers.

January and February throw up perfectly winnable games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Bournemouth and it is these type of matches that will help define the remainder of their season. Moyes will have earmarked three points from these fixtures as his side aim to make up for their slow start to the campaign. The boss acknowledged that two or three consecutive defeats and the Hammers may end up back in the relegation mix but has warned his charges against approaching any match with a negative mindset.

Optimistic West Ham fans may be looking towards a top-half finish this campaign and a price of 9/2 is available in the Premier League betting markets for Moyes' side to finish in the top ten. Watford are just four points ahead of the Hammers and just seven points separate Everton in ninth and Southampton in 17th. Meanwhile, West Ham are now just 1/8 to remain in the top flight and are heavily fancied to avoid the drop.

Andy Carroll's brace against West Brom lifted his side out of the bottom three and the big striker will be hoping to get a run of games under his belt. His late two-goal salvo was indicative of the side's hard-working mantra under Moyes' tutelage and his winner could be one of the biggest turning points of the season so far. Whilst performances must not dip, the weight on the shoulders of the players must surely have been lifted after finally exiting the drop zone.

Source: Algerian Hammers via Twitter

West Ham will make reinforcements during the transfer window and it's important that the money is invested wisely. Bournemouth duo Harry Arter and Ryan Fraser have been linked with a move to the London Stadium alongside in-demand Liverpool striker Danny Ings. Moyes is looking for new recruits who have Premier League experience and he is hoping he can make at least one or two additions before the end of the month. The squad is bloated and some outgoings can be expected, too.

There was a tangible relief around the stadium as West Ham lifted themselves temporarily away from danger and they must ensure they continue to look up the table and target a top half finish. They have renewed belief working under the Scot and they are extremely unlikely to fall below the dotted line again this season.
*This article was originally written ahead of the match against Tottenham which every one knows ended in a hard fought and extremely disciplined 1 - 1 draw.

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mcbikeman's picture

this is west ham we don't do relegation saga avoidance we love the drama so nope we will be up and down like a lady of the nights draws! till the season ends

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Burkie 1's picture

Can't agree bike with the resilience shown last night and elbows getting better and better it's onwards and upwards

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Burkie 1

I wish I had some of the confidence shown by some. It's so tight in the bottom half a couple of wins or defeats will change things big time. We still have some serious worries down the spine of our team. That is the critical area where all decent teams are strong in. Look at our last 4 performances. All have been recognised as bad or patchy at best. A bit of a struggle maybe? Having said that we came out of the with 5 points and could easily have been 9. In some ways that's a positive but with such an inconsistent spine it just doesn't fill me with optimism. The squad IMO certainly isn't bloated! When the spine looks strong and gives consistent performances I will feel confident. For me itl all be decided in January. By then we will know who has been bought and who sold if we get at least 6 points from the teams mentioned above itl look so much more rosey. Ifsullivan is serious we will get the 2 decent centre midfielders. If Sullivan decides he wants to patch it up again or leaves it till the end of January to get players in, then I expect us to spend the rest of the season in the same way we have in the first half

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