Last night's frenzied game between relegation battlers Leicester City and Everton could not have worked out better for West Ham United's struggles at the wrong end of the table, victory for either side would have seen Hammers slender points advantage sliced away to just one point had the hosts held on to a possible victory, one that seemed nailed on as James Maddison strode forward to take the penalty that would have seen the hosts gain a 3-1 advantage.
Maddison missed and Everton eventually equalised and then held on for what was a precious point, but in the great scheme of things a point was good for neither club and has helped Hammers have just that little extra bit of breathing space that a 'drowning man or woman' requires for survival.
Things aren't done and dusted yet though, a visit to the Etihad was never a nice prospect in any circumstances , but with the 'Haaland' monster waiting to devour goals it would only be a fool or a horse who could envisage anything other than a 'Scando battering'. Goal difference could be an issue by the season's end so it is to be hoped that the Irons can escape with just a 'small portion and chips'. There is also the doomy prospect that Fat Sam Allardyce could be in charge of Leeds for Hammers penultimate match, the final home game of the season and how he would love to put one over on his old club!
Fortunately, the aforementioned Leeds United have an appalling run in for the rest of the season, the worst of the bottom six and Forests doesn't look to pretty either. All the teams have to play each other so points are guaranteed to be lost or gained or off into the ether as was the case last night, draws are not good for ANY team at the bottom. That said, a couple of draws might well be enough to see hammers playing Premier League football next season, hopefully with a new vibrant manager in charge,but that is for the future, not for the now.
Playing both Manchester clubs within the space of five days is a daunting prospect, the City game is essentially a write off that will involve damage limitation, the game on Sunday at home to the lesser Manchester team could go either way as they have had a recent resurgence but are still fragile on their travels.
There will be no respite for the squad though because they have to recharge and reset for the first of the 'Con Cup' semi finals against AK at the Stratford Stadium on the Thursday before the tricky trip to Brentford the next Sunday. Brentford have an uncanny knack of getting results by hook or by crook at home, so points will be at a premium there!
Then there is the return leg of the Con semi final away at Ak followed by the last home game of the season against Leeds followed by a crunch match, hopefully only for the home team against Leicester City to close off what has been an absolutely terrible season that will NOT be redeemed by winning the 'useless cup' although it would guarantee another season in Europe due to the winner's automatically qualifying for the Europa League. - LN