From across the Pond right now, things aren’t looking great for West Ham. We sit 16th in the Premier League and have been in pretty poor form recently, but let’s not forget that this team has regularly been the underdog and triumphed when the odds were stacked against us. In this article, let’s have some positivity and look back at some memorable underdog moments. There have been plenty throughout the club’s history but these five stand out. This includes high table finishes, surprise cup glory and epic results against teams we probably shouldn’t have beaten.
Don’t forget that when you are watching the Hammers this season, you can place wagers on them to win and even on things like who the goal scorers will be. This can make the games more bearable and you can at least turn some of our deplorable performances into a monetary win!
Now, on to the article – let’s relive the five top underdog moments in West Ham history.
1. FA Cup Final 1980 – West Ham stun Arsenal 1-0
FA Cup Finals are always amazing and what’s better than a London Derby FA Cup Final? This is what transpired in 1980 when West Ham played against Arsenal. At the time, the Hammers were in the Second Division while Arsenal were continually one of the top teams in the First Division.
Of course, everyone expected the Gunners to win comfortably and claim more silverware. However, West Ham had other ideas! In the 13th minute, Alan Devonshire banged in a cross on the left wing and Trevor Brooking eventually managed to scramble the ball into the goal, with his head after a mad dash. Despite many attempts from Arsenal, West Ham held strong, retained possession throughout much of the game and pulled off their third FA Cup title.
2. 2007-08 EPL season – West Ham beat Man U 1-0
You really couldn’t have a matchup of greater contrasts. On the one hand, you had Manchester United, who had already been crowned Premier League winners, and on the other, the Hammers, who were on the precipice of relegation and needed a point to avoid the chop. It was expected that Man U would win easily and further their claim as the Premier League’s top team. However, West Ham fought as if their lives depended on it and the legendary Carlos Tevez scored just before half-time to put West Ham 1-0 up. The game remained at that score and they pulled off a fantastic victory that ultimately kept them in the Premier League for the 2008-09 season.
3. 2020-21 EPL season – West Ham finish in sixth place
The 2019-20 EPL season was not a great one for West Ham and we finished 16th (which is our current standing this season and why many fear Moyes will get the sack!
everyone wrong and ended up with an incredible sixth-place finish that saw us get into the UEFA Europa League! We had a winning record of 38/19/8 and finished with 65pts – only four points off third place and a Champions League finish!
4. 2016-17 EPL season – West Ham beat Man U 3-2
It’s funny that many of our underdog moments seem to come at the expense of Man U and this win in the 2016-17 season was no different. This was a great underdog moment and also a poignant one as it was the last ever game to be played at the Boleyn Ground. The match was a thrilling one, with five goals in total. Sakho, Antonio and Reid put three in for the Hammers, which topped off this
unexpected win against EPL juggernauts Manchester United.
5. 2021-22 – West Ham defeat Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League
It had been a long time since West Ham had any European action, so our 2-0 win against Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League was an unexpected but welcome moment. The previous leg had seen Sevilla beating us 1-0, but we triumphed 2-0 and won 2-1 on aggregate. This was met by a record home attendance crowd and one of the better moments in the 2021-22 season.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to be a proud West Ham fan! Yes, we know that we have seen better times and things are looking a little bleak in the Premier League. But don’t despair! How many times have we turned things around and gone against the odds to survive and excel? The 1980 FA Cup win against Arsenal has to be our favourite underdog moment – which one is
yours and are there any that we have missed?