Categorized | West Ham United

Are Irons Ready To Hammer On The Door Of Europe?

Outside of the Premier League’s traditional top six, it has been a season of success for the Ws of England’s top flight.

Newcomers Wolves have stunned many of the big boys and have secured a place in next season’s Europa League, while cannily-run Watford have also impressed with their solid style and moments of genuine quality. But are West Ham on a similarly-upward trend or are they still some distance away from challenging in European competition?

We take a look at The Hammers’ progress and see which factors could make them a force to be reckoned with on one of football’s biggest stages.

Top-Half Triumph

Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers are solidly cemented in the top half of the Premier League rankings, finishing tenth. The Chilean coach has spoken of the importance of finishing in the top ten to the club, as a reward for the patience of the fans in what has been a difficult period for the club. Moving home, losing stars and not living up to expectations has drawn the ire of supporters in the past few seasons. The appointment of top coach Pellegrini, some high profile signings and time to settle at the Olympic Stadium has improved the situation, though a strong end to the season was essential to inspire confidence for the 2019/2020 season.

West Ham Flag

Source: Pixabay

After a tough run of fixtures, a morale-boosting win at Tottenham’s new ground put the club on track to finish well, and Premier League betting fans were able to back The Hammers at 6/5 to beat Southampton in their penultimate, dead-rubber match; something they duly did with some aplomb. A draw could have been backed at 5/2 against the resurgent Saints, who were looking for a strong finish for the very same reason, making West Ham’s penultimate and final day victory (a triumph over aforementioned success-story Watford) all the more impressive.

Players Post-Payet

Losing dead-ball specialist Dimitri Payet to Marseille in 2017 was a huge blow to a West Ham side that briefly threatened a renaissance at the time. However, there are signs that some of the flair that the team lost that year has been found in some ambitious recent signings. Getting Argentine Manuel Lanzini back fit again in midfield has been essential, as has been the retention of Marko Arnautovic up top. But the acquisition of Lazio’s Brazil international midfielder Felipe Anderson has given The Hammers an extra edge.

West Ham’s top scorer this season, Anderson was frequently linked with top clubs such as Manchester United before joining the East London club last summer for a reported £35 million. The tricky wide-man has turned out thirty-seven times in the league this season, consistently outscored experienced forwards Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, and caught the eye with his industry, skill and relative consistency.
Going forward, strong seasons from Michail Antonio and breakout star Issa Diop would greatly aid the club’s push, while retaining the experienced Pablo Zabaleta for another season is a wise move.

West Ham Stadium

Source: Pixabay

The Hammers need to fill the gargantuan London Stadium on a big European night to truly christen it as their new home. It is not the smashing of champagne on the hull of a new ship that proves its seaworthiness: the real test of a boat is cresting the waves on the voyage to its next destination. West Ham are a club with the history, fan-base, infrastructure and ambition to compete at the very highest level and attempt to breach the so-called top six on their journey. Falling short of those expectations will only illicit further fan discontent and disappointment.

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I've been a passionate Hammers fan since i can remember. Growing up in Canning Town i was always down Upton Park as it was only a 10 minute walk down the Barking road. Always and forever COYI ! West Ham Till I Die !

English Premier League Table

# Team P
1 Manchester City 90
2 Liverpool 89
3 Chelsea 70
4 Tottenham Hotspur 68
5 Arsenal 66
6 Manchester United 58
7 West Ham United 56
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 51
9 Leicester City 48
10 Brighton & Hov… 48
11 Brentford 46
12 Newcastle United 46
13 Crystal Palace 45
14 Aston Villa 44
15 Southampton 40
16 Everton 36
17 Leeds United 35
18 Burnley 34
19 Watford 23
20 Norwich City 22

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