In my view, any West Ham fan would have been deluded or far too positive to say on August 17th that we would be 6th after 11 games. It seems quite bizarre the way that West Ham United have started this year and so far seems to have been able to sustain the foundations that we have laid out. At the start if the season if we were in 14th place after 11 games, I would of said that we had done well to get to that point. However to be in 6th is an unbelievable achievement for a side that has only just returned to the Premier League. So did we underestimate what Sam Allardyce could do in our honeymoon period back to the Premier League, and though its far too early to ask the question and this is most likely the heart running the head, but how long will our honeymoon last.
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So far this season, I think there are only two games out of eleven Premier League matches that we have performed quite woefully in. Swansea City and Wigan Athletic, both games away from home. In both of those games we were beaten by the beater side and to have taken a point from either of those games would have been harsh on Swansea and Wigan because in neither of those games did we deserve a point. Despite this, West Ham United have been efficient and determined in the other games and the only other League game that we were beaten in was the home tie to Arsenal, where on the day we could have taken a point at least, if we had been a little more fortunate.
Though despite these losses we have taken points from 8 games, winning 5 of them and keeping clean sheets in 5 of these games. it is clear that Allardyce has his side drilled to defend and the team are defending admirably, which has prolonged the traditional 5 game honeymoon in the Premier League. Normally, after 5 games, the season has fully kicked off and the sharpness that teams may have lacked from the start of the season, from the pre-season campaign has returned. Though the bubble that surrounds West Ham hasn’t yet burst and this has led to the Hammers honeymoon being prolonged. So, how long can Allardyce’s honeymoon last?
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Logic would say that it is inevitable for West Ham to start to find points and results a struggle in our next few months. The period of November to December was always going to be struggle right from late June, when the fixture list was published. We were al fearing the period, even a report on this site called the period ‘fixtures of doom’. It may be too early to say, but what doom? So far we have played Manchester City and Newcastle United, and taken 4 points from sides that finished in the top 5 last year. This was meant to be the point where we all came back down to earth and reality of how hard the season would be through the bleak midwinter. So far the honeymoon prevails, and it seems as though we may be able to keep it going. I’m not saying that the next months will be easy on the strength of two results, but why do we fear it as much. We saw this as our tough ten game spell and we are two games into the spell and so far we haven’t buckled under the pressure.
Next in this month we have Stoke at home, under the lights for a Monday Night fixture. Then we have a trip to White Hart Lane, and just three days later we have a trip to Manchester United.
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Now this won’t be an easy period of fixtures, but Stoke at home is a winnable fixture, without a doubt they will be a physical test but a test we can cope with. Spurs away will be tough but anything can happen during a London derby and with West Ham’s improving record of away wins under Allardyce a win is possible. Obviously, I’m under no illusions that Manchester United win be easy and a point at best would be the aim. However, 9 points or no points from the rest of the month, I feel we can be safely sitting mid table at worst due to the success of Allardyce’s honeymoon.