The last two games have been something of a reality check…this season West Ham have exceeded all expectations, defied the odds, defied logic and proved lazy pundits, journalists and cynics wrong almost every week.
The club have closed the gap and in some cases overtaken clubs with far bigger budgets with a penchant for wasting money on dross and colossal underachievement…Spurs, Everton and Liverpool to name three such examples.
Sitting 6th in the league on 31 points after nineteen games is a phenomenal turnaround in fortunes and even though back to back defeats (for the first time this season) saw us relinquish the coveted fourth spot, we’re a mere two points from the position we’ve hogged for the majority of the first half of the season.
Our top four credentials will now be written off just as Southampton’s were after they lost a few games in succession, the same Southampton who now currently occupy fourth spot. If we are to shock the football world and snatch the last Champions League spot, we were never just going to cling to the position for the rest of the season; of course at some stage we were going to relinquish it and with Chelsea and Arsenal in back to back games there was always a good chance it would happen at this stage of season.
West Brom at home on New Year’s Day is a great opportunity to close the gap on the two clubs immediately above us; as Southampton and Arsenal play each other and in the incredibly fickle world of football a win over the Baggies and normal service will resume with our collective optimism renewed.
With an eye on the bigger picture to see West Ham in the top six of the Premier League with half the season gone certainly whets the appetite for what can be achieved at the Olympic Stadium; with a better team, better resources and a deeper depth of squad; fourth spot would certainly be a more realistic and attainable goal.