West Ham United captain Mark Noble has revealed that the club are targeting a seventh place finish in the Premier League this season.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side currently sit 13th after 11 games, but the Hammers are apparently looking much further up the league table.
“I think the league is so tight,” Noble told Sky Sports. “Apart from really the top six that are going to run away, I think the rest of us are in a battle for between 13th and ninth, or probably a little bit higher – maybe seventh – so we will see.
“As long as we keep winning games, we will be fine. After the tough start we had, we had a lot of people saying – which you get – a lot of negative comments. But I think the way we are playing football now and way we are taking the game to teams as well – Chelsea at home and Manchester United at home – we played fantastic in those games.”
This may seem overly ambitious for West Ham at this moment in time, but really seventh should be the target for every team in the Premier League outside of the top six. Obviously teams like Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town will be more concerned with remaining in the top flight, but ambitious sides like West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth will, of course, be looking to finish best of the rest. Whether that’s an achievable target for the Hammers in year one under Pellegrini remains to be seen, but you do get the sense that things are starting to come together at the London Stadium. It appears that the aforementioned Everton and Bournemouth will be West Ham’s toughest competition for seventh, though. The Toffees are finding their feet under Marco Silva and have an expensively assembled squad, while Bournemouth have started the season terrifically. Seventh will be a tough ask for the Hammers, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t be achievable for this team.