Dean Saunders claimed he wouldn’t be surprised if West Ham were relegated during the 2019/20 Premier League campaign and many Hammers fans will be baffled as a result.
The pundit boldly claimed that everyone who finished below sixth-placed Manchester United, including the newly promoted teams, would be in the relegation battle.
Saunders then added that he didn’t think West Ham or Everton would be in the mix, but then sort of suggested it wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility as it wouldn’t shock him if either went down.
“What I would say, and this is not going to be popular, is that everybody else from Manchester United down is in a relegation battle right now,” said Saunders on talkSPORT, as transcribed by their website.
“You’ve got Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United and then everybody else, all of them could go down. Don’t rule any of them out.
“I don’t think West Ham or Everton will go down, I don’t think they will, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
“Leicester? They might do. They’ve only got to get on a bad run.”
Saunders is surely saying things to get headlines with his relegation claim, and him namedropping West Ham just makes the whole thing more confusing.
The Hammers finished 10th last season with 52 points in their latest campaign, 18 points clear of the relegation zone.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have since strengthened their side in the transfer market by signing the likes of Pablo Fornals.
The Spanish playmaker scored five and assisted six across his 50 outings for Villareal in his latest campaign and recently averaged an impressive match rating of 7.62 across the five outings he made for Spain, according to WhoScored, at the U-21s European Championships.
With a signing like Fornals, the Hammers are more formidable and there’s no saying more players aren’t about to come through the door at the London Stadium.
Also, many West Ham fans will be baffled with the relegation battle being mentioned in association with their club, as pundits have been hyping up their chances of finishing in the top-six, not the bottom six ahead of the new season.
Tony Gale, Ray Parlour, Harry Redknapp and even Darren Gough have suggested they think the Hammers could end up being capable of a top-six finish, so it’s unclear why Saunders wouldn’t be surprised if they went down.