Premier League

Geoff Pike suggests West Ham are not top-six material



Former West Ham midfielder Geoff Pike dismissed the Hammers’ chances of finishing in the Premier League’s top-six this season and surely that’s a result of him letting the loss against Crystal Palace cloud his judgement.

The ex-Hammers man claimed that Manuel Pellegrini’s side were possibly flattering to deceive following the 2-1 loss to Palace, then stated that the London club had only had “one big game” against Manchester City this season, which they lost 5-0, in order to justify his view.

Pike quickly added that he thought the Premier League was divided into two groups, the top five or six clubs, then everyone else, and the Hammers fell into the everyone else category as far as he was concerned.

“West Ham are possibly to flattering to deceive a little bit,” said Pike on LoveSportRadio, as heard in a clip uploaded to their Twitter account.

“I mean if you look at the fixtures they’ve had, the one big game they had was Man City and they got beat 5-0, erm so the other teams like Brighton, Watford, Villa are middle of the table type teams like West Ham.

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“And they’re fighting it out amongst themselves to get in the top-half of the table, so there’s like two groups of clubs, the top five or six then the others, the next ones down, which in my opinion West Ham fit into.”

Surely losing to Palace has influenced Pike’s view, as based on the Hammers’ form this season it seems odd to claim the club aren’t top-six contenders and even odder to say they’re flattering to deceive.

The Hammers narrowly lost 2-1 to Roy Hodgson’s side at the weekend, and it did seem like they were heading for three points before Declan Rice giving a penalty away changed the game in Palace’s favour.

On another day, West Ham’s performance could have easily seen them win.

Ahead of the loss to Palace, the Hammers were on a six-game unbeaten streak in the league, which even saw them pick up three wins as they beat Watford, Norwich City and Manchester United.

West Ham have been defensively solid ever since the 5-0 loss to Manchester City, as when you ignore those goals, they’ve only conceded six goals in eight games and if that doesn’t suggest the Hammers are capable of a top-six finish nothing will.

Also, it’s worth pointing out Manuel Pellegrini’s side have outscored eight other Premier League sides this season, so it’s not like they’re not delivering the goods in front of goal either.

The other issue to Pike’s verdict is while Man United are struggling, is the Hammers’ clash with them not still considered a big game? After all they finished sixth last season, and West Ham cruised to a comfortable victory over them.

So with that in mind, you do feel the ex-Hammers player has let the loss against Palace get to him too much, as he probably didn’t expect it after West Ham’s recent form, and he has jumped the gun by writing the club off.

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