Coming out of the troublesome November and December fixtures with points added to the total was always going to be a tough task for West Ham.
Games against Manchester’s United and City, Tottenham, Newcastle, Stoke, Chelsea and Liverpool was seen as the tricky run for the Irons after what had been an ideal start with few bumps along the road. So to come out of the tunnel with eight points against those seven teams, including wins against ‘Champions of Europe’ Chelsea and Newcastle, draws against the English champions Manchester City and battling side Stoke, was as good an outcome as any of us could have wished for.
Granted there were losses at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane, whilst also dropping a win at home to Liverpool, the team gave a great account of themselves against Manchester United and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point after an undeserved early goal that relied on a deflection, and against Liverpool, the team were so close to winning the game but the injury to Momo Diame hampered the team and we let two goals slip.
Only the performance against Spurs was disappointing, as the team looked out of their depth against the pace of Bale and former Hammer Defoe. The team have only just dropped out of the top ten in the league for the first time this season and are still in there with Thomas Johnson a top ten finish if we continue to show the passion that put Chelsea to the sword in the second half, the determination the team showed up at St. James’ Park to come away with three points and the defensive nous that kept out Manchester City and the likes of Tevez, Aguero and Dzeko.
No game is easy in the Premier League; this cliché is proven time and time again but with spirit and determination West Ham can string some wins together now we’re finishing the winter of discontent and show why the Hammers deserve to be back in the top flight of English football. A point must be made that with all the injuries that hampered the team over this tough and quick succession of fixtures has made the success even better, losing vital players such as Benayoun, Carroll, Vaz Te, McCartney, Demel and Diarra when the squad would have benefited from being able to rest players or make better substitutions has affected West Ham but we can be proud of the return from this set of games.
Whilst no game is a walk in the park and with visits to Arsenal and bogey team Reading, along with the home matches against Everton and Norwich if we continue the level of performance we have shown since our return to the Premier League, then there is no reason why West Ham cannot continue this recent success and charge up the league until safety is reached then we can focus on securing a top 10 or 12 finish.