At the start of the season, Sam Allardyce said that he was expecting his side to challenge for a European spot come the end of the season.
He then followed that statement up in the London Evening Standard a few weeks ago when he wrote that he thinks that if Andy Carroll was fit for the whole season then the Geordie would have scored at least 15 goals and the club would be in the European places. Some would not agree with Big Sam, but one thing is for sure: the Hammers have not achieved their aim for the season.
At Christmas it looked like we were struggling and may suffer from second season syndrome. Luckily, a fantastic February resulted in us pulling clear of the drop zone but there is no chance of the Hammers competing for a European spot. A poor start to the season continued up until January and the manager should have prioritised the FA Cup. Although it is obvious that maintaining the club’s Premier League status is of paramount importance, all West Ham fans would have loved a cup run.
It is also difficult to forget the embarrassment that took place at the Etihad Stadium, when the Hammers were easily brushed aside in the League Cup semi-final. February saw the Hammers take on teams around them and so it was hoped that the club would take some all-important points from those games. However, it was not expected for the Hammers to gain a maximum of twelve points from the month.
That has seen the Irons break clear of the relegation zone and now the Hammers’ safety is almost certainly secure. Now the side can play without fear and with no pressure on them. The current points total is only one less than the club had at the end of last season, so one more win will see the club surpass that. So, in a way that will be seen as a positive. But the playing style has worsened this year and many have been calling for Big Sam to get sacked, in favour of bringing in a manager who plays more attractive football.
The target of European football may have been a bit optimistic and now the club will just be pleased that the club have all but secured their Premier League safety.