Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has grave concerns about West Ham United’s chances of survival.
But speaking as a guest on Sky Sports’s The Debate on Monday night, he did offer David Moyes advice on one last bit of hope.
West Ham twice threw away two-goal leads to draw 3-3 at home against fellow strugglers Brighton last time out.
As a result the Hammers have slipped into the bottom three at the worst possible time.
West Ham face daunting battle for survival
Consecutive away games against Manchester City and Liverpool await either side of the inaugural winter break.
The fear is that will cement West Ham’s place in the relegation zone and do some damage to their goal difference.
It is a fear Merson shares.
Speaking on The Debate, Merson said he feels West Ham are already relegated.
But he did offer Moyes a glimmer of hope that could inspire the team to rediscover some form.
Merson fears Hammers are already down
“I watched the game on Saturday and at 3-1 they were cruising and making substitutions and people are getting clapped off and then the lad (Issa Diop) goes and heads a medicine ball back to the goalie and it don’t there and they score and the game just changed,” Merson told The Debate.
“I don’t see how they win any of them games (their next six fixtures). Southampton (at home on February 29th) is a nightmare game, they’re as good as anybody away from home. Before over the years I’d look at that and think on their day West Ham will give you a game, you know they’ll beat a top team.
“(But) I think they’re relegated. I hate saying it because West Ham are a good club but I worry for them. They’re probably going to have to win three of their last six games and that’s a big ask when you’ve only won five or six in 30.
‘Watch that Chelsea game back because it’s in there somewhere’
“If I was the manager I’d sit them all down and show them the Chelsea game when they played at Stamford Bridge which was not long ago and they played very well and they weren’t lucky, it was a great result and that weren’t long ago so I think they need to sit down and watch that.
“Because it is in there somewhere, it’s in there, but it’s confidence. When your confidence goes it’s the worst thing in the world.”
West Ham fans will be desperately hoping their side can prove the likes of Merson wrong.
But the Arsenal legend does make some good points, particularly about that win over Chelsea.
Everyone expected West Ham to get turned over that day.
The Hammers pulled a rabbit out of the hat, though, and there is no reason why they can’t do that again.
There are 14 games left, that is more than a third of a season. There are 42 points to play for. West Ham need around 12 of them to survive.
Four of five wins should suffice and one unexpected result against a Manchester City or Liverpool could be the catalyst.
The key thing about that win over Chelsea was unity and fight. So Moyes should sit the team down and watch that tape again, even if he wasn’t the manager at the time.
Because those are the qualities they will need between now and May to get themselves out of this ugly mess.