Paul Merson has been waxing lyrical about West Ham United after the win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Merson had nothing but praise for West Ham as the club enjoy their best season for 35 years.
The Hammers went back up to fourth with the 2-1 win over Spurs.
And it sparked fresh debate over whether David Moyes’s side can stay there come what May to seal a Champions League spot.
Merson raves about West Ham and hails Lingard signing
Speaking on Sky Sports Merson said West Ham are in the top four on merit.
But he felt the way the Hammers were forced to hang on for dear life against Tottenham did not bode well for their hopes of making the Champions League.
“Twenty-five games in and West Ham are in the top four. It’s phenomenal what David Moyes has done,” Merson said on Sky Sports.
“This is not just five or six games; this is 25 football matches. That’s a big chunk of the season so to get them where they are now is an absolutely phenomenal achievement.
“I just look at West Ham’s fixtures and they have Man City away next where you don’t give them much of a chance. Then it is Leeds at home which is another hard game. Then it’s Manchester United, Leicester and Arsenal at home and Wolves away. They are hard football matches, so it will be difficult for Moyes’ men.
Fixtures and what he saw in second half against Spurs raise doubts over West Ham’s top four hopes for Merson
“I said on transfer deadline day I thought Jesse Lingard was the signing of the window. To get someone of his quality from Manchester United is a great coup for West Ham. He was always going to be better than what they had so it was a great signing.
“At the moment, he is doing well, and he could well prove to be the difference, who knows?
“Man City are in, obviously – that’s the easy part!
“Next, I have to stick with Manchester United and Leicester, who are a very good team. The top three now will stay there, in my opinion.
“After that, this is so difficult. You know me, I don’t like to sit on the fence, but I’m finding it really hard to pick a team for the final spot.
“Despite their superb season so far, I don’t see West Ham lasting the distance, and that means a spot is up for grabs. Moyes’ side have been brilliant, but I saw enough in that second half against Spurs to tell me it’s just too much for them to do in the reminder of the season.”
Hammers may get written off for top four but fifth spot could be good enough for Champions League
In the end Merson believes it will be a fight between Liverpool and Chelsea for fourth spot with the reigning champions coming out on top.
What the former Arsenal man failed to mention, though, is that fifth place may well be good enough to secure Champions League football for West Ham.
If favourites Man City win the Champions League, their reward of automatic qualification for next season goes to an extra Premier League place.
The same will be true if Chelsea or Liverpool finish top four and win Europe’s elite competition.
So West Ham should not be disheartened when written off. Keep flying under the radar and proving doubters wrong.