Many West Ham United fans are feeling glum about the season ending in a damp squib.
West Ham have enjoyed a comfortable if unspectacular season under Manuel Pellegrini.
Safely ensconced in 11th place, the Hammers have never been in any danger of flirting with the relegation battle.
But more was expected given Pellegrini’s CV and the club’s unprecedented £100million outlay on transfers last summer.
In mitigation the Hammers have been nursing the Premier League’s worst injury list all season long.
Solid if unspectacular season for West Ham
But a disappointing Carabao Cup surrender to tired Tottenham and a dismal FA Cup exit at the hands of potentially League Two bound AFC Wimbledon left a bitter taste in the mouths of supporters.
Throw in the Marko Arnautovic saga for good measure and it has been a typical season at West Ham – when the aim of the big splurge was quite the opposite.
The last gasp draw to Leicester on Saturday killed any slim hopes of finishing seventh and a possible Europa League spot.
And now even a top 10 finish looks unlikely.
But pundit Jermaine Jenas sees the positives of the Pellegrini evolution.
‘Positive progress at West Ham, now this is what they need’
The former Spurs midfielder told BBC’s Match of the Day there has been progress this season as he highlighted what needs to be done this summer to kick on again.
“I’m just thinking ahead because I think it’s been a positive year for West Ham,” Jenas said on MOTD.
“Given what happened last year and how negative it was I think for them to move forward this year (has been positive).
“(They need a proper striker, a proper number nine because) Arnautovic is a top player, but he doesn’t think like a striker.
“His first thought is never ‘Get in that six yard box, find those scrappy goals, those tap-ins’. He’s always drifting towards the edge of the box, you’re not going to score goals there.
Come in number nine
“I wouldn’t say he’s sulking but he just doesn’t quite make the runs. To progress I think they need to go and find a new number nine.”
Jenas made some excellent points in his considered debrief on the game.
But so too did co-analyst Alan Shearer who pointed out that finding said number nine won’t be easy because ‘everyone in the Premier League is looking for that striker’.