Many West Ham United fans are feeling a bit flat about their season with nothing but pride left to play for.
The Hammers ave enjoyed a comfortable if underwhelming first season under Manuel Pellegrini.
More was expected given the £100 million outlay on 10 new players last summer.
It is true West Ham wasted good opportunities in both cups this season.
They also slipped out of the running for the ‘best of the rest’ seventh spot – which could yet yield a Europa League spot – seemingly without so much as a care let alone a fight.
Doom and gloom too soon?
In Pellegrini’s defence, West Ham have been nursing the Premier League’s worst injury list all season.
Staggeringly the Hammers have missed, on average, seven first team players each game week.
That has not protected the Chilean from some stinging criticism. Former West Ham favourite Dean Ashton has raised serious question marks over goings-on behind the scenes at West Ham.
But a look at the cold hard facts and you start to wonder why all the doom and gloom.
Yes expectations were raised by the arrival of Pellegrini and the big spend.
Pellegrini’s Achilles heel but Hammers have progressed
The injury crisis has been a huge mitigating factor, though. The Marko Arnautovic saga too is worthy of mention because it came at such a crucial stage of the season and contributed to derailing it.
And a new report has revealed that West Ham are in fact the fourth most improved team in the fiercely competitive Premier League.
West Ham website Knees Up Mother Brown revealed a comparison table with last season’s points tally after 35 games.
The KUMB report – which you can read in full here – reads: “The Hammers are only five points better off. But crucially there are only three Premier League sides who can boast a better record than the Hammers so far this season compared to 2017/18 – title-challengers Liverpool, who have accrued an additional 20 points in 2018/19, Europa League candidates Watford with +12 and Arsenal (+9).”
Progress not to be sniffed at
It highlights just how tough the English top flight is.
Yes the club has perhaps underachieved against expectations.
But slow and steady progress where Pellegrini builds a team around younger, hungrier players should not be sniffed at.
There have been big plus points such as the improvement in performance at home.
West Ham were never involved in the relegation mix.
Fans will be hoping further shrewd recruitment this summer and less injuries next term can push the club on further.