West Ham United have been winning praise all season long but a sense of perspective is needed.
The Hammers have been tipped to challenge the top six this season.
In fact in some quarters Manuel Pellegrini’s men have even been backed to finish in the top four.
The squad assembled by Pellegrini and director of football Mario Husillos has been hailed as the best for decades.
West Ham’s season has been overhyped
But a woeful 4-0 Carabao Cup defeat at Oxford and the 2-1 home loss against Crystal Palace last time out tell a different story entirely.
Of course West Ham are going to lose games.
And the Hammers had gone unbeaten in six league games prior to the defeat against Palace.
But a look at the fixtures suggests Pellegrini’s side are right where they would be expected to be.
Before the start of the season West Ham would have been expected to pick up AT LEAST 12 points from their first eight games, if not more.
Manchester City and Manchester United would have been earmarked as potential defeats.
Hammers on track but no better than average
But West Ham would have been expected to pick up points in the other six games against Brighton, Watford, Norwich City, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.
Anything less than 12 points from those games would have been a poor start.
So as the season approaches the quarter-way stage the Hammers are right where they should be.
Being out of the cup still sticks in the craw. But eighth in the table with a realistic hope of pushing for the top six is about right.
Anyone believing the team and squad is capable of more than that is in for a rude awakening as the months roll on.
Pellegrini simply does not have the strength in depth and is one injury away from a crisis in several areas of the team.
West Ham have it all to do to beat 2015/16
To pull off something truly special this season West Ham must beat the points total from the 2015/16 Farewell Boleyn season.
That was the club’s best ever Premier League points total with 62 and a first positive goal difference in the top flight since 1986.
To beat that West Ham need to pick up 51 points from their remaining 30 games.
Achievable? Most certainly.
But in the meantime let’s not get carried away with great expectations and remind ourselves of the club’s paltry £25million net spend in the summer.