The victory against Southampton last Saturday lifted us up the table but it was the performance and the manner of which we gained the three points that gave me so much pleasure. We literally flew out of the blocks and thoroughly deserved to win. The injury to Antonio allowed Fernandes the opportunity to see what he’s capable of and the return of Masuku made us more offensive. We’ve certainly missed his trickery and I wonder how many points we’d have if he wasn’t suspended due to his actions.
So next up is an away trip to Chelsea who’ll be reeling after they were dismantled against Tottenham. If there’s a time to face the Blues this could be it. This is a dead rubber for us and a point would be a fantastic result. The performance against The Saints gives us nothing to fear and if we’re on our game then why not.
I felt optimistic last weekend for the first time in a while. If we retain our Premier League status then next season could and should be more favourable than this. The owners hopefully have learned by their mistakes and finally invest into the squad. The atmosphere was more positive inside the London Stadium and supporters were more united.
I genuinely believe we’re a good team waiting to happen. David Moyes should be given the role on a permanent basis in the summer and be allowed to build his own team. Since he arrived he’s had the difficulty in steadying the ship and grafting a few results along the way. Sure there’s been a few shockers, but we’re West Ham and that’s what we do.
So what does the future hold and what can we expect for next season? Certainly better than this and a bit more. The top six are the top six. Everton falling from their regular seventh spot so we’re in amongst the 8 teams below that. We have to be better next season than the three newly promoted teams. Losing twelve points from Brighton and Newcastle was unacceptable. We’ve still got a chance to move a few places up the table and the players have the opportunity to show the manager that they’re worthy of a place in the squad for next season.
So how and when can we challenge the big guns? Unless we find a hidden unpolished gem or two then it’s going to become harder to break the big six. So how can we do it? The answer is we can’t and we won’t. We might pull the odd stunning away performance and snatch three points every once in a while but we’re not and never have been consistent.
Yes we’re a Premier League team with the trappings of wealth and a Stadium to match (?) but that’s it. Fantastic passionate supporters who live and breathe the club. Just because a supporters team isn’t mixing with the top teams doesn’t make them less caring. You often read about fans who haven’t missed a game in donkeys years from Scunthorpe or Plymouth. We come in the same bracket as the Newcastle’s and Leeds’ of the world, fantastic support with diehard fans who deserve better.
We have a massive fan base yearning for glory. I know we’re not going to win the league and the only hope of a European excursion is for two weeks in June with my wife.
As a West Ham supporter for all of my life l know roughly what to expect and have learned to live with it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. As my old English teacher used to say “Sit down, sit up and shut up”.
So that’s what we’ve gotta do. Roll with it, take the lows with a pinch of salt and cherish the highs. It is what it is. I know my place, and in your heart of hearts, you know too.