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West Ham United may not have won a major trophy for nearly 40 years but that could all be about to change according to Paul Merson.

West Ham entertain Championship side Birmingham in the third round on Saturday.

The Hammers have a rich history in the famous competition.

Three time winners, West Ham last tasted FA Cup glory back in 1980 with a win over Arsenal.

In fact that was the last time – probably ever – a team outside the top flight won the competition.

Of course more recently the East Londoners were denied a deserved fourth FA Cup trophy by Steven Gerrard in an epic final against Liverpool in 2006.

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Gerrard denied Hammers deserved fourth FA Cup trophy

With the mega money in modern football West Ham’s chances are diminishing with the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool favourites and other powerhouses like Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur eyeing up silverware too.

But Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson is backing the Hammers and  believes they are ‘dark horses’ for the competition.

“West Ham’s results (in the Premier League) are the problem with the mid-table teams – consistency,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“The manager will be pulling his hair out, they’re flying along and get beaten at home by Watford. Then they come from behind against Southampton, and then lose at Burnley. It’s consistency levels.

 

Merson backs ‘dark horses’ West Ham

“West Ham could be dark horses for the (FA) Cup too.

“They’re not getting relegated, they’re not going to get in the top six, and it’s a prime reason for them to have a go.”

Hammers fans have been frustrated by the approach taken to the FA Cup of previous managers such as Sam Allardyce.

They will be hoping Pellegrini will take the competition seriously.

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West Ham have all the ingredients of a good cup team

West Ham have already proved on numerous occasions this season they can beat anyone on their day.

Wins over Manchester United and Everton and impressive displays against the likes of Chelsea are proof.

Pellegrini is slowly but surely turning them into a genuine Premier League force with a realistic hope of European qualification.

And with maverick matchwinners like Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson anything is possible in a one-off tie.

If West Ham attack the competition in the right way with the right attitude and team selection there is no reason they can’t go deep in the competition.

Fans will be keeping their Hammers and fingers crossed.