Pundit Jamie Carragher has made an extremely worrying prediction about the future at West Ham which feels somewhat ominous.
David Moyes has completely transformed West Ham from a side battling relegation and into a genuine European outfit in less than two years.
The Hammers recorded their best ever Premier League points total last season and are on course to better that this term.
West Ham are also in the last 16 of the Europa League after cruising through the group stages.
Things have just started to unravel a touch since the momentum killing November international break for Moyes’s boys, though.
Injuries have started to pile up and the expectation and pressure that came with being in the top four seems to inhibit rather than inspire West Ham both this season and last.
Indeed the Hammers look a lot more comfortable being the hunters rather than the hunted in that respect.
The rapid progress under Moyes has raised the question over expectations on more than one occasion recently.
Most notably after a 1-1 home draw with Brighton was greeted by boos from some West Ham supporters.
Jamie Carragher has made his name as one of the best football analysts and pundits around. The former Liverpool man has always singled West Ham, Moyes and Declan Rice out for praise on a regular basis when other sections of the media have ignored the east Londoners.
But when speaking in his column in The Telegraph about the mounting pressure on Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, Carragher made an extremely worrying prediction about the future at West Ham as a comparison.
“Who would make the Premier League shortlist for coach of the year in 2021? Pep Guardiola for leading Manchester City to another Premier League title; Thomas Tuchel, for winning the Champions League, and recovering from being ninth when he took over last January to finishing in the top four and becoming a title contender this season; David Moyes for leading West Ham into Europe…” Carragher said in opening to his column in The Telegraph.
“You can imagine a situation at West Ham either next season or in the season beyond in which star players like Declan Rice move on, the current levels dip a little, or competitors like Aston Villa emerge,” Carragher assesses later in his column.
“Moyes will be fighting against a similar wave of over-expectation (to that Rodgers is experiencing at Leicester). If Steven Gerrard ever leads Villa to fifth place, it might be the pinnacle, not the foundation for finishing in the top four 12 months later.
“It should be perfectly reasonable at all these clubs that there will be peaks and troughs. A less successful season after one or two outstanding ones is not evidence that a coach has lost his mojo and needs to be replaced.”
Carragher’s words feel ominous. Without ridiculous levels of investment this season is already proving that a club like West Ham will seemingly always have a ceiling to what they can achieve in the modern game.
That’s why it was so disappointing to go out of the Carabao Cup. But even then the prospect of facing Chelsea or Liverpool over two legs just to make the final was a heavy dose of realism for West Ham fans.
Moyes has said he wants to push expectation levels up at the club.
But the Scot has also warned there must be a sense of perspective attached given where West Ham were and how quickly they have turned themselves into a force.