West Ham were not meant to be involved in relegation battles after their move to the London Stadium; yet that is exactly what has happened ever since.
This summer saw the board finally dig into their pockets; pulling out a top manager in Manuel Pellegrini and an expensively-assembled array of attacking talent.
That expenditure was aimed at belatedly kickstarting the new era in the controversial new arena; the club is still in the bottom half, but the signs are a lot better than they were before the last international break.
Jamie Carragher, one of the best pundits around, thinks that the club can get there this season; and he’s picked out his reasons why as well.
Why is this season different?
Speaking on Sky Sports, via Football.London, Carragher said: “Of course because of the bad start you think ‘Can they get dragged in?’
“But what they’ve got, they’ve got a Premier League-winning manager, so West Ham in the summer have made big changes to be I would say maybe the best of the rest; and try and challenge the top six, look for that seventh position.
“So as I said Premier League-winning manager, £100 million spent, a front three that is I would say outside the top six, possibly the best front three certainly what they’ve showed the last three or four games.
“Yes, two of them are new players but if you look at the spend; I mean the board has been criticised a lot over the last few years, at times rightly so. But nobody can really complain with that, the money that they’ve spent, players brought in and also the manager.
“They’ve gone to get someone who has managed at the top level and that’s the reason why I think they should be pushing for that position to push the top six or certainly finish top of the second league.”
The London Stadium has seen a lot of mediocrity since the move, but now West Ham have four elite performers.
Marko Arnautovic, Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Pellegrini are all quality operators; the kind of talent the Hammers need if they are to realise their ambitions.
There is no reason why the club cannot be the rest of the rest, despite that poor start. They now have the quality and winning mentality to improve.