Cast your mind back to the state West Ham were in before the last international break.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were bottom of the Premier League without a point. There was talk of the Chilean being this season’s Frank de Boer, as four games went by without success.

A tough run of fixtures awaited as the squad returned from their global exploits; a trip to Everton before hosting Chelsea and Manchester United.

A return of seven points from nine available has surely exceeded expectations given where the club was going into those matches.

Rapid progress

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Going to Goodison last month, most fans would have taken a result no matter which way it came. The performance was secondary to the result, but as it transpired, Pellegrini got both.

 

A sensational counter-attacking display brought a 3-1 victory, which kickstarted their campaign belatedly. After that, an extra point from Chelsea and United would have been a good return.

They picked up four. Without being patronising, that has exceeded expectations.

Where do West Ham go from here?

(Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Although they beat the Hammers home and away last season, this weekend’s game against Brighton represents an opportunity to make it ten from twelve.

However, Pellegrini’s men must prove that they can do it against the so-called lesser lights. It may be easy to put in special effort for a few games, but West Ham need consistency.

They need to use the Brighton game to establish that.

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