Champions League you’re having a laugh but Europa is no joker in the pack for West Ham after a terrible weekend.
Any West Ham fans still desperately clinging on to the hope we can seriously challenge for the top four this season will surely be getting a strong whiff of coffee right now.
Let’s start by saying what David Moyes has done to even have West Ham in the conversation two years running is nothing short of miraculous.
But hopes and expectations at West Ham have naturally risen, particularly with so many established clubs struggling and leaving the door open for the Hammers to achieve something memorable.
The draw with Newcastle after another worryingly below par performance was a poor result at home.
But the impact of it in the race for the top four was hammered home by wins for Arsenal, Tottenham and now Manchester United.
Things look set to get even worse if next week’s opponents Wolves can beat Leicester in the evening game having just gone 1-0 up. A victory puts Wolves two points behind West Ham with two games in hand.
It has been nothing short of a disastrous weekend for any lingering hopes of Champions League qualification.
Listen it’s not impossible. But with 12 games to go realistically West Ham would need to win at least seven of them, if not eight to stand a chance. Again not impossible but not likely either on the evidence of the last three months.
Champions League you’re having a laugh but Europa is no joker in the pack for West Ham
Unfortunately for Moyes’s boys it very much looks like that mocking chant of ‘Champions League, you’re having a laugh’ is set to ring true.
But we need to make peace with that and fast.
Because the Europa League is no joker in the pack for West Ham. We have proved this season it is not the poisoned chalice it once was thanks to a new format with less teams which mirrors the Champions League setup.
Of course West Ham have a second bite at Champions League qualification via the Europa League.
We find out our last 16 opponents on Friday and will be three ties from a final in Seville.
Should we somehow win the Europa we will qualify for the Champions League. But even if those dreams also fade and die then Europa League qualification via the Premier League is still very much a realistic aim.
That could and should go down as far as sixth place with all things going to form as it did last season.
Being in the Conference League is probably not worth the ridicule it invites as the spiritual successor to the Intertoto Cup. But again realistically it would have to be deemed a success overall.
That is hard to accept when most West Ham fans agree the club has just wasted a golden opportunity by failing to act in the January transfer window.
But let’s focus on what we can achieve. And with the FA Cup also still a possibility for success let’s try and remain update for the last three months of the season.