Monday, May 29, 2017

Leicester City’s shock title-challenge shouldn’t detract from West Ham’s overachievement

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, English Premier League 26 Apr 2016

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Croatian boss Slaven Bilic has done an impressive job at West Ham this season

Croatian boss Slaven Bilic has done an impressive job at West Ham this season

With Leicester City on course to win the Premier League title against all odds, media attention has been fixed firmly on them in 2016, but another side have performed above all expectations in the division without being given anywhere near as enough recognition – West Ham United.

West Ham set to break long-standing record points tally

The Londoners are sixth in the table with 56 points from 34 games, and are on course for their best Premier League finish (57 points in 1999) under new manager Slaven Bilic. United have lost only six games all season, and should finish the campaign with a positive goal difference in the top-flight for the first time in 30 years.

West Ham have picked up some incredible wins against stellar opposition which has contributed to their lofty position in the table. They’ve enjoyed a win & draw in their two meetings against Arsenal, home & away wins over Liverpool, a win & draw against both Manchester City, Everton & Chelsea, while enjoying solitary victories against Southampton and Liverpool.

Could West Ham challenge the top-four next season?

In fact, Leicester City are the only top-nine side West Ham haven’t beaten this season which is an incredible return for a team who last season finished 12th in the Premier League table with 47 points. Bilic has transformed the club in such a short space of time in his first season managing in England, and has given hope for the future of the Hammers as they move into the Olympic Stadium next season.

West Ham’s outstanding domestic campaign saw them beating Liverpool in the FA Cup, before taking Manchester United to a replay in the quarter-finals. It was to be their best achievement in the cups, with Bilic’s men having also been knocked out in the Europa League qualifiers, but it shouldn’t take away from their form in the Premier League.

Their destiny is in their hands

As things stand, the Hammers are enjoying a nine-game unbeaten run despite facing sides such as Tottenham, Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester City and more, and are now targeting setting a new records points tally. They are fighting off seventh-placed Liverpool for a Europa League place in the league, and need to match the Merseysiders’ results in the remaining four matches to seal European football in 2016/17.

Had it not have been for Leicester City’s rise in the Premier League this season, Bilic would have been a shoo-in to be named Manager of the Year, but he will harshly be overlooked despite outstanding work to transform a struggling outfit. West Ham United are 10/11 to finish in the top-six this season, but can they deliver?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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