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All eggs in one basket for Hammers now

By Dave Langton

Sunday was a day to forget for the Hammers.

Having seen both Spurs and Arsenal lose on Saturday, it seemed as though there was a real opportunity for the Irons to climb back into the top-four reckoning and put the cat firmly amongst the pigeons.

Instead, it was another lethargic performance off the back of a Europa League game, as the Hammers were held to a 1-1 draw by a dogged, resilient Burnley.

The game could well have been lost too, but Maxwel Cornet missed a penalty kick before half-time.

In that context, it could be argued that this point was a well-earned one, but really, it’s a missed opportunity, exactly as David Moyes said afterwards. Nick Pope made a couple of excellent saves – his stop from Issa Diop’s header was world-class – while Mikey Antonio’s finishing was nothing short of woeful.

Now, then, it appears that there’s only really one avenue for the Hammers to qualify for Europe: Win the Europa League.

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It’s not easy by any means. Eintracht Frankfurt are a good side, as are both RB Leipzig and Rangers, and there is no guarantee that reaching the semi-finals means that the club will be competing in the final.

But it really seems like the very only chance we have.

The Irons are now seventh, with 52 points from 33 games. We’ve played at least a game more than all of Spurs, Arsenal, and Manchester United. We’re now five points behind Tottenham and the run-in ain’t easy: Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City are all lying in wait.

If it were up to me, I’d be throwing all the eggs in the Europa basket, wrapping the likes of Declan Rice, Antonio, and Aaron Cresswell in cotton wool, and making sure that we have the best possible chance to win the tournament.

Top four is beyond us now. The Europa trophy isn’t.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.

4 comments on “All eggs in one basket for Hammers now

  1. Rubbish, we’re 2 points behind 5th place. All out attack on all fronts for the last 6 prem games, lets see where it takes us.

  2. I agree to a point BUT we simply don’t want to end up in the Europa Conference so I say top six (for EL qualification) is still a priority, a possibility (and a must?) – but top four, yes forget it! As for the Europa League yeah we could win it but RB Leipzig are a plastic Frankenstein of a team assembled from parts and fuelled by money and will be difficult to overcome (they beat Leverkusen by two at their place last night!!) and that’s if we somehow get past Frankfurt in the semi. In prem terms I would say that Frankfurt are a Wolves and Leipzig fall somewhere between Tottenham and Chelsea. Though, possible but very though. COYI!!!

  3. Realistically seventh is spot on sadly. We have to play three teams nailed on to finish in the top four, and at a time when we are playing midweek Europa big games, where our results so far immediately following Europa Thursday have been poor. We are consistently playing the same 12 players who are displaying tiredness. We have done so well, but we now have to hold off Wolves for seventh and just maybe, win in Europe. That’s where we are.

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