By Chris Watts
West Ham’s 29 points in the first half of the season is the most since 2014/15. The impressive start means they are now odds on at 5/6 with bet365 for a top 10 finish, while some such as William Hill as short as 8/1 for a top six.
If the Hammers do some serious business in the January transfer window, then they have every chance of finishing high in the table with no clear favourites this season. It could be worth having a look at, especially with new betting sites in the UK, like Ruby Bet offering free bets to new players; as well as matching William Hills with 7/1 for a top six finish.
So, can David Moyes lead West Ham to their best league position in five years?
It’s fair to say it’s been a bit of an odd season so far. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were considered dark horses for the title before Christmas and now sit joint on points with the Hammers and Aston Villa on 26. Looking up the table, Southampton are three ahead in 7th with Spurs four ahead in sixth on 29.
Below Moyes side sit Arsenal on 24 and Leeds and Palace joint on 23. The Gunners have certainly underperformed this season, regardless of where they end up coming to the end of the season.
Leeds started the campaign with a lot of promise, but the number of goals they concede will surely see them finish lower down the table than they might have hoped. Wolves are another team who will be disappointed with their season so far.
After 18 matches, they’ve only won six, and without star forward Raul Jimenez will likely have a lower league position this year.
The Hammers have it all to play for, and a top-six finish isn’t out of the question, but fans will be looking for some new recruits in this window.
Reports suggest that a move has been made for highly-rated 24-year-old Stade de Reims striker, Boulaye Dia. An initial bid of around £9m is rumoured to have taken place, but with a £15m price tag, the deal is far from done.
A shock transfer also emerged with former Hammer Marko Arnautovic tipped for a return. Of course, the Austrian left for a big-money move to China but has said he wanted to return to the London club in January.
There are of course players within Moyes ranks that he could call on. Summer signing Said Benrahma arrived with such fanfare given his electric form for Brentford in the Championship. However, the attacker hasn’t been able to replicate his goal-scoring ways for his new club, yet. There’s no doubt he’s a talented player and can provide the Hammers with a spark if they can move up a gear.
In recent weeks there has also been some fan pressure to see wonderkid Mipo Odubeko given a chance. The 18-year old has been touted as one for the future.
It has been said that Moyes is considering whether to hand him his debut in the league, with the youngster having made his senior debut against Stockport in the FA Cup.
Hammers fans look set for an enjoyable second-half of a Premier League season for the first time in years, but it could it be a memorable one if they continue as they left off.