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Top seven, yes, but let’s learn from Wolves’ problems

So we get ready for the REAL action again after an international break which has driven me potty!

Sorry and all that but England v Kosovo, and similar, really doesn’t float my boat and like most Hammers fans my only real concern is that our internationals don’t come back injured.

In the meantime I have been dwelling on the growing reputations of such as Felipe Anderson, Seb Haller, Declan Rice, Manu Lanzini and Issa Diop.

And what makes me very happy indeed that is – as time goes by – each of them have, and no doubt soon in Haller’s case, been linked with top six clubs.

Rice of course is apparently a United target whilst Anderson has been mentioned at times as being on the Real Madrid and Chelsea wanted list.

Diop was chased in the summer by the Old Trafford club and Lanzini has apparently caught Liverpool’s eye.

But here’s the thing: Rice and Diop showed no interest at all in moving to Old Trafford club, with the 20 year old defensive midfielder signing a six year deal  while Lanzini has just signed up for another four.

I honestly can’t remember a time previously when our best players were linked with bigger outfits and gave a thanks but no thanks response. They may know something from the training ground not known to the rest of us!

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

After the dramas of recent season under a series of run of the mill bosses and worse, Pellegrini’s arrival has changed perceptions about this club.

But I reckon this season is critical and if we are going to hold on to the likes of Rice and Diop, a top seven finish is really necessary.

Top players, which these two are becoming, need to be playing Europa League football next season and the highly ambitious Haller will want nothing less along with Anderson and Lanzini.

It has to be the aim!

Manuel Pellegrini will be desperate to maintain a reputation which has seen him competing in Europe for most of his years in the game and that – we’re told – is his big focus this season.

Should he achieve it I reckon this club will be well and truly on it’s way of course – failure, however,  would undoubtedly raise some anxieties!

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

9 comments on “Top seven, yes, but let’s learn from Wolves’ problems

  1. Wolves have won six Europa games (including home and away against last seasons Serie A 7th team, Torino, drawn their first three tough league openers, including Leicester away and Man Utd, then finally lost 2-3 away at Everton… If that’s a crisis, bring them on!

  2. If we do manage to finish this season in a Europa League spot a lot will depend on how serious we take it ., and that of course will depend on our squad strength . The Europa League kicks off before the Premiership which means less summer preparations . It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation . No point in going after it half heartedly but at the same time no point in putting ourselves in a relegation battle instead of a top finish the following season . That’s exactly where Wolves find themselves now. . The Europa League inherently creates tough times ahead if you are not prepared for it .

    • Agree Kevin which is why our second team need to start showing their strength in the cup competitions this season, on paper we have squad strength but the second team needs to perform in the cups.

  3. Its only 4 games in lol

  4. I think it’s the relentless nature of the long-drawn out format of the Europa League that’s the main problem for clubs aspiring to compete in Europe. We see it season after season. The knock-out format of the old UEFA Cup and Cup Winners Cup allowed for truly special occasions for many clubs across Europe. I know it’ll never revert from the current group stages but it’s now a slog, a Champions League Lite, which favours the established habitual Euro competitors with larger squads (like Chelsea, last year, for example) or maybe less intense leagues (witness Sevilla’s recent record).

  5. Good point Hugh on the extra pressure that comes with being in the Europa League – which is perhaps why the bookies had Burnley at short odds for relegation after they qualified

    On the other hand Spurs used regular Europa league qualification to help strengthen to teh point of being Champions League regulars

    So all in all it is a difficult call whether we want to finish 7th or 8th

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