After West Ham’s near miss with relegation the previous season, the Hammers looked more convincing than they had done for years during the 1997–1998 season.
John Hartson matured into one of the best strikers in the Premiership, with his partner Paul Kitson also providing a steady supply of goals. Young centre-back Rio Ferdinand remained loyal to his employers despite endless speculation of a move to a bigger club. West Ham finished 8th in the final table, just one place short of UEFA Cup qualification. Holding on to Hartson and Ferdinand gave Harry Redknapp’s men an even more enhanced chance of achieving that goal next time round.
The Hammers were knocked out of the FA Cup quarter-finals by Arsenal but it needed a replay and the Gooners only won on 4-3 penalties.
West Ham were also knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the League cup again by Arsenal in a 2-1 loss at the Boleyn Ground.