West Ham’s disastrous season continues

When the Hammers reached the Europa League semi-final earlier this year, it appeared as though all of London’s big four clubs were once again going to be towards the top of the Premier League table in 2022/23. However, the hype surrounding the men in claret and blue heading into this season has thus far been unwarranted, with David Moyes’ side floundering in 16th position as the league breaks for the Qatar World Cup.

That’s a far cry from the where the football odds had West Ham ending up at the beginning of the season, with them paying a respectable 11/2 to finish inside the top six.

It’s a considerable fall from grace for West Ham, who boast a squad filled with elite players including Michail Antonio, Kurt Zouma and internationals Lucas Paqueta, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen. With that being said, as we have seen on many occasions at clubs before, talent doesn’t always translate to results. The East London club have registered just four wins in 15 fixtures – to coincide with nine losses and two draws.

After an extremely poor start to the season, which saw them lose five of their opening seven fixtures – many felt their struggles could simply be a result of their taxing Europa League and Premier League campaigns in 2021/22. That theory looked plausible once the Hammers got into the swing of things, with Rice and company winning three of their next five league games in addition to four consecutive Europa Conference League wins over Anderlecht, Silkeborg and Romanian outfit FCSB.

That period is West Ham’s only bright spot this season however, with them immediately returning to disappointing form in the weeks subsequent. They’re currently on a three-game losing streak, falling 1-0 to Manchester United, before losing to Crystal Palace 2-1 and Leicester City 2-0 most recently.

Their performance against Leicester at London Stadium would be of particular concern for West Ham fans, with the home side’s disjointed and uninspiring play acting as a great microcosm for their season at large. After letting in an early goal to James Maddison in the eighth minute, Leicester continued their solid play into the second half and sealed the win courtesy of a Harvey Barnes strike with 12 minutes remaining.

Despite sitting just a point clear of the relegation zone, Moyes sounded relatively positive when speaking with the media in the aftermath of their defeat to Leicester.

“We played much better today, but it’s another defeat. I thought we played well, which is quite difficult to say when you lose 2-0 but I thought we made plenty of opportunities, we had a lot of the game at times,” he said.

Moyes also addressed the fans and pundits who believe he should be sacked as West Ham’s top man.

“I think it’s always fair [to discuss Moyes’ future after recent results],” he said. I’ve been a manager for a long time but again, sometimes it’s easy to forget how well we’ve done. We’ve just won a group in Europe and we also got to a semi-final in Europe. The last couple of years, it’s been six or seventh [finishes in the Premier League].

“I hope that would come into their thoughts, but obviously, if you’re not doing so well, you’re always under pressure.” West Ham’s first game after the World Cup will be against ninth-placed Fulham at Craven Cottage on December 17.