West Ham all but confirm Premier League football with first half performance against Watford

At the time of writing (Tuesday morning) it is not mathematically certain of course, but our blistering first half display against Watford was enough to all but confirm top flight football next season. At the same time, managerless Watford are still in trouble, and it could be worse depending on what happens when they face Manchester City this evening. If the City team that can destroy opposing teams turns up then their goal difference could take a battering, and then they’ll be closely watching the Villa game against Arsenal that kicks off later in the evening.

Bournemouth are still clinging on but they could be relegated before they visit Goodison Park on the final day of the season. If Arsenal don’t have a hangover from their FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, they could have quite a say in the final relegation outcome. Sky TV will probably want it to still not be settled by the final day, so will be hoping that Watford lose tonight and Villa win. That would make our last day game potentially more interesting for the broadcasters of course.

Our visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening will now be a more relaxed affair than it could have been thanks to the ten points we’ve collected in our last five matches. Only Manchester United and Tottenham (both 13 points) and Manchester City (12 points) have picked up more points than we have in this 5 game period. The United league form has been excellent since the resumption following lockdown as they press for a place in next season’s Champions League, and this is likely to be a difficult game for us. United seem to have got their team selection wrong for their FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea which has resulted in an all London final. But it is probably just another example of a team putting more emphasis on finishing in the top four of the Premier League rather than going all out to win a trophy. Money talks.

Our manager seems to have had quite an increase in popularity on social media after being instrumental in keeping us up. His two mid-season signings, Bowen and Soucek, have been important elements in the last few games, and I look forward to (hope for) more signings of this calibre in the transfer window at the end of the season. Reports suggest he is looking for hungry young players with pace, and I hope this is the case. I wonder what his team selection will be on Wednesday evening? I don’t envisage many (if any) changes for the last couple of games.

Who is in the running for Hammer of the Year this season? Declan Rice has been our outstanding player for the season as a whole and deserves it in my opinion, but I’ve also enjoyed the performances of Ogbonna (who wasn’t a particular favourite of mine, but this season he’s been our best defender in my opinion), and the recent goalscoring form, and all-out efforts of Antonio. Bowen and Soucek have also been excellent in their short time with us. The speculation regarding Rice continues apace and I would love it if he is still with us next season. Time will tell.

5 thoughts on “West Ham all but confirm Premier League football with first half performance against Watford”

  1. I’d make Ogbonna Hammer of the Year, Richard…he just edges it for me. Such an improved player. It would be a well-deserved accolade for a player in the latter stages of his career. But no-one would argue if Rice gets it! Or frankly Antonio. They all deserve it 🙂 And Moyes has to take credit for two superb winter signings. The whole mood feels so different from a couple of weeks ago!

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    1. Hi John – at least we agree on the short list for Hammer of the Year. Not too many candidates. Yes, a big improvement following the win over Chelsea, although I’ve always been confident that we would be OK as I have consistently written on here. A lot of that though was looking at the difficulty of the fixtures for others involved in the relegation struggle in their final few games, as much as what we would achieve! The final game will definitely be more interesting for SKY if Villa still have a chance to stay up.

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      1. and Sky got their wish…?!

        The trip to ol’Trafford is another opportunity to witness the scandalous officiating/VAR as Man U have been recipients of 8 favourable VAR decisions already this season, while West Ham are joint bottom with net 5 decisions against them…..

        HotY : I like Oggie, he’s been a rock this season, Antonio has been vital in the restart/run in, but was injured earlier and not in the team, so it has to be Declan Rice….? (Although I am concerned that winning HotY may encourage him to move on to the next challenge.

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  2. Thanks for your comments – yes Sky have got their wish for the last day!

    Re Declan – perhaps Hammer of the Year, plus a very big pay rise, plus the captaincy, plus the promise to build the team around him – perhaps that might encourage him to stay, even if for just one more season? For me, no amount of money will be enough to enable us to replace a player of his calibre. Remember he is still very young and will only get better still. But who knows? Time will tell.

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  3. Agree with all your comments about Rice, Richard. He could have moved on for bigger money when the haggling started over his current contract. Irreplaceable as a player and character. Fingers crossed.

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