Not long ago, West Ham looked certain to break in to Champions League or at least Europa League draw for next season. But due to some appalling referee decisions in recent weeks, Hammers have been dragged back to reality and are in danger of missing out on European football altogether.
Whilst the honest West Ham supporters will tell you how their priority was to stay in the Premier League this season and kick on from there. However, Slaven Bilic came in and has changed things in the most exciting of ways.
Dimitri Payet has been a massive factor in West Ham’s giant-killing season so far. The Frenchman has been at the heart of everything Hammers have done well and he looked certain to guide West Ham to a top-4 finish this season.
Seeing them score goals for fun and beat teams with ease, no one could have predicted the recent run of horrendous results. West Ham have only collected 7 points from the last available 15 which has been largely down to some poor decisions by the refs.
It all started with that 2-2 draw against Chelsea when referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot for a foul on Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Cesc Fabregas stepped up and snatched a late draw for the home team.
Then came the Crystal Palace game when Cheikhou Kouyaté was shown a straight red by Mark Clattenburg while in all honest it was never even a yellow card. Palace made the advantage count and once again snatched a late draw from West Ham’s winning position.
West Ham fans were in for more frustration when they played against Arsenal. Coming back from 2-0 down to get a 3-3 draw against The Gunners may sound like the perfect result but it all could have been different if Manuel Lanzini’s headed goal was not ruled out for offside.
Linesman messed up the decision and allowed Arsenal to go on and get a 2-0 lead before Andy Carroll’s stunning hat-trick. However, West Ham could not hold on to their lead and were pegged back by a late Laurent Koscielny’s goal. Hammers were once again forced to be content with a draw from their losing position.
If that was not it, ref Jon Moss decided to give an extra time penalty to Leicester as they clawed their way back in to the game to get a 2-2 draw. These four incidents show the poor luck West Ham have had in recent weeks. Had they held on to win those games, they would have been sitting pretty in third place ahead of Arsenal and both the Manchester clubs.
Instead as things stand West Ham are 6th in the table three points behind Man United and further eight points behind Arsenal and Manchester City. With only 4 games remaining in their season, it looks a tall order for Slaven Bilic’s side to secure a European berth.
All they can hope is to build on their success this season and look to bring in even more capable players to really push for the top-4 finish next season and realize their dream of bringing European football to the Olympic Stadium in coming years.
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