The win at Turf Moor lifted West Ham United into the top four of the Barclays Premier League and after Saturday’s stunning win at home to Manchester City which consolidated their position, the Club’s fans are now starting to really believe that a European place is a real possibility.
Last year before the Hammers took to the pitch for the London derby with Arsenal at Upton Park, Newcastle United and Tottenham were level on 27 points with the Magpies occupying sixth due to their slightly better goal difference.
The final qualifying spot last year was occupied by Spurs, who finished the season in sixth place with 69 points so this sets the likely standard.
Studying the forthcoming fixtures, West Ham have a very tough-looking trip to Chelsea on Boxing Day but before then, supporters would think that they have some very winnable games starting with a trip to Stoke on Saturday; however we lost there last campaign and they took the points back home on their previous visit so this could prove to be a tricky game for Big Sam’s side.
The next visitors to the Boleyn are Aston Villa who started the season well but in the last five games they haven’t won or scored a single goal. With our home form starting to come together and a generally impressive record against them, it would be my bet that a win is on the cards.
Everton are next up where the Irons will be hoping to put right a record that hasn’t seen them beat the Toffees since April 2007.
Alan Pardew then returns to East London with Newcastle United; the home side do generally have a decent record against the Magpies but I feel this fixture could go either way.
Swansea City are the next visitors, who don’t have a particularly good record against West Ham; the home side have come out on top on both occasions since the East Londoners were promoted back to the top-flight.
The Hammers then return to the scene of their last victory of the season on the road as they take on Sunderland. They have only won once this season and though they generally don’t have a good record on Wearside, Allardyce’s men will be hoping for a repeat of last season and, on Sunderland’s current form, they should get it.
The end of the run sees Leicester come to Upton Park. Although they have proved to be the best of the three newly-promoted teams, West Ham’s general record against them is favourable so it is likely that three points will be picked up here.
Our general upturn in form since the start of the season is largely due to the quality of the nine players that the club has signed during the summer and how well they have fitted into the team. Also, with the news that Andy Carroll could return in one or two weeks and with other injured players not far behind him, Hammers’ fans can only believe that the squad will get stronger.
If sixth place at Christmas last year is anything to go by, then the Hammers only need another 11 points to reach this target. With the run of games they have coming up and the results they have achieved of late, this should certainly be achievable. If they manage this then who knows what else could be possible?