What West Ham must do to avoid the dreaded drop
PUBLISHED: 14:30 28 February 2020
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers go into the Southampton game desperate for points
Fear not West Ham fans. The predictions have been made, the calculations have been totted up and we can exclusively reveal that the Hammers are going to stay in the Premier League.
For many supporters who have suffered so much this season already, going into the bottom three was the final straw.
They are convinced that the Hammers are destined to return to the Championship for the first time since 2011 under the simply awful Avram Grant.
But with 11 games still to go, there are an awful lot of points to play for and an awful lot of winnable games against teams also battling for survival.
Back in 2011, the Hammers languished second from bottom in the table with 25 points from 27 games.
In the end Grant was sacked and the Hammers finished rock bottom of the pile.
And so to the better news. The last time David Moyes was in charge in 2018, at the same stage West Ham had 28 points and sat 12th in the table, albeit only two points above the drop zone.
Back in 2007 came the ultimate Great Escape under Alan Curbishley.
At this stage that year they had just 20 points from 27 games and were third from bottom, a full 10 points behind Sheffield United.
A Carlos Tevez-inspired side turned things around from there, however, with seven victories before the end of the season culminated in a memorable 1-0 win at champions Manchester United on the final day.
We have crunched the numbers and predict the Hammers will pick up six wins before the end of the season and with an excellent and unlucky display at Liverpool on Monday night, that prediction is beginning to look promising.
Of course, the players do need to find some form, especially the supposed key players.
Lukasz Fabianski must bounce back from his nightmare at Anfield and the likes of Sebastien Haller, the current top scorer with a measly six, and Felipe Anderson, need to step up to the plate.
Others who need to up their game are Manuel Lanzini, Fabian Balbuena and Albian Ajeti, who are severely lacking in confidence.
On the plus side, Robert Snodgrass has been one of the most consistent players this season and currently has five goals to his name. Angelo Ogbonna has been head and shoulders the best defender this season, while the fitness of Michail Antonio is another crucial factor.
Manager Moyes has seen it all before of course and hopefully new coaches Kevin Nolan and Paul Nevin will be able to influence the team in a positive way.
Mark Noble will need to play a decisive and inspirational role, while we expect nothing less from Declan Rice in midfield.
New boys Jarrod Bowen and when he returns from injury Tomas Soucek could also have a big influence.
If all goes well, then expect the Hammers to get the better of Southampton, Newcastle, Burnley, Norwich City, Watford and Aston Villa on the last day.
Added to that, draws with Arsenal, Wolves and Chelsea would give them 45 points and that will put them firmly in mid-table.
It is not an exact science of course, or I would be a gambling millionaire, but for those doom and gloom merchants and others even wanting them to go down, let's not write the Hammers off just yet.
Southampton (h) Feb 29
A must-win clash and one that they will be hopeful for. W 2-1
Arsenal (a) Mar 7
They will settle for a point at underperforming Arsenal. D 0-0
Wolves (h) Mar 15
No form at all against Wolves, but must find some and fast. D 1-1
Tottenham (a) Mar 20
Can they raise their game and get a result here. Maybe not. L 2-0
Chelsea (h) Apr 4
Chance of a double against Lampard's boys. Draw? D 2-2
Newcastle (a) Apr 11
Another vital and very winnable game W 2-1
Burnley (h) Apr 18
Hammeredf at Turf Moor, they must turn that around. W 3-2
Norwich (a) Apr 25
Hopefully the Canaries will be all but down by this game. W 3-1
Watford (h) May 2
Another must-win game against relegation rivals. W 3-1
Manchester United (a) May 9
Never a happy hunting ground for the Hammers. L 3-0
Aston Villa (h) May 17
Hopefully they don't need to win this game. W 2-1
TOTAL POINTS 45