In the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s very much “squeaky bum time” for a clutch of clubs at the foot of the Premier League table standings. And among those perilously close to the dreaded drop from the top flight down into the Championship, are West Ham United. Prior to the enforced lockdown of football due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hammers showed signs of climbing their way out of the positions that would suggest that they may well be candidates for relegation. But since the return of the game, apart from a heartening 3-2 win over Chelsea at the London Stadium, there hasn’t been too much to cheer about for fans of the East London club.
The Hammers, now managed by David Moyes, in his second spell at the club, threw away a golden chance to settle their nerves by gaining three points midweek when they hosted Burnley — but they suffered a 1-0 reverse and once more West Ham followers started to bite their finger nails at the prospect of losing their Premier League status. One aspect that may well have helped the Hammers in what turned out to be a loss to the Clarets would have been the dismissal of James Tarkowski. He perhaps should have seen a red card after he caught Jarrod Bowen in the upper leg with his boot after the break.
And Moyes said It looked like a red card but that It’s not going to change the result, adding:
“But it’s really disappointing the referee didn’t see it as a red, the linesman didn’t, and we’ve got the chance to go to VAR to decide on it. I’m still hoping in the games we’ve got left that something will go our way.”
Saturday’s lunchtime fixture is looming and it is a trip to rock-bottom Norwich City that could ease the worries should Moyes’ men, currently fifth from bottom, be able to grab a win and the three points that go with it. it is not unfair to suggest that the Canaries are already down (not mathematically though but they are six points adrift from second-from-bottom Aston Villa with the same games played) and the visitors arguably won’t have a better chance to pick up the victory. If they can manage to do that, they would be on 34 points from 35 games played.
Pundits will tell you that Norwich and probably Villa will go down leaving room for one more side to slip down into the Championship. Moyes must rally his troops head of the must-win game. One of the teams also in a less than safe space are Watford and the Hammers host Nigel Pearson’s team next up after the Norwich game with the eagerly anticipated fixture taking place at the London Stadium on July 17. These are testing times for Moyes and even if he manages to inspire his side to safety it remains unclear whether or not the powerbrokers at the club will believe in him enough to take charge of the team ahead of the new season.
Time will tell.