Are West Ham really a ‘couple’ of players away from challenging for Europe?

claret and blues west ham gavCurrent messages coming out from the first team squad players are suggesting that they are only a couple of players short of being up there challenging the Evertons of this world for regular European football.

Granted there’s very little between 8th and 16th in the Premier League this season but I, personally, think that we’re two seasons, not two players, away from seeing our club genuinely challenging in the top 8. Be that as it may I do think that there should be real quality, and less quantity, coming in this Summer. I don’t want to see 8 or 9 players being brought in at once. I think last Season demonstrates why that is.

Even if we were only two players away from snapping at the heels of the big clubs that would only represent half of the battle that our owners are going to face this Summer. Their biggest challenge, for my money, looks like it’s going to be hanging on to the likes of Obiang, Antonio, Kouyate, Lanzini, Reid & Ogbonna. Adding just a couple of real quality players would be no good at all if we lose our best ones.

So which side of the fence do you currently sit (for those not sitting on it)? Leaving the clearing of the deadwood out of it for a second should there be wholesale changes or just a smidgen of tinkering to the squad? Do you agree with the likes of Antonio when he suggests that we’re not that far away?

Resilient and Determined; West Ham show life at the London Stadium at last!

The home encounter against an Everton side enjoying a strong season was not one I was looking forward to with any sense of expectation. Indeed, in truth, very few matches at our new home are, to date!

During the first half, the back three formation comprising Collins, Reid and Fonte looked assured.

Collins was once again the standout contributor and the last line of defence; a solid and determined rock of resistance and a further stake for the Hammer of the Year title was well and truly claimed.

Indeed, although having the lion’s share of possession, Everton failed to register a single shot on target during that opening 45 minutes.

The wing-back play of Masuaku in particular shone but moreover the energy, pressing and general balance of the side looked to be a plus.

Calleri had his best half for us, linking up well with Lanzini and Ayew; Kouyate was once again an imposing presence in midfield.

In truth, we were set up more like the away side but frankly, given our appalling home record and the relative positions of the two sides, I thought Bilic got it spot-on in terms of his tactics and their execution.

In fact, it was the Hammers that had the only attempts on goal during that first period, on more than one occasion looking quite dangerous and during the half time interval I suspect most of us were feeling both pleasantly surprised and reassured that perhaps the afternoon would not be as fruitless as we had feared.

Guesty’s Guest Post – Not Goatygav’s Bullets #1

Tonight’s post is a guest one from Guesty (apologies mate). It takes a bullet point type format so should stir up some discussion as there’s certainly plenty to go at there. Post as follows: –

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Sat in an airport departure lounge waiting for a delayed plane so thought I’d write you a new discussion article that you can cut and paste if you please Gav. It will fill a gap till Head writes the match report following our magnificent 3-1 victory at the OS.

Not GoatGav’s Points #1
1. So if they did give Super Slav the old tin-tack who would you want to take over? Whats your vote, Slav to stay or Slav to go?
2. The club have spent the 6th highest in the Premiership NETT on average since G&S arrived. But still we moan, how much should they budget in the summer NETT to make a difference in your view? It was £47M last term I believe.
3. I know it’s about quality not quantity so how would you spend this budget? Who goes, who arrives? Name 3 that you want or the positions you want strengthened?
4. Do you really want S&G to sell up? I mean really? Doesn’t a Vincent Tann or The Glaciers keep you awake at night? Do you really just want them to go about their business differently perhaps?
5. What would you change about the London Stadium. Accept we aren’t going back, what is the main thing you would change if you could?
6. I read about people falling out of love with West Ham and of giving up their ST (and support?) and following local football. Would you really ever give up on West Ham?
7. People have written off all the 2016/17 transfer buys! They are all rubbish apparently. Name 3 of those 2016/17 buys that will surprise us all and come good in 2017/18.
8. Five matches left, 15 points on the table. Toffees, Spuds, Stoke, Liverpool and Burnley. How many points will we gain and what position will we end up?