The purple haze was all the rage in London six months ago. Now it looks like smog is clearing and it is not a pretty sight.
West Ham United has a rich history in the English Premier League, and they so very nearly added another glorious chapter by capturing a place in the prestigious 2016/2017 UEFA Champions League.
While they missed the cut, the Hammers earned a place in the UEFA Europa League (the second best club tournament in Europe), they had the hottest player in the EPL in Frenchman Dimitri Payet, and they spent up large in the transfer period to go a step further this season.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The Hammers fell in the opening round of the Europa League to Astra Giurgiu. Who, you ask? My thoughts exactly. I had to refer to Google to learn they are based in Romania.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Londoners have claimed just one win in their opening seven games of their EPL campaign. While the sun has only just risen on the new season, West Ham are precariously placed in 18th, inside the relegation zone alongside Stoke City and Sunderland (both are also underachievers so far).
The Hammers have a record of 1-1-5, with a solitary win was 1-0 over Bournemouth in round two. They suffered surprise losses to Watford (4-2), West Bromwich Albion (4-2) and drew with newly promoted Middlesbrough (1-1).
Their task doesn’t get any easier in the coming weeks, facing an impressive Crystal Palace team at home this weekend, however games against their fellow relegation zone members across the coming three rounds will give them hope.
Their Croatian coach Slaven Bilić was last year hailed as a genius. Now, he is under immense pressure.
The Hammers have also moved from their long-time home base at Boleyn Ground to a new state of the art stadium this season. So far that hasn’t paid dividends.
Highly touted additions in midfielders Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria), Håvard Nordtveit (Norway), Edimilson Fernandes (Switzerland), defender Arthur Masakau (France), and attackers Simone Zaza (Italy), André Ayew (Ghana) and Jonathon Calleri (Argentina) were all brought in over the European summer to take the squad to the next level. So far this season the results are yet to eventuate.
There is still hope for the Hammers, however now is the time to nail down the desired results.