West Ham bubble showing no signs of bursting after latest statement win

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 (AP)
(AP)

The biggest compliment you could pay West Ham after this resounding win over Aston Villa is that it wasn’t really a surprise.

Over the past 18 months we have been waiting for West Ham’s bubble to burst under David Moyes, but it is getting to the point now where we must accept they are the real deal and contenders to break into the Premier League’s top four this season.

This latest 4-1 win over Aston Villa only added to the growing body of evidence and the Hammers currently sit fourth in the Premier League after 10 games. They have 20 points, the same as Manchester City, and only during the 1975/76 campaign have they had more at this stage of the season.

“I think a football manager’s job is to try and raise expectations,” said Moyes. “There is raising them and not being stupid and saying silly things.

“But I do think that after 10 games that is normally a pretty good time to sort of judge where you are.

“So I’m really pleased because the players are doing a remarkable job. The big thing is that me and them do not think that we’ve done it, because we have 28 or so games to go.”

Moyes will want to keep West Ham fans’ feet on the ground, but it is hard for them not to get carried away when their team is playing like this.

They opened the scoring after just seven minutes yesterday, as academy graduate Ben Johnson curled one into the bottom corner with his wrong foot. Ollie Watkins hit back for Villa, but Declan Rice restored West Ham’s lead before half-time.

Villa tried to rally in the second-half, despite going down to ten men when Ezri Konsa was sent off for hauling down Jarrod Bowen, but West Ham kept them at bay with ease. Then, in the final 10 minutes, they went through the gears as Pablo Fornals and Bowen finished off slick counter attacks.

It was a devastating passage of play and one that underlined how the Hammers have a serious attacking threat to compliment their well-drilled defence.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

“We’re unbeaten away and we’re not fazed by games on the road,” said Moyes. “I think we’ve got to the stage where we’re really confident in a lot of the things we do.

“The players are understanding their roles and what’s expected of them. We can’t let up, I’ve told them that if we think we're doing great and it’s all easy it’ll fail, so we’ve got to keep at it.”

What makes West Ham’s form even more impressive is that it is carrying across three competitions. As well as flying high in the Premier League, they’re into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and also sit top of their Europa League group after three games.

That is testament to the squad Moyes has built at West Ham and it could get even stronger if Czech billionaire, Daniel Kretinsky, comes on board before the January transfer window to provide a cash injection.

Kretinsky’s arrival would only strengthen the belief of West Ham supporters that they could upset the apple cart and break into the top four this season.

The squad, however, are focusing on the here and now, with a trip to Genk and clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool to come this week.

“This was the fifth game in two weeks so it’s been gruelling on the body, but mentally we’re feeling fresh, so we’ll go back on Tuesday and prepare for Genk,” said Johnson.

“We need to go there and do our jobs again.”

Read More

David Moyes calls on West Ham to keep the pedal to the metal after hammering Aston Villa

Declan Rice revels in ‘special’ West Ham after scoring in romp past Aston Villa - but demands more from side

West Ham player ratings vs Aston Villa: Fornals, Bowen and Johnson back up Rice in memorable rout

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