We are ten games into this season and what a strange season it has been so far, I mean just last week Brighton drew with Liverpool, Arsenal lost to Wolves and Leicester lost to relegation threatened Fulham.
This season is so unpredictable. The sheer volume of big clubs suffering major injuries due to the vast amount of their fixtures really does leave the door wide open for an outsider team to earn themselves a shock European Qualification spot.
One team that could pull off said shock is West Ham United, who go up against Manchester United this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Current position: 5th – Form: W-W-W-L-D – Last qualified: 2016
After an abysmal transfer window and two straight losses to kick-start their season, West Ham fans must have thought they were in for another long relegation threatened season.
Ten games in however West Ham’s attention is turned to the other end of the table as they sit fifth in the league, their best ever start to a season bar their last season at Upton Park.
The last season at Upton Park also happens to be the last time West Ham qualified for the Europa League but as a West Ham fan we won’t mention what happened after that. I mean if if you ever want to make a West Ham fan cry all you need is two words, Astra Giurgiu.Embed from Getty Images
So after finishing just five points above the relegation last season how have they managed all this success this season?
Switching to a wing-back formation certainly has something to do with it, we have seen sides such as Wolves and Sheffield have great success with these formations as it seems to perfectly balance a strong defence with a deadly attack.
Besides the likes of the big six, Wolves, Everton and Leicester I really dont think their is a squad in the Premier League better than West Ham in terms of the quality of their squad.
This is a team that should have been in the conversation for a Europa League spot for a while now and perhaps this is the season they can finally do it.
They seem to have found an out and out striker in Michail Antonio, something they have really struggled to do. Who of course has played in a variety of different positions in his time at the Hammers, starting off as a winger, then moving to right-back and finally finding his feet in the striker role.
They also seem a lot more solid with Angelo Ogbonna at the back with Arthur Masuaku and Vladimir Coufal lapping down the wings.
And of course, how could we not have a conversation about West Ham without mentioning Declan Rice. The twenty-one year old is wise beyond his years and if anyone can drag West Ham to a Europa league spot it’s him.Embed from Getty Images
Even with Rice leading the boys in Claret and Blue it’s going to be a tough task, one injury alone and West Ham could be thrown into pandemonium.
I mean West Ham normally struggle with injuries and they haven’t exactly got a big squad (It’s actually the smallest in the league at twenty-three).
With this hectic season taking out players left and right West Ham may fail to field just eleven men at some stage.
Nonetheless for the first time in a long time West Ham have a very strong chance of securing a Europa League spot but they will need something they haven’t had in years if they are to do it, consistency.
West Ham aren’t the only team that could shock us by nabbing a European Qualification spot. Which teams you ask, follow the link to find out.