The sad thing about West Ham’s win over Newcastle was how easy it was for the Hammers.
The goals they scored were hardly sensational, nor did they carve us open with ease.
Instead, Manuel Pellegrini’s team did a proper job on us. They were efficient, and put in a classy performance to pick up a routine three points. West Ham invested heavily in the summer, and they’re getting their rewards for it.
They have moved away from the relegation pack, and are now considered as a mid-table Premier League outfit.
West Ham didn’t have to be great to beat us
West Ham are now eight points clear of Newcastle, in the battle to finish ‘best of the rest’, currently four points shy of seventh place.
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As for Newcastle, any place higher than 17th is considered a bonus. While we’ve had a good few weeks, the West Ham defeat was a slight reality check.
We can play well, but financial limitations mean we need to be at our absolute best to get a result. The Hammers weren’t sensational on Saturday night, but they didn’t need to be.
They took their chances, then defended resolutely. The centre-backs were sensational, with Issa Diop proving why he is one the highest rated young defenders around. But that’s why he cost £22million.
Barring disaster, we should be a Premier League club once again next season. But there is no reason to believe it won’t be another season spent fighting for survival.
Unless there is serious investment, we can’t compete to be considered best of the rest. That’s how big the gap is between us and mid-table, let alone the top six.