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Don’t panic! The wheels haven’t come off yet

18:58 02 January 2015

Archant

Our West Ham blogger says we would have settled for this place at the start of the season

West Ham United's Enner Valencia and West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 1, 2015. See PA story SOCCER West Ham. Photo credit should read Stephen Pond/PA Wire. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.West Ham United's Enner Valencia and West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 1, 2015. See PA story SOCCER West Ham. Photo credit should read Stephen Pond/PA Wire. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

A solitary point from our festive fixtures...not exactly what we were expecting after Leicester City were brushed aside with a stylish aplomb, however three poor results haven’t suddenly wrecked our season.

I think at times like this where dissenting voices are once again making their voices heard a little perspective is needed.

Yes we can’t at this moment in time look at the table and sit there all smug and sated as we’re no longer occupying fourth spot, but we are still firmly in the mix for it. It wasn’t so long ago that Southampton lost four or five in a row and were written off by so called ‘experts’ they’ve now recovered and once again are flavour of the month.

Our next opponents are having a dreadful season; they are woefully underperforming and in the hostile and fickle world of football management; Roberto Martinez who last season heralded as taking Everton on to the next level is now firmly in the firing line.

West Ham United's Winston Reid and West Bromwich Albion's Stephane Sessegnon compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.West Ham United's Winston Reid and West Bromwich Albion's Stephane Sessegnon compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Everton along with Arsenal have taken the mantle of being our official ‘bogey sides’ however, surely given Everton’s woeful form we can go into that game hopeful of a spot in the fourth round of the cup and not the inevitable defeat we all assumed was in the bag when the draw was first made.

Our season is simply no longer defined by staying up, but it is worth noting that with 20 games gone we are now sitting 15 points clear of the bottom three whilst Manchester United in third are only five points better off than us.

I think we all would’ve settled for that at this stage of the campaign. This season we’ve gone from being a perennial joke to one of the better sides the league has to offer; and this transformation shouldn’t be buried with a few less than desirable results.

This season on a couple of occasions we’ve won three games on the spin and I don’t think any of us thought we’d cracked it and the league was ours for the taking; so just because we’ve now gone three games without a win doesn’t mean the wheels have suddenly come off our season.

The murmurings of the #AllardyceOut brigade who never really went away but merely went into hibernation really do not hold much of any substance. The improvement this season has been beyond what anyone could envisage or imagine and as manager Sam should take the plaudits.

If you want to look at the effects on a side of constantly changing their manager you need look no further than our opponents on New Year’s Day...West Brom could actually hold an ex-managers convention for the last three seasons and get a decent turnout, especially if you figured in caretakers, are they any better off for it?

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