Are West Ham United serious title contenders?

Bertrand Traore

West Ham United are currently sitting 3rd on the Premier League table, level on points with 2nd placed Manchester United. This good standing is not a fluke as the team has been one of the consistent teams in England this calendar year.

The Hammers showcased their abilities when they defeated a high-flying Liverpool side 3-2 before the international break. Manager David Moyes has transformed West Ham into serious contenders, with a mix of defensive solidity excellent attack.

It is not just in the Premier League, that West Ham United have impressed. They already have knocked out both the Manchester clubs in the Carabao Cup and will take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Quarterfinals. Hammers are also top of their group in the Europa League and will most likely qualify to the next stage as group leaders.


The key figure in turning West Ham United’s fortune is their manager David Moyes. He was first given charge of the Hammers in the middle of the 2017/18 season. But the board sacked him at the end of the season after helping them out of the relegation battle.

However, the separation was short as one and half years later West Ham welcomes him back as their manager. But this time the team hierarchy had more confidence in Moyes. And Scotsman repaid this faith by transforming their team into a winning unit.

West Ham United soon became a difficult side to beat, which could hurt their opponents in attack as well. Many of his changes, though met with criticism in the beginning has proven to work for him. This includes reducing the game time of club captain and legend Mark Noble in the midfield.

The transfer activity of the Hammers has also been better under Moyes. Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and Said Benrahma are some of the players he has bought and are all vital for this West Ham side. He also helps in converting Michail Antonio into one of the best strikers in the league.

Another reason for his success with West Ham United has been his ability to change the system of the team depending on the situation. The Hammers usually uses a 4-2-3-1 formation, using the pace and strength of Antonio upfront. But Moyes also switch it into a back three and utilises Aaron Cresswell and his excellent crossing ability from the wing-back position.

The midfield duo of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek has been brilliant in breaking and guarding the defence while also helping the team going forward. Soucek in particular is good at making late runs into the opposition box and using his height to head in the crosses.


West Ham has already scored 23 goals in the Premier League this season, the third-highest in the league only behind Liverpool and Chelsea. Their 13 goals conceded is also the seventh-lowest showing that they are not just about the attack.

The club is already in the mix to challenge for the Premier League, though one could expect the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool to pull away from the rest of the chasing pack in the coming weeks. The only reason for this is the quality of the squads these teams have.

While the starting eleven for the West Ham have proved that they can beat anyone on their day, the team lacks strength coming from the bench. The major concern for this team could come if a few players in the team picks long term injuries.

This is most evident in the centre-forward role, where currently only Antonio is the recognized striker. An injury to Declan Rice could also be costly. The English midfielder has been one of the best players in the league this season. Hence if West Ham United wants to have a chance in competing for titles, they will need to strengthen their bench.

Realistically for the Hammers, a Premier League title is out of reach, though not impossible. However, the club could still be in contention for a Champions League qualification, if they can maintain this consistency.

They can also get their hands on silverware, having already reached the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. They have already defeated Manchester City and Manchester United on their way and could go all the distance. There is also hopes in the European front, where they could give a good competition to any team. Unless the squad is not strengthened, competing on all fronts could be difficult.

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