Can We Survive – “Nasty November” and “Daunting December”
It is crucial that we pick up six points in two of our following games; Southampton at home and Wigan away. This will take our points tally to 17 out of a possible 27 which were available, as it is now. Also, this will put us 3 points off 20 which is the half way point towards the magical 40 points survival total.
After the Wigan game, we enter a period which on paper even the most dyed in the wool Hammers’ supporters would say, points will be hard to come by. November and December see the Hammers pitched against all of the Premier League’s top teams.
After the World Cup or European Championship draws the pundits talk about “The Group of Death.” This is normally the strongest group of teams that have to compete and win in order to progress. Well, when I look at our fixtures throughout November and December, they remind me of that scenario.
Every team we play during this period with the exception of Liverpool, Newcastle and Reading are above us in the League and are above us on merit. Of the three teams I have just mentioned, Newcastle are just two points below us and, in recent times, we have not enjoyed much success against Liverpool and Reading.
I am going to label the next two months, “Nasty November” and “Daunting December.” My assessment of “Nasty November” is we will do well to pick up 3 points and these will come against Stoke at the Boleyn Ground . Any other points will be a major bonus.
During “Daunting December,” we could pick up a possible 6 – 7 points from the home game against Liverpool and the game at Reading. We just might pick up a point at home to Everton.
If we pick up 6 points in our two remaining games in October and we pick up the 10 possible points I have predicted as the maximum we will gain in November and December, then I feel we will be safe from relegation this season. This will put us on 27 points at the turn of the year, leaving just 13 points to gain in the second half of the season to reach the 40 point safety limit. If we don’t hit the predicted points total then we could be in for a nail biting second half of the season.