At the halfway stage of the 2017/2018 campaign, it’s now time to look back on the season that has been so far and in Part Two, the month of October as the fortunes of Slaven Bilic’s West Ham switched once more with winter 2017 arriving.
There would be two weeks of respite after September’s thrilling end for the Hammers, a late victory over Swansea City at the London Stadium, with Internationals taking centre-stage once more.
Many Claret & Blue stars were in action all around the world, most notably goalkeeper Joe Hart and defender Aaron Cresswell who helped England to secure Qualification to Russia 2018 with triumphs over Slovenia and Lithuania.
When all returned from each corner of the globe, there was the immediate matter of a trip to face high-flyers Burney at Turf Moor on hand on an autumn Saturday afternoon.
Things had started very promisingly indeed for the visitors with Michail Antonio somehow being found by a Hart goal-kick to round Nick Pope and slot home, but in the moments that followed, Andy Carroll was dismissed for two similar flying elbows and the clash’s complexion changed dramatically.
It was now a case of holding out for three points for Bilic’s boys, something that they ultimately failed in doing as Chris Wood popped up inside the final ten minutes to steal a point for his Sean Dyche’s side.
Premier League newbies Brighton & Hove Albion were the visitors to Stratford just six days later, the hosts had the opportunity to get away from immediate danger by recording a third home League win in the space of four matches.
But, many had failed to factor in the might of the exuberant Seagulls, under Chris Hughton, who merely needed a Glenn Murray double and a stunning strike from Jose Izquierdo to claim something of a giant-killing, 0-3.
The damming result sparked immediate rumours over Bilic’s future and a supposed conclusion of the Croat having two games to save his job was reportedly reached between the Owners and Board-Members.
The first of those came in the form of a daunting midweek trip to Wembley Stadium in the Fourth Round of the Carabao Cup, having defeated Cheltenham Town and Bolton Wanderers to reach the last 16.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur were the opponents and as expected, led convincingly at half-time via goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli after a first-half of relative ease for them.
However, the second period followed a very different storyline with Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew suddenly finding his touch by netting twice in the space of five minutes, leaving Angelo Ogbonna to make it two in two Rounds and seal a historic away scalp and a place in the Quarter-Finals.
Bilic had somewhat steadied the ship and silenced his critics with the exhilarating comeback, however, League form was still a problem and the final encounter of October saw the East Londoners journey to Selhurst Park.
Here, they would go toe-to-toe with fellow strugglers Roy Hodson’s Crystal Palace in a memorable encounter that saw Javier Hernandez and an Ayew thunderbolt fire the Irons into a two-goal lead at half-time, not uncanny to the one Spurs blew against them three days earlier.
As fate would have it, similar results would follow, Palace playing themselves back in it through a penalty from Luka Milivojevic, leaving Wilfried Zaha to capitalise on some Antonio naivety and level things up in the 97th minute on the counter-attack.
The crushing blow meant that the month was ended on a sour note for the Claret & Blue Army, it had been a very mixed period, in the end, West ham United headed into November occupying 16th position and hovering dangerously above the dreaded drop zone.
So, now that you have been given the full lowdown on how the third month of West Ham’s latest campaign unfolded, just what developments would lay ahead in revolutionary November 2017 in East London? Join us again next week to find out.