A great point away from home at the Champions, and once more the rollercoaster that is West Ham is on an upward trajectory. Joe Hart and Declan Rice were outstanding in a gutsy determined performance that was bizarrely criticised by BBC pundit Danny Mills on Sunday. Mills described West Ham as lacking heart and determination, and was quick to praise Hazard and Willian – quite rightly but West Ham dug in and could have won a penalty at the end to snatch all three points.
The game on Monday is a hugely significant one for both clubs and depending on results on Saturday Stoke could find themselves under huge pressure to go for the win, which would play into West Ham’s hands. At this point in the season, momentum is a huge factor and Stoke have very little, they played well at Arsenal but were still soundly beaten, the last two results have given West Ham the surge that should see them over the line as far as the relegation fight goes.
I wouldn’t change the side at all, they played with great cohesion against Southampton and with organisation and guts against Chelsea, Declan Rice is really becoming a huge figure in the team and is one of very few bright lights in what has been an abject season. Marko Arnautovic will be hugely motivated against his former club and could be the difference once more. Stoke, West Brom and Southampton are all cautionary tales for West Ham, all three were firmly established Premier League teams at the start of the season and look where they are, the Championship is a tough League to escape regardless of the size of your club, Leeds and Villa are testaments to that.
A win on Monday would all but seal our survival, let’s get the points on the board, then the time for recriminations can begin. We must learn lessons from this year and we should remember it’s our potential that causes our frustration.
Fingers crossed for a good show under the lights on Monday.