David Moyes is staying grounded but West Ham fans have right to dream of Europe after six on the spin

Jack Rosser
·3 min read
 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Claims of a European finish have been ten a penny at West Ham in recent years and have always been laughed out of town. Few are laughing now.

Last night's win at Crystal Palace, their sixth consecutive victory since the turn of the year, lifted the Hammers above Liverpool into fourth.

David Moyes has put a lid on the noise coming out of east London, vowing to promise less and deliver more, and now it is those outside the club who are touting the Hammers for Europe.

Moyes won't state it publicly - and he's right not too. On far too many an occasion the Hammers have run before they could walk and bitten themselves with promises of continental competition.

Even early last season captain Mark Noble, rarely one to get ahead of himself, was guilty.

"There’s a feeling that the chance exists for a change and at least one different club to break into the top six this season," he said.

"I would even go one step further. I believe there is an opportunity for someone different to actually make it into the top four." West Ham won just two of their next 12 games and manager Manuel Pellegrini was soon sacked with the Hammers in the midst of a relegation scrap.

This is a new West Ham, however. Back at their battling best in the rain at Selhurst Park last night.

Their stay in the top four may be brief, but it is the perfect reward for Moyes's work over the past 12 months. "Say that again," the Scot said with a grin when informed of their lofty position by a reporter post-match last night. It is a moment to be enjoyed, but Moyes will not stop here.

Breaking the top four will still be out of their reach come the end of the season, but a return to the Europa League for the first time since 2016 (when they were only in the qualifying stages) is certainly realistic.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Moyes has privately told his players what the target is this season and is hammering home the message that this fine first half of the campaign must not go to waste, but will - for the first time in a long time at West Ham - leave those outside of the club to the talk of European tours.

“What I want to do, I want to help grow a club," said Moyes.

“It is very rare you can get to this position from where we have been and stay there. We have to do it in stages. We’re doing a brilliant job in getting there at the moment with the players we have got, but we’re also aware that it could easily go.

“I don’t want to say something which I can’t deliver. The players are doing a good job and long may it continue.

“We are not scratching the surface yet. We’ve got so much more we can give and do.”

Faltering champions Liverpool are up next when they visit east London on Sunday, but even overcoming Jurgen Klopp's side won't coax the former Everton manager away from the party line.

The promises have stopped and now Moyes is delivering, and that is how he wants it to stay.

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