Prior to the suspension of the 2019/20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, West Ham were only out of the bottom three on goal difference, and one former striker believes the club are facing financial ruin if they go down.
Dean Ashton starred for the club in the middle part of the last decade, scoring in the 2006 FA Cup final which the Hammers eventually lost on penalties to Liverpool in a final that’s arguably up there as the best ever.
However, the ex-centre-forward hasn’t seen a team playing the ‘West Ham way’ for years.
“It would be an absolute disaster for West Ham if they’re relegated this season, there’s no doubt about that,” he said, cited by the Daily Star.
“They have spent quite a bit of money and financially they would be in a difficult position. If they don’t start well as soon as football is back, they will be in big trouble.
“Nobody expected this at the start of the season. It looked like they’d be pushing for the top seven. But at West Ham they just seem to sign players that are available, rather than having a plan and a specific way of playing.
“It’s such a mismatch. Some players are carrying injuries, others are coming to the end of their careers and even the youngsters don’t necessarily blend in.
“When I look at West Ham I have no idea what style of football they’re trying to play. It seems to change with each game.
“That’s the big worry, players need to have a certain idea of what’s expected and I haven’t seen West Ham with a clear identity for well over a decade.”
The dream that was sold to the supporters by Karren Brady, David Sullivan and David Gold is rapidly turning into a nightmare.
The move to what was the Olympic Stadium, now the London Stadium, was supposed to herald a new era of success, with the east Londoners becoming regulars on the European trail.
Sadly, West Ham have looked far from that, and as Ashton notes, a drop down at this point, when clubs are having to tighten their belts because of the pandemic, could have disastrous and long-term consequences.