West Ham’s frustrating habit of drawing matches they should’ve won has been detrimental to their European ambitions, which now look very unlikely of being achieved.
The Hammers surrendered a two-goal lead over London rivals Tottenham on Sunday and ended up drawing the match due to Harry Kane’s last gasp goal.
This follows the trend that was set against Manchester United the week previous, where they dominated but conceded in the dying seconds. It is becoming the story of West Ham’s season and their tendency to draw matches has cost them invaluable points.
Sam Allardyce’s outfit currently sit in eighth place on 39 points but their recent blip, that has seen them win just two of their last ten Premier League matches, has allowed teams to leapfrog them and create a sizeable point-gap.
Spurs are five points ahead of them in seventh and they are now eight points off of the top four – where they were sitting pretty only two months ago.
Article continues below
Only four teams have lost fewer games than West Ham (7) this term, but just three teams have drawn more games than the Hammers (9), which conveys where their problems lie.
When ahead in a match with not long left remaining the side has a tendency to sit back which invites pressure, pressure that often results in goals and in turn dropped points.
West Ham should’ve beaten Aston Villa in November, but drew 0-0 despite dominating. They conceded an equaliser in the final 20 minutes away to Swansea and in the dying moments of games against Man United and Tottenham. They also drew against West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland when winning has looked achievable.
Had all those draws been turned into wins West Ham would be 12 points better off and currently sitting in third place, behind only Manchester City and Chelsea.
Their inability to hold on to leads and kill games off is an excruciatingly frustrating habit and one which is the difference between them having a good season and a great season.
With 12 games remaining and the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City still to play the Hammers hopes of claiming a European qualification spot is now looking extremely unlikely.
Had they held out for victories against Spurs and the Red Devil’s they’d still be in with a good shout, but as things stand it may just be too big of an ask.
Do you think West Ham can still achieve European qualification? Have your say in the comments section below…