West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is hoping that West Ham can sneak into the Europa League as a result of their fair play ranking in the league this season, the Daily Star reports.
The East London side are the Premier League’s ‘best disciplined side’ and top the fair play league that also takes into consideration positive play and issues such as surrounding referees.
Ahead of the club’s last season at Upton Park it would be an excellent send off to bring European football to the Hammers home of 111 years.
No rest for the well behaved
With this season’s Premier League coming to a close in May it would leave West Ham with a far shorter summer break than most with the early rounds of the Europa League kicking off on July 2.
Allardyce told the Star it would be a tricky task to manage, he said "the difficulty is how early the competition starts, especially with the league finishing in May.” However, the former Bolton boss added “A club like West Ham would enjoy the journey. The fans would love it.”
The manager, whose own future is under some scrutiny, will be hoping the Hammers can maintain their behaviour until the end of the season, with this chance of European football the club’s only real thing to play for in the remaining matches.
Recruitment and future
Were the Hammers to qualify for the Europa League and progress into the Group Stages of the competition it could attract players of a higher quality with the chance to play European football and with a move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon.
Ten years ago Allardyce took Bolton into the UEFA Cup and the manager believes the prestige of European competition will help the Hammers summer recruitment.
Allardyce had this to say on the matter “when you are competing in Europe, it would help with your recruitment. It's a sign of progression. And with the new stadium just around the corner, playing in Europe would help with our financial growth.”
After a wonderful start to the season for West Ham that has tailed off during the winter period, this chance to play in Europe could give the players reason to finish the season strong.