WEST Ham’s perfect February appeared to dispel any fears of relegation that had hung over the Boleyn Ground, writes Graeme Howlett.
Sam Allardyce subsequently became the first West Ham manager since Alan Pardew to receive the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month award and everything looked rosy.
However there is a very real danger that those four successive wins may have engendered a feeling of overconfidence in the squad – a sense perhaps that the hard work has already been done. Karren Brady’s recent insistence that one more win should be enough to guarantee survival – for a team that has accrued just 31 points! – hardly helped the situation.
Since that wonderful run, West Ham have been to Everton and Stoke – and lost on both occasions. And while the Hammers rarely fare well at Goodison Park, the lacklustre performance at Stoke should be enough to start alarm bells ringing.
Four years ago, Avram Grant’s side found themselves in exactly the same position as Allardyce’s squad with 31 points from 29 games.
They took just two points from their remaining nine matches, a sequence that resulted in relegation.
With five of the top seven still to play this season, any talk of having beaten the drop is way too premature.