Martin Keown has played down West Ham United’s chances of securing a European spot in the 2022/23 Premier League season.
The Hammers started the season with back-to-back Premier League defeats but managed to beat Viborg 3-1 in their Europa Conference League play-off.
However, Keown believe the Conference League is their best route to European qualification next season after a difficult start to their Premier League campaign.
“You look at the Conference League and think that might be their best way to secure a place in Europe next season. You have Newcastle coming into the mix as well as Arsenal and Tottenham strengthening, so it’s difficult to see them enter Europe.
“I don’t see them having any problems, but emulating what they have done in the last two seasons will be very difficult.”
West Ham always tend to get off to a slow start in the Premier League, so patience is required from everyone involved at the London stadium.
An opener against Manchester City was always going to be a daunting test and a trip to the City Ground in Nottingham Forest’s first game in the top flight was hardly ideal.
The way the Hammers came out of Forest without at least a point is remarkable after seeing a goal disallowed, missing a penalty and hitting the woodwork on several occasions.
The performance was definitely there for Moyes’ team, it was just meant for Steve Cooper’s men.
Keown is correct in his assessment of Arsenal and Tottenham, but the Hammers should still imagine themselves vying with Newcastle for that sixth spot.
Manchester United are in disarray with a top ten finish now looking like a success for Erik ten Hag’s side.
There is a long way to go in the campaign, and the Hammers know that a few wins will put them back in the European places.
A few more additions could see Moyes’ men well placed to attack the top half of the table as talks resume with Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri according to Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth (via TwitterAugust 19)