A points difference of 9, with 6 games to go, is hardly something to make you quiver in your boots. In fact, such chances are excellent opportunities for fighting talk – just now Southgate is talking about derailing Manchester United’s title march this weekend and recently Keegan talked about overtaking Tottenham in the league standings.
West Ham have a different approach to it – they’re going to stick their heads in the sand and hope that their opponents are too tired to beat them. The team in question are Portsmouth, who take on Championship side West Brom in the semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday before returning to Premier League action on Tuesday.
West Ham’s Lucas Neill on Portsmouth:
“Obviously all their focus will be on that FA Cup game. Maybe we can catch them off guard, on an off day where their focus is elsewhere.”
Home game Neill, HOME GAME. Middlesbrough are talking about beating United (a difference of 32 points) while West Ham are talking about hoping to catch Portsmouth on an off-day (difference of 9 points). I wonder where Middlesbrough would be with the money West Ham have.
For all I know West Ham could be feigning incompetence in order to stun Portsmouth when they travel to Upton Park, but some part of me doesn’t believe that. West Ham, like Tottenham, seem to have given up on their season which is a shame considering that they’ve done a lot better this season and keeping that momentum going would have helped them for next season as well.