Arsenal legend Martin Keown has advised the West Ham United players not to get complacent.
The Hammers are flying high in the Premier League at the moment, 27 points from 15 matches seeing them sit fourth in the table heading into this weekend’s round of matches.
Although these are early days, there have been suggestions that West Ham could maintain their current form and finish in the Champions League spots at the end of the season.
Keown believes that Sam Allardyce’s can do so, but insists that West Ham “can’t afford to keep their head in the clouds.”
“They certainly can but the thing Big Sam has to worry about is complacency,” Keown told The Daily Mail when asked if West Ham can keep up their form. “This is all new territory for them.
“This time last year Allardyce was under huge pressure, but everybody talked about him being exactly the kind of manager to get a team out of a sticky relegation battle. Now they are flying and he has realised these opportunities don’t come round that often…
“There is a new pressure now at the other end of the table but he will be loving that. They can’t afford to keep their head in the clouds thinking about Champions League football. They have to go and win at Sunderland, and that won’t be easy. Just ask Chelsea, this game is no gimme.”
West Ham have been helped by the disappointing form of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, and one would expect these sides to pick up momentum sooner rather than later.
Not many football followers truly believe that the Hammers can finish in the top four, but if they can go through the festive period without dropping too many points, then they could become serious contenders.
Manager Allardyce does not have a ‘great’ squad, but he certainly has some very good and competitive players with ambition and hunger.
The key is to take it game by game.