Speaking to the official Hammers website, attacking midfielder Downing expressed his belief that West Ham deserve to be at least in the top eight after their impressive season.
Downing said: “It’s been disappointing of late, but on reflection over the season, on performances we should be at least in the top eight. The target is to finish as high as we can, because we don’t want the season to peter out.”
After rising as high as the top four in the latter stages of 2014, the Hammers have won just two games this calendar year, and have dropped all the way down to 10th place. On current form, it would not be a surprise if they fell out of the top 10 altogether, and that would represent a dreadful downturn in form.
It is hard to disagree with Downing, as Sam Allardyce’s men were playing brilliant football in the first-half of the campaign, and deserve to secure a place inside the top eight. European football may still be too far from their reach, and their squad is too small to realistically take part in another competition, but their Premier League campaign has been strong.
Regardless, the great football they played at the beginning of the season is not enough to carry them through the entire term, and they will never be able to properly challenge for the European places until they are consistent to that high level for all 38 games of the Premier League season.