West Ham’s season was a story of two halves; pushing for a European place before Christmas and falling into the bottom half of the table since the turn of the year.
Downing has suggested that losing a key player along with the inconsistency which comes with new signings are the two main reasons the Hammers struggled.
“Obviously we were free-flowing and scoring goals, so losing Sakho was massive for us. He was on really good form and didn’t really have a dip, he just kept going and going,” he said.
“Enner Valencia came in and settled well, too, but we had a lot of new players to the Premier League and they – and us – are going to have dips in form and it might have caught up with them a little bit.”
Hopefully the new manager coming in to replace Sam Allardyce at Upton Park can quickly work out a method, which reduces the chances of the team picking up frequent injuries next season.
They are a part of the game that a manager can do nothing about, but it’s important West Ham try to get into a position where they aren’t losing key players frequently.
Hopefully the new manager will also benefit from certain players having had a full season in West Ham colours.
Players will come over the summer and other players will leave, but those joining the club around this time last year will know all about the pressure and expectation at the club, as well as the demands of playing Premier League football.
West Ham are in a good position to move forward and grow stronger as a result.