He said: “Any team that’s playing against 10 men, and is sitting deep and invites pressure, that tells me that they are not comfortable going forward. Bilic’s team are definitely better sitting tight and breaking, and a team that does that doesn’t win the Premier League or get in the top four.”
The Hammers currently sit in third place in the Premier League table, following an impressive 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
Whilst Slaven Bilic’s men came away with three points, Nicol has criticised the Hammers for the way he approached the game after seeing Chelsea lose a man whilst being a goal behind.
For a side sitting in the top places of the table, who are looking to further move forward, they should have looked to take advantage of that situation, but it was actually the Blues who started to somewhat dominate - and they got back into the game through a Gary Cahill goal.
However, Bilic made some changes and picked up all three points after substitute Andy Carroll netted the winner, continuing their great season.
All the great results that West Ham have picked up this season have come down to their counter attacking style of play, and whenever they have tried to dominate games, Bilic’s men have usually looked weaker.
This is why Nicol does not believe that the Hammers are real top four contenders, as they play a reactive game, rather than one where they go out to dominate games, and the former Liverpool man does not think a counter attacking side is one who can seriously fight at the top of the league.