With Liverpool behind them, West Ham will travel to Liberty Stadium home of Swansea in what is the first must win game of the season. It’s a term thrown around an awful lot throughout a season, but hear me out on my explanation.
The schedule dictates the severity of matches and escalates their importance. There are only ten games left for West Ham, so the end in in sight. The amount of games left, and the fact that there are seven team lower than them in the table (albeit within three points) means that West Ham are still the masters of their own fate. Win the games you should, make the tough match-ups hard, and try to eek out some points from the top six.
Of their ten games left, four of these come against top six opponents. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City all are awaiting West Ham in their final weeks. This daunting 40% of the schedule inherently makes the remaining games necessary to win for West Ham.
There you go, Swansea away is a must win. Boom!
What intensifies this, is the fact that Swansea are very much a relegation rival for West Ham, sitting just three points back of the Hammers. A lopsided win could see West Ham drop into the relegation zone, should there be an excess of four goals for Swansea. As well, under the new management of Carlos Carvalhal the Swans have been in impeccable form.
Something else to not forget is that Swansea added Andre Ayew…FROM WEST HAM in the January transfer window. To be honest, I didn’t hate the move as Ayew was not very impressive in his tenure at the Olympic Stadium. A part from a few flashes he could never string together good performances and wasn’t Bilic’s or Moyes preferred player at Striker, attacking mid, or either wing.
Of course this match is probably when he breaks out and smashes his own side, you know, the West Ham Way. But, unless he switches jerseys with his brother Jordan, also on Swansea, I doubt he makes an impact.
Despite being outclassed against Liverpool I think the players felt how close that game was up until they collapsed in the second half, and have something to prove. The Hammers should take the opportunity to separate themselves from the bottom, and further put Swansea’s Premier League hopes in doubt. If they should lose, the term ‘Must Win’ will be evermore prevalent when looking back.