Pablo Zabaleta believes a “weak mentality” is preventing West Ham from being the best of the rest this season.
No fewer than five clubs are vying for seventh place in the Premier League which is currently occupied by newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Battle for seventh: Four things to know…
- Wolves are currently seventh having accumulated 44 points across their opening 31 fixtures.
- Behind them are Leicester City (44 points), Everton (43 points), Watford (43 points) and West Ham (42 points)
- Watford, like Wolves, have a game in hand.
- West Ham’s best Premier League finish is seventh which they claimed in the 2015/16 season.
An inconsistent run of performances has seen Manuel Pellegrini’s men continually lose the initiative to be placed as the best club in the league behind the ‘big six’.
Across their last six league outings they’ve claimed three wins and three defeats. Last time out the Hammers fell to a 0-2 defeat at home to Everton but the scoreline could have easily been more severe.
Zabaleta, a Premier League champion with Manchester City, feels the issue they are having is mental rather than physical given how they’ve performed at times this season.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
“I am not happy at all because if you look at the season so far, we have not been consistent enough. We have had three or four bad performances against teams around us,” he said (via Evening Standard).
“There are five teams looking for that seventh position and it is all about one or two points difference between them. We have lost so many opportunities to be in that seventh place and it shows the weak mentality that we have probably got and which we need to improve looking forward.”
Despite this recent funk West Ham are still in the battle for seventh, which remains their best finish in the Premier League era, claimed under the leadership of Slaven Bilić in the 2015/16 season.
Wolves currently occupy the position, having picked up 44 points across 31 matches, with Leicester City (44 points, 32 played), Everton (44 points, 32 played) and Watford (43 points, 31 played) ahead of West Ham (42 points, 32 played).
With matches coming thick and fast West Ham are staring at a difficult program. In their remaining six league outings they have to visit three of the big six – Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, all of whom are vying for a place in the top four – as well as Watford.