David Moyes’ side currently sit just three points away from 4th spot following their 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor, although given they were one point ahead of 5th at the start of March, you could certainly accuse them of stumbling down the stretch.
And speaking on ESPN FC (1:28), Nicol, responding to comments made by fellow pundit and ex-Hammer Shaka Hislop who was ‘quietly hopeful’ that the club could sneak in, said that he thinks West Ham’s inability to see games out could cause them problems between now and the end of the season:
“Listen, they’ve still got a good chance. As Shaka rightly says they’ve got, on paper, they’ve got a decent run. And the problem for me is that West Ham look very nervous trying to see games out. And the fact is, the team that they’re fighting really against to get fourth in my opinion is Chelsea, who are the complete opposite. You talk about professionalism and calmness under pressure.
“So that would be my worry about West Ham, not the fixture list but, will they have the composure and the nerve when it really comes tight towards the last two, certainly the last game of the season.”
Will West Ham finish in the top four?
TIF Thoughts on Steve Nicol’s comments about West Ham United
Nicol’s views can best be summed up by some of their recent results, like conceding late against Newcastle United, almost squandering 3-0 leads against Leicester and Wolves and actually squandering a 3-0 lead against Arsenal.
The trouble is that most of this squad haven’t been involved in a race like this near the top of the table where you have to ‘grind out results’, whereas the teams around them have done, and that serves as a major disadvantage for West Ham.
Whether or not they’ll be able to overcome that and sneak in, or at the very least hold off the teams below them, we’ll just have to wait and see.