Well, obviously, they need to stay up first. Above all other issues on the docket, that's kind of the most important.
But having accrued four points from their last two matches, that looks like a distinctly more likely scenario now. Not nailed on by any means, but at least more plausible than, y'know, before they got these four points.
Newcastle 1-2 West Ham— 90min (@90min_Football) July 5, 2020
*92 seconds later*
Newcastle 2-2 West Ham pic.twitter.com/T3Ur1q55pl
It should have been more than the solitary point St James' Park on Sunday though. Having led twice in the match, they blew their lead on both occasions, and not one of those West Ham players will be making the journey back south thinking they hadn't let two precious points slip away.
With a commanding frame well over 6' tall, their new midfielder Tomáš Souček was key to them earning a positive result. Primarily a defensive midfielder, David Moyes even used his tactical genius late in the game to stick him up top as a second striker. Magic Moyes.
It's something he's capable of doing given his size, but when he's in his preferred role, he can really show off his talent (which, by the way, he's got in abundance).
Operating in front of a back four during his time with Slavia Prague, the footballing world was smitten by the outstanding shows of heart and courage by the plucky Czech side in the Champions League this season, which Souček played a pivotal role in.
Sure, Slavia never made it through the group stages, but they put in some outstanding displays against the likes of Barcelona, all sprung from the efficiency and control Souček offered in the base of midfield.
Now with the Hammers on loan, he's been pushed ever so slightly further up the pitch, as Declan Rice's role in the defensive slot is nailed on. But from here he actually has more influence on proceedings, which have been telling particularly in the Irons' last two matches.
He offered stability and security in the win against Chelsea (as well as a goal) while at Newcastle he was the link in the middle of the park between the defence and the front line, adequately performed by his more than capable passing qualities.
He went and got another goal on Sunday too. An instinctive drive after reacting quickest from a rebound demonstrated his focus and benefit in both boxes, something that was evident against the Magpies with his seven aerial duels won - more than anyone else on the pitch.
Soucek is exactly what we’ve needed for so long, lad is top draw. Has really added to the side. #WestHam— Rob Waldon WHUFC ⚒ (@RobWaldon) July 5, 2020
Standing so tall may indicate to the layman he's not the best with his feet, but it's far from the case. In possession he's quick to release - perhaps not so much to turn, mind - and find teammates, while his energy levels never wane even when you can see he's blowing.
He really does run himself into the ground, which is exactly what West Ham have been rightfully accused of lacking this season. Be it covering his full-back or running beyond the strikers, he doesn't stop.
You could say he was a 'tidy' footballer. He doesn't necessarily excel in any one field, but does all the jobs required of him to the best of abilities and with enough conviction that it improves his all-round play.
Having brought him in on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season, it's a deal West Ham must make their priority. Rumours are that it's almost done and dusted already, but his influence on the team since his arrival mean the Hammers best speed up and tie him down before others swoop in.
Source : 90min