Super Hammers start suggests top 10 finish a tasty pick for punters
West Ham United have been among the stories of the season so far and, with Coral’s generous odds of 11/10 for a Premier League top 10 finish, punters should pounce on that price now before more resilient results see it shorten.
The Hammers will surely soon be odds-on to end the term in the top half, especially should Slaven Bilic’s boys rack-up another shock scalp, so piling on the cash now makes perfect sense, but customers be quick or else risk missing out.
Having defied expectations and halted Premier League leaders Manchester City in their tracks, adding an impressive 2-1 victory at the Etihad to resounding wins against Arsenal and Liverpool, the Irons’ early form seems to be no flash-in-the-pan.
With a growing reputation as giant killers it appears that this boldness and confidence instilled by Bilic in big games is exactly why co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan installed the Croatian coach, despite predecessor Sam Allardyce’s respectable efforts.
Boss Bilic has previous experience, having played the underdog routine to a tee in Europe with Besiktas and, of course, when guiding Croatia to glory against England. Most importantly, however, glitz, glamour, pride and a dollop of swagger has returned to Upton Park this term, before the London club uproots and pitches up permanent camp at the Olympic Stadium.
Foreign imports acquired in the off-season have made the biggest impact, but the merits of delightful playmaker Dimitri Payet, who has three goals and three assists in seven games so far, have already been well-covered.
It initially seemed somewhat of a risk to offload ageing string-puller Stewart Downing in favour of bringing in the Frenchman, but fearless Payet has taken to Upton Park like a duck to water.
Former Hammers cult hero Bilic knows exactly the style of creative trail-blazers Upton Park crave, and new recruits Manuel Lanzini and Victor Moses appear to be of the same exciting ilk, while giving minutes to academy graduates such as Reece Oxford has also enthralled.
In stark contrast to last season, with proven Premier League poachers Andy Carroll and Nikica Jelavic to pick from on the bench, there is the feel of real strength in depth going forward.
Though, after a few wobbly rearguard incidents, Bilic finally seems to be shaping a formidable backline to support all that attacking thrust. Two clean sheets from the past three may be the most promising sign of all this season, when recognising the millions of pounds worth of poaching talent the Hammers recently faced in Man City and Liverpool.
Top stopper Adrian may have conceded upon his return from suspension but brought real solidity between the sticks, acrobatically denying the Citizens to give his equally excellent defence confidence. Inspirational centre back Winston Reid has proven he was worth every penny of his new contract, with his performance last time out covering the absence of powerful Angelo Ogbonna.
With oft-overlooked English full backs Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell, as well as experienced James Tomkins, also consistently reliable performers in claret and blue, perhaps customers could even consider backing Bilic and co as nifty 9/1 outsiders to finish in the top six.