Paolo Di Canio insists West Ham have the potential to become one of the top eight football clubs in England, though they must first successfully stave off relegation from the Premier League.
And what is the one thing that can assure the Hammers top-flight survival, according to the Upton Park legend?
Unity, that is, between multiple parties who have long been at loggerheads with one another.
The atmosphere in east London has been on tenterhooks for far too long, with West Ham fans protesting against the club’s co-owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, ever since the decision was made to leave the Boleyn Ground for the London Stadium.
Things have got even worse since the move actually took place, with West Ham enduring an endless struggle in the almost four seasons since leaving their beloved home.
West Ham sat two points clear of the bottom three at the time of the Premier League being suspended until April due to the coronavirus pandemic, and if domestic football resumes to complete the 2019/20 season, they have a challenging run-in.
Wolves, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are among West Ham’s final nine opponents, while they must also play relegation rivals Watford (currently level on points with West Ham) and Aston Villa (two points behind West Ham but with a game in hand).
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Relegation is a real possibility, and, as Di Canio insists: ‘Everybody will lose if West Ham go down.”
“I can understand the frustration because it is obvious that everyone expected [better] when we moved to the new stadium,” said Di Canio as he joined talkSPORT’s White and Sawyer show on Wednesday.
“The people don’t feel the stadium is their home, so now we need unity.
“It is obvious everybody expected a better season, including the board – they didn’t want to see West Ham there [fighting relegation].
“So with the fans I can understand their position, but I hope when the season starts again they get close – because everybody will lose if West Ham go down.
West Ham’s run-in
Who must the Hammers take on in their final nine matches of the Premier League season?
- Home vs Wolves (postponed)
- Away vs Tottenham (postponed)
- Home vs Chelsea (April 5)
- Away vs Newcastle (April 10)
- Home vs Burnley (April 18)
- Away vs Norwich (April 25)
- Home vs Watford (May 2)
- Away vs Man United (May 9)
- Home vs Aston Villa (May 17)
*All fixtures could be postponed/rearranged due to coronavirus pandemic
“They must try to push all in the same direction to maintain and save West Ham.
“West Ham have incredible quality and incredible potential for the future to finish top eight, because the club obviously spent big money in the past two years.
“It didn’t pay off, unfortunately, at the moment because we have many problems, but, in my opinion, the future will be green.
“Now is the moment to get unity and stay together.”
Whether the Premier League resumes on the scheduled April 4 date remains to be seen.
There are no guarantees the coronavirus pandemic will have eased up enough by then to allow football to resume, even though Europe’s top leagues have signed a joint agreement to complete the 2019/20 campaign by June 30.
Paolo Di Canio insists West Ham have the potential to become one of the top eight football clubs in England, though they must first successfully stave off relegation from the Premier League. And what is the one thing that can assure the Hammers top-flight survival, according to the Upton Park legend? Unity. Unity, that is, […]