Well for starters, in the last three matches, West Ham have collected five out of a possible nine points while the rest of their relegation rivals only muster three points maximum. This has helped West Ham to move out of the bottom three.
Secondly, there is no question that West Ham has been notoriously anonymous in the second half of every game but interestingly, the last three matches have shown a reverse of that trend. We are now defending more in numbers, the midfielders (Collison, Diamanti) are tracking back to help with the weakest part of our defence i.e. the fullbacks. This has helped immensely in keeping the team's shape. The searing pace of the in-form Aaron Lennon was just too much to handle for any team in the Premiership so that's nothing to be ashamed about.
Thirdly, the return of Carlton Cole will boost the attacking third of our game. West Ham's next six fixtures are mainly against clubs in the relegation zone and lower half of the Premiership table therefore there is every chance that we can pick up valuable points from these matches. Maximum points even is not out of the question. The Cole-Franco partnership looked to be a lethal combination in the short time that they played together. Franco also did the business against Spurs, picking up a second yellow, making him miss the Arsenal FA Cup tie but will return for Premiership action after that. Smart thinking from this intelligent player.
Fourthly, talks of ownership interest are making its round intensely and there is every chance that the ownership issue can be settled before the January transfer market allowing the club to make player investment and strengthen the squad a bit more.
Let's take a look at the next six fixtures as the relegation battle heats up.
And the next six matches for the Hammers' relegation battlers are:
Wolves: West Ham (a), Wigan (h), Liverpool (h), Hull (a), Birmingham (a), Spurs (h)
Pompey: Arsenal (h), Fulham (a), Birmingham (h), West Ham (h), Man City (a), Man Utd (a)
Bolton: Hull (h), Arsenal (a), Sunderland (a), Arsenal (h), Burnley (h), Liverpool (a)
Wigan: Man Utd (a), Hull (h), Villa (h), Wolves (a), Blackburn (a), Everton (h)
All five rivals have much tougher fixtures than West Ham, which should feature well for the Irons. Portsmouth in particular will be decimated by players competing in the African Nations Cup. All five clubs face at least one of the "Big Four" as well as Champions League aspirants.
Zola and Clarke should be extremely aware that this is the best chance to get points on the board and massively improve West Ham's position in the league. To add more positivity into the mix, Jack "the new Gazza" Wilshere expressed his preference to come to West Ham on loan. If this is followed up by Gianluca Nani intently, then the Hammers midfield will have added the much needed class and creativity.
Confidence will be high after a successful Christmas period. A two-week rest and time to regroup allowing the West Ham players to recover from injuries (Parker, Noble and Ilunga) and their physical exertions together with a relatively easy fixture list surely represent a productive time ahead.
Come on You Irons!