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Definition of Success and Failure?

2 May, 2022
written by Stel Kyriacou

After a recent run of results that have not gone our way, some fans are saying that this season is beginning to turn into one of failure and disappointment.

With the most recent defeat in the Premier League at the hands of Arsenal (and Mike Dean), as well as the Europa League First Leg defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, there has been the suggestion that we could end the season with nothing and no European football again next season and, if that happens, it’s been one big season of failure?

Failure? Failure to still be in with a shout of finishing in the top six in the month of May?

Failure to have gotten as far as the Semi Finals of the Europa League?

Personally, I don’t share that vision of failure and here’s my take on the season so far.

Our last win was that fantastic 3-0 away result against Lyon.

However, our Premier League results of late haven’t been quite so good.

Our last Premier League win was the 2-1 defeat of struggling Everton a month ago.

Our ‘striker’ Antonio certainly isn’t firing on all cylinders and it is left to others in the team to be getting the goals. But, is that not a sign of a good team where there is a goal threat from various players?

In defence, we have had more than our fair share of bad luck by losing three of our four senior team Central Defenders, with Zouma and Diop in such a short space of time from each other.

And, right on cue, we ended up losing our fourth due to a dubious red card that, for me, should have been challenged.

“If only we had strengthened in January, then we wouldn’t be struggling to get wins.” Is that really true?

Might an additional striker and another central defender in the January transfer window made a difference?

It is possible that, had we brought in a few players, we could have added a different dimension to the squad.

Yet, it is also possible that whoever we might have added may not have made a difference at all. This is something that we will now never really know.

But, despite the recent poor results – what in a fans mind depicts a successful or failed season?

If we bow out of the Europa League in the Semi Final and finish 8th in the Premier League, is that failure?

The Premier League is in its 30th season. Since its inauguration, we have been involved in it for 26 seasons. We have been relegated from it twice and our highest ever finish was 5th.

However, in our 26 Premier League years, we have only finished in tenth position or higher a total of 12 times. (That includes the current season when we will finish in the top 10)

Our most successful period was between 1997 to 2000 where, for three seasons in a row, Harry Redknapp led us to 8th, 5th and 9th placed finishes.

So, in general we have been a pretty average side with very little to brag about in the Premier League.

Our recent European football hasn’t been anything to be proud about either. Remember Astra Giurgiu?

However, this season has been somewhat of a revelation.

In the final month of the season, we find ourselves in 7th place and still in with a chance of finishing in the top six to emulate the Premier League achievements of last season.

In addition to that we also find ourselves still in the Europa League with just one win away to make it to the final.

That to me is not failure. That to me is a fantastic achievement even if the journey does end here and we go no further than 7th in the Premier League and Semi Finalists in the Europa League.

The other reason why this season has been such a success is that it has given me and thousands of other West Ham fans memories that will never be forgotten – such as the home wins against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool which resulted in fantastic atmospheres in the stadium; or the numerous away day trips and wins against the likes of Aston Villa etc. Then, of course, the Europa League away days at places like Sevilla and Lyon.

Two seasons ago, we just avoided relegation. Two seasons on David Moyes is bringing back a stability and belief to the team along with some fantastic results and memories.

This season has been a huge success, but then I can’t speak for all West Ham fans as we all have our own vision of what success looks like!

[This is a snapshot of my script for the West Ham Weekly show on my West Ham Voice YouTube channel that you can find and subscribe to by clicking on the following link:]



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