Alan Stephenson: ‘The very real prospect of West Ham slipping into the Championship is unthinkable’ - West Ham United v Swansea City (Saturday 3pm) - Preview

By Brian Jeeves in Football

FORMER West Ham United defender, Alan Stephenson, could find very few positives after the Hammers slipped closer to the Premier League relegation zone following Wednesday night’s 3-0 London derby defeat at Arsenal.

The east Londoners, beaten in each of their last five league matches, take on Swansea City in what is now an enormous six-pointer at the foot of the table, and Stephenson was certainly nervous for his old club: “Time is running out for Slaven Bilic and the player. Survival in the Premier League is now looking very precarious. I’m finding it difficult to see where their next win is coming from, he told Times Sport.

“West Ham would usually expect a win against the likes of Swansea or sides who have similarly struggled throughout the campaign. However, times have changed. The Hammers have endured a poor season themselves and the supporters confidence has dropped alarmingly. Fair play to them for continuing to back the team despite their troubles.”

Stephenson, who made 108 appearances for the Hammers between 1968 and 1972, was clearly troubled by West Ham’s recent form, adding: “It’s been seven games since West Ham last won in the Premier League, losing the last five. Not only are the results poor, the performances have been off colour too. They have just seven games to secure their status in the top flight. I just hope that fortunes don’t continue to hide and they can get over the line and grab three points against the Swans.

“Hull City along with my other old team, Crystal Palace, picked up crucial wins recently, leaving the Hammers just five points above the drop zone. Swansea come to the London Stadium sitting third from bottom with twenty-eight points, just three less than Bilic’s side who are fifteenth. It’s all to play for and the very real prospect of West Ham slipping into the Championship is unthinkable.”

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