West Ham have all but secured their Premier League status for next season with their crunch win over Swansea yesterday afternoon.
It was Cheikhou Kouyate’s 20-yard strike that handed the Hammers all three points and their first win in eight games, following a run of five successive defeats.
Slaven Bilic has breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that his side haven’t been dragged further into the mire at the wrong end of the table and can start looking upwards with six games to go.
Here’s what we learned from West Ham’s vital win over Swansea this weekend.
The players still believe in Bilic
There’s been a lot of talk about how the players are frustrated with the training sessions and Bilic’s methods, but yesterday’s display showed they still believe in him.
They battled hard, the work-rate was sublime and they stayed at it for the full 90. They knew what the result meant for them and their manager and that illustrates how much their believe in Bilic.
Sam Byram is coming on strong
After struggling with injuries, Byram has finally been handed an opportunity to start at right-back and he’s taking his chance and running with it.
The former Leeds man put in his best performance for the club against Swansea and is finally adapting to life at the club and I believe the best is yet to come.
Jonathan Calleri hasn't given up
Some fans booed him replacing Antonio which was wrong, but Calleri is determined to play well.
He may not have scored and missed a couple chances, but Calleri’s overall hold-up play, off the ball movement and sheer determination and work-rate was second to none yesterday.
He wants to end his loan on a high note and fair play to him.
Manuel Lanzini is the new talisman
Like he has been for the last few months, Lanzini was West Ham’s primary creator and most dangerous influence in the final third.
His vision and ball-carrying ability is unparalleled – he is the talisman at the club and he is who we look to when the going gets tough.
Club need to show more caution with injuries
In desperate times, the club rushed Michail Antonio back from injury for him to play against Arsenal. He went off at half-time and started again yesterday, and again aggravated his hamstring injury.
In recent years, the club have forced players back early and they need to start allowing them and extra week or two to get back to 100% instead of taking the risk.