Stuart Pearce has warned the West Ham faithful that they could face another relegation battle this season if they do not shape up soon.
A former Hammers player, Pearce was brought in as assistant manager to David Moyes last season with the club sitting in the relegation zone. The pair managed to steer the club to Premier League safety, but were relieved of their duties after failing to impress the supporters.
The West Ham board had hoped to take the club to the next level following their move to the London Stadium. They had the perfect springboard, finishing 7th in their final season at the Boleyn Ground, but have been unable to replicate that form since.
After flirting with relegation last season the club invested heavily in the summer attracting former Premier League title-winning manager Manuel Pellegrini. At the height of their prowess, Pellegrini’s Manchester City rivalled even Pep Guardiola's current squad.
So there was renewed hope ahead of the current campaign as the board backed the Chilean to the tune of £93m. Big names like Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop and Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez and Jack Wilshere all arrived in the summer.
Add to that the £50m outlay last year on the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, the Hammers were tipped by many to be dark horses this season. Things so far have not gone according to plan though, with Pellegrini’s side losing their opening four fixtures and sitting bottom of the league.
West Ham are the only side in England’s professional leagues yet to pick up a single point this season. On top of that, the Hammers have conceded 10 goals already this season and haven’t begun a season this poorly since their last relegation campaign in 2010/2011.
Speaking to TalkSport, Pearce admitted he was shocked by their poor start but that he could also understand it: “Especially when you look at the money that has been spent this summer - [but] Manuel is still getting to know the players, not only the ones he had already got there but also the nine new ones who have come through the door.”
“I don’t expect them to be around this position at the end of the season - we beat Chelsea and drew with Arsenal at home last season, and West Ham are the sort of side who can go out and beat one of these teams.”
Pearce also expressed the significance of time though and what a difference a poor start can make to a season. He explained the club need to address the situation and pick up a result as soon as possible or else they could face the unthinkable.
“A good start in the Premier League is absolutely vital and unless they galvanise a result very soon they’re going to be permanently playing catch-up. They need a result, and quickly.” He added.