With eight games remaining this season Dean Ashton thinks that West Ham will hold onto their top-four spot and play in next season’s Champions League
Former West Ham United and England striker Dean Ashton has backed the Hammers to secure a top-four finish and to bring Champions League football to the London Stadium next season.
West Ham host Leicester City on Sunday afternoon in a clash between two of the current top four sides in the Premier League, quite a turnaround for the Hammers who were in a relegation battle this time last year.
“Recruitment has been pretty diabolical if I’m honest for the last fifteen years. There have been so many signings that haven’t come off and didn’t really suit West Ham as a football club and what the fans expect from their players.,” Ashton said exclusively to 888 Sport
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“But the recruitment has been excellent in recent times. You look at the likes of Jarrod Bowen who is the kind of West Ham player you like to see with his work-rate and how he delivers. Then there’s Craig Dawson, Soucek and Coufal: these are players who, even if they’re not playing well, give absolutely everything, which is the minimum that’s required as a West Ham player. On top of that, they have shown the quality and consistency to be taken seriously in this top four race.
“I think the injury to Declan Rice is a badly timed one but of all those competing for the top four they have been the most consistent. So there’s no reason to think why they shouldn’t have every opportunity to make the top four.”
“Crikey, what hasn’t Mark Noble given West Ham? He’s given absolutely everything he can. Not only in the way he conducts himself, but it’s not an act how much the club means to him. That was always clear to us as players.
“When I first came to the club and he was coming through it was obvious then the passion that he had and that’s never wavered: he’s always been about getting the best for the football club.
“The thing that is misunderstood about Mark Noble, because he doesn’t have outstanding athletic attributes, is the ability he has. That’s the reason why he’s still playing. That’s the reason why he’ll still be there next season.
“That’s why he starts games when Declan Rice is injured. Having trained with him and played with him he is super talented. He’s got lots of ability and great awareness. He can feel hard done by having never been picked for England because he’s been more than good enough over the years. He will go down as a West Ham great and rightly so.”