2014/15 Season Review - May

A top ten finish was in sight yet results conspired against the Irons
A top ten finish was still in sight during the final month of a long campaign yet results transpired against the Irons toward the end of Big Sam’s reign. 

On paper, the month of May did not look the hardest yet, as has been proved time and again, football does not always go to plan. 

Three of the Hammers four opponents were battling relegation and the fight for Premier League survival brought the best out of Burnley, Aston Villa and Newcastle United. 

The Clarets made the journey south to east London knowing only a win would do to ease their relegation fears. Sean Dyche’s men made a bright start yet their luck was out when the Hammers were awarded a penalty after Michael Duff tripped Cheikhou Kouyate. 

An undisputable penalty, yet the resultant red card added insult to injury. Mark Noble stepped up confidently to notch his second goal of the campaign. 

Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ran out for the Hammers. First, Aston Villa proved too much as Tom Cleverley’s strike separated the two sides before Everton sought revenge for the FA Cup replay victory back in January. 
In an hugely entertaining encounter, the Hammers took the lead through Stewart Downing before Leon Osman’s acrobatic finish levelled the proceedings. 

Persistent menace Romelu Lukaku continued his habit of scoring against the Hammers, however this time he saved himself until the 93rd minute to tap home from close range. 

The defeat to the Toffees meant a top half finish was possible, yet unlikely. The tense atmosphere surrounding Newcastle United was palpable. Following a dismal run of results, the final relegation spot would be occupied by either the Magpies or Hull City. 

John Carver’s men went to task to avoid relegation and their efforts were rewarded with second half goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez. A mixture of relief and triumph swept over St. James’ Park. 

The final whistle also brought to the end Sam Allardyce’s reign as West Ham United manager as it was announced that the 60-year-old’s contract would not be renewed.  

A cliché perhaps, but it really was a season of two halves. Role on 2015/16…