Quarter finals and last six, if it wasn't the business end of the season last month, it most definitely is now

I was having a conversation with a Spurs fan the other day, like you do. During the chat I had to concede that they'd probably beat us to fourth, but he wasn't sure. I think we were both just not trying to be too arrogant. I think maybe because this isn't familiar territory for either side.

Sure, Spurs have spent some time there, but it's not really home for them, like it is for Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

The interesting thing when having this chat with the Spurs fan, was his take on Manchester United and that they could catch us both. And as it's mathematically possible, I think we should take a little look at this.

Manchester United currently have a game in hand on us, so as we've been so nice to them already this season, lets give them three points for that. If we now look at it after that, we both have six games to go and they are eight points behind us. When was the last time Manchester United won seven games on the bounce?

This might be wrong, because I asked ChatGPT, but the last it happened was in the 2016-17 season under Mourinho and they still finished sixth. But still, lets assume they win all seven, they'll finish the season on seventy points. I'm not bringing goal difference into this, it's too big a difference, we're winning that.

Today, we have 60 points, so effectively need 10 more from a possible 18 to be certain of fifth, or maybe fourth. We're playing Arsenal, Bournemouth, Chelsea, Brighton, Liverpool and Palace. Can we get 10 from those matches?

I'd not place my mortgage on us getting ten. The one thing I think we have going for us though is form. Both us and Manchester United are in the type of form that warrants this feeling coming to the end of the season. It feels like we peaked a few weeks ago. And there is nothing wrong with that, we know that this manager and these owners learn. 

And we both also have an eye on another prize. And that's what this post should be about, so I'm sort of switching gears.

And I'll start by saying, I'm not convinced we should be seen as favourites for this tournament. Sure, if you look at the tables I can understand why, but we should also look at form and the quality of side that are still left in this tournament. This is also new to our players, even if for our manager this is his bread and butter. And I have complete faith in the manager.

And by this, I mean it's getting serious and it's new to many of our players. That written, it was also new to many of the West Ham players last season and they did okay. Every game really is a final at the moment. 

And you were waiting for it, but this really is now the business end of the season. Six games to go and the quarter finals of a European tournament. Remember back in the day when the league tables weren't published until six games in. Well, it's the final six and some, so this is really what it all comes down to.

And whatever happens tonight and in the last six matches, it's been a better season than last year and if we get better every season, I'm happy.

That said, if we finished fourth, I'd be ecstatic. If fifth place does turn out to be Champions League football for next season, then I guess fifth is as good as fourth and to go just a little further in this tournament, it's the icing on the cake. I'll be back this afternoon.