Not many would have been predicting that West Ham United would be near the top of the Premier League table as we head into the festive period.
Admittedly, the 2020/21 Premier League season has been anything but normal for anyone as it was started in a state of hurry as pre-season did not exist and teams had just a short turnaround from the previous campaign.
Indeed, with the Hammers’ first seven matches having included going up against the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool, many would have forgiven David Moyes if his side were languishing in the bottom half of the table.
However, after 12 games played, the Irons currently sit sixth and sit three points of a place in the top-four, which might have many looking to place a bet on just how high they will finish in the league at the end of the current season when they click here.
However, things have not necessarily been that good for one individual at the London Stadium outfit.
Issa Diop was once a mainstay in the West Ham team, however a shift in formation to 4-4-1-1 has seen the 23-year-old left fighting for his place. According to a reliable source, Claret and Hugh stated following the Leeds United victory that the centre-half was excluded for tactical reasons.
In truth, he has been unavailable for part of the campaign as he was forced to sit out because of the horrid virus and has struggled with his own little injuries that has seen his season fail to get off the ground so far.
With Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena each playing rather well, it could be a difficult time for Diop as he may find it incredibly difficult to add to the 207 league minutes he has so far in 20/21.
It is a shame considering the French defender – who arrived from Toulouse and attracted big interest throughout his first campaign at the Hammers – was a mainstay last season as he started 31 Premier League matches.
Perhaps with the festive period set to kick in and the frequency of games being played only set to increase, Diop will have another chance to show Moyes once again why he has been so important to their cause.
Then again, will the manager think that things have been going well so far and will want to avoid changing things too much? Only time will tell and Wednesday’s London derby with Crystal Palace could be a great indicator.