Say what you like about David Moyes, and many pundits have this week following the Kurt Zouma cat-kicking storm, but his second stint at West Ham is proving rather impressive.
Moyes has been roundly criticised for his decision to pick Zouma in the team that beat Watford 1-0 on Tuesday night.
The former Everton, Manchester United and Sunderland boss says he was disappointed to see footage of Zouma booting his cat, but defended his decision to include him against the Hornets.
Zouma was hit with the maximum fine of two weeks’ wages by his club — £250,000, which will be donated to animal welfare charities — after a video showed him kicking and slapping the cat.
Yet the Zouma controversy aside, the Hammers appear increasingly well-placed to challenge for a top-four finish.
They finished sixth last term – just two points behind Chelsea in fourth – and now they are aiming to climb higher by sealing a spot in the Champions League qualification places.
Moyes’ men have been in and around the top four all season and Betway make them 9/1 to achieve that goal.
With the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur dropping points below then, it would be no great shock to see West Ham finish in the top four.
A real outside bet for a top-four finish is Wolves, who are 33/1 with bet365.
West Ham remain a more realistic option, though, especially given the form of Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice this season and the consistency they have shown as team.