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Former West Ham player’s words can inspire club to reach European football – Opinion

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Although it may seem odd to think about now, there was once a time where West Ham were once European champions, of sorts, not once but twice in their club history.

The Hammers 1965 European Cup Winners Cup and 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup triumphs remain two pieces of the club’s long history that are often forgotten about in the modern era of the game, yet a return to continental football is something manager Manuel Pellegrini is eager to achieve.

The Chilean boss has admitted multiple times to the likes of the club’s official website and BBC Sport that he wants to take the east London side back to the promised land of European football, and former player Igor Stimac, who was part of the 1999 Intertoto Cup-winning side, has said that the ambition Pellegrini is exhibiting is promising.

The current India national team manager said to West Ham’s official website: “It’s good to be ambitious, West Ham is a great club with enormous tradition and with such a big support behind the lads should be aiming for European spots.

The squad is full of good players and we have started picking up good results now.” Indeed, there is every reason to believe that West Ham could, this season, finish in a European place in the Premier League.

In the 2018/19 campaign the Hammers finished just five points off seventh place Wolves in the table, and this year, Pellegrini’s side have started the season exceptionally well for their standards.

Seven points from the first four games has seen West Ham start the league campaign strongly, and if the exciting current crop of players, as well as Pellegrini, want to be serious about qualifying for Europe this season, they should take Stimac’s words of encouragement on board if they are to boost morale and form the idea the making continental football is a possibility this campaign.
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