Today marks seven years since our 3-1 Premier League victory over Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton.
It was Big Sam’s third season in charge of the Hammers. Let’s just say, the honeymoon period was definitely over.
Fans were growing tired of his route one tactics. It was bad enough when we were winning games, but in the 2013/14 season we’d won just four matches by the time it got to February.
Things were starting to look up, however. The Hammers went on a three game-winning run, winning 2-0 against Swansea, Aston Villa and then Norwich. The big test came on February 22, when we took on Southampton at Upton Park.
The Saints sunk
West Ham came into the game knowing that a fourth consecutive win would push them into the top half of the table for the first time in months.
In front of 33,148 fans at the Boleyn Ground, the Hammers put on a fine display that showed just how confident they were.
Maya Yoshida headed the Saints into an early lead, finishing off a Steven Davis freekick after eight minutes gone. This was quickly cancelled out by a rare goal from Matt Jarvis (remember him?), who beat the offside trap to slot past Artur Boruc.
Carlton Cole put us ahead in typical Carlton fashion. His excellent headed effort cannoned off the crossbar, to which he lashed into an open net from close range.
Kevin Nolan added a third later on to put the game beyond our visitors. The skipper had been instrumental in the four-game streak, scoring both goals against Swansea and both against Norwich to get the run going.
This was a vital run of wins for us. After 23 games we were on a woeful 19 points overall and were staring down the barrel of a third relegation from the Premier League.
It was a string of results that highlights one of Big Sam’s best periods at Upton Park. He was a controversial figure, but you can’t deny what he’d done for the club.
Without him we could well still be in the lower leagues of English football like many big clubs have fallen victim to.
In other West Ham news, Frank McAvennie raves about youngster Ben Johnson.