By Adefunmiloye Alani

10th Sep, 2021 | 7:40am

Joe Cole insists West Ham can win the Europa League title this term

West Ham are playing in the group stages of the Europa League for the first time ever, and Joe Cole is tipping them to go all the way and win it.

The Hammers qualified for the second-tier European competition after finishing sixth in the Premier League last term, and David Moyes and his men will be keen to impress when they come up against some of the best teams the continent has to offer.

Europa League defending champions Villarreal pipped Manchester United to the prize last term, and Cole insists West Ham have better players capable of getting the job done too.

“Villarreal won the Europa League last season but Villarreal are not better than West Ham,” the Hammers academy graduate told The Athletic.

“Michail Antonio walks into their team, so does Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, Pablo Fornals, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma.

“If Villarreal can win the Europa League, then so too can West Ham.”

Bold claim

The Irons have been drawn alongside Dinamo Zagreb, Genk and Rapid Vienna in the group stage of the competition, and advancing to the last-32 should not be a problem.

However, West Ham should expect some very tricky fixtures in the knock-out stages, especially with the third-placed team in the Champions League groups dropping down into the competition.

While they have got quality players and a top manager, their inexperience at such a competition could prove to be a stumbling block.

Unai Emery knows how to win the Europa League having won it three times in a row while at Sevilla, and getting into last term’s final and beating the Red Devils had nothing to do with the luck.

The Spaniard also won it all domestically at Paris Saint-Germain, and that made all the difference.

Despite his quality, the 2013 FA Community Shield is the only thing Moyes has won as a manager.

To win the Europa League, the West Ham boss needs to be on top of his game and prove his tactical nous on the spot during the knockout stages.

Without a doubt, the London Stadium outfit have what it takes to win the Europa League, but do they have enough?

In other West Ham news, Southampton has been dealt huge blow with duo ruled out of Hammers game.

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