How can West Ham can qualify for the Champions League? Hammers fall short of first appearance in Europe’s top club tournament
West Ham United have seen a resurgence in recent seasons, as the side has transformed from a team languishing in the bottom half of the table to a side challenging for Champions League qualification.
This is no small feat either given the strength of the league and the fact they finished 16th in the 2019/20 season.
This season, the Hammers gave Champions League qualification a real effort, but fell short in the race. West Ham just couldn’t complete the push down the stretch, losing narrowly to teams just above them.
While it was possible the club could also grab a Champions League spot through Europa League victory as well, that avenue also came up short, with the club eliminated just one stage before reaching the final.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 1, 2022
Will West Ham qualify for the Champions League?
There are two avenues for West Ham to qualify for the Champions League next season: either by finishing in the top four of the Premier League, or by winning the Europa League title outright.
Sadly, both these opportunities have evaporated. The Hammers are no longer eligible for a top four finish, while they were eliminated from the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals.
With just two points remaining, and an eleven-point gap between the Hammers and a top four place, West Ham mathematically cannot qualify for next season’s Champions League.
One-goal losses to Chelsea and Arsenal throughout late April and early May proved critical deciders in the Hammers missing out on Champions League contention. The Blues defeat was of the particularly painful variety, as Christian Pulisic scored the game’s only goal in the 90th minute.
West Ham remaining schedule:
|Man City (H)
|10:00 a.m. ET
The Europa League champion qualifies for next year’s Champions League group stage, but West Ham has been eliminated from the Europa League, meaning this door to Champions League play has closed as well.
West Ham’s Europa League knockout results:
|Round of 16
|Round of 16
|W, 2-0 (A.E.T)
|Eintracht Frankfurt (H)
|Eintracht Frankfurt (A)
Have West Ham ever played in Champions League? Hammers in Europe
Whilst West Ham have never featured in the Champions League (European Cup) they have had some success on the continent in their history.
West Ham lifted the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965, and the Intertoto Cup in 1999. In their recent history, the club has reached the qualification rounds of the Europa League in 2015 and 2016, but failed to reach the group stages on both occasions.
Cup Winners’ Cup
The 1964-65 Cup Winners’ Cup was their first taste of European action in which they earned with a FA Cup triumph the year previous. They triumphed at Wembley beating 1860 Munich 2-0 at Wembley.
As reigning champions, they lost out a year later in the semi-finals of the 1965-66 season to Borussia Dortmund. They went onto reach the final in 1976 and the quarter finals in 1981.
Having qualified for the tournament after finishing fifth in the Premier League table, they won the tournament with a team full of young stars including Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand beating Metz 3-2 in the final.
This tournament helped them qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.
UEFA Cup/Europa League
Having made their first appearance in the 1999-2000 season, this season marks their fifth season in the competition, with their last 16 tie against Sevilla proving to be the furthest they’ve ever been.
With the tie against Sevilla, fans will be hoping the team can make history for the club by going all the way in what would be an incredible achievement for the club.