AHMED Elmohamady believes West Ham’s relegation is a reflection of the Premier League’s strength in depth this season.
Sunderland head to Upton Park on Sunday with the vultures already beginning to circle over West Ham’s star names.
The likes of England internationals Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Robert Green won’t lack suitors while Sunderland are one of the club keeping tabs on striker Demba Ba.
With such quality in their ranks, it is perhaps surprising that the Hammers are facing the prospect of next season in the Championship.
But Elmohamady has not been shocked by their relegation, with 40 points potentially not being sufficient to survive in a tight Premier League campaign.
The on-loan Egyptian, whose permanent move from parent club ENPPI is now virtually a done-deal, just hopes Sunderland can take advantage and notch a second successive away win.
Elmohamady told the Echo: “West Ham have got a lot of good players. They beat us here in the Carling Cup.
“But I’m not really surprised that they’ve gone down because there are a lot of strong teams in the Premier League.
“They’re down now but it will still be tough for us on Sunday.
“We want to finish the season with a win. It’s the last game and we want to finish on a high.
“The last two away games we’ve played well and we can look forward to it after winning at Bolton two weeks ago.”
Elmohamady admits Sunderland will need to raise their standards from the shoddy second half against Wolves last weekend.
After a dominant opening 45 minutes, the Black Cats slumped after the break – gifting Wolves the win which has taken them to the verge of safety.
It was a repeat of the second half slump against Fulham in the previous home game, with Elmohamady disappointed that Sunderland were not able to provide some cheer in their last Stadium of Light outing.
“We played fantastic in the first half, but in the second half we dropped our standards,” added the 23-year-old.
“It was the same against Fulham. I don’t know why.
“We had six or seven chances in the first half. But we’ve not got a striker, just Steed (Malbranque) and Stephane (Sessegnon) up there.
“We only managed to score one goal and in the second half, we weren’t able to create the same amount of chances.
“Sometimes you have games when you have lots of chances and don’t score though.”