By Harvey Byrne

Niall Quinn has identified West Ham’s goal difference as the stat which could be the difference between relegation and safety.

The Hammers suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat against Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday.

The result had a severe impact on the side’s goal difference, taking it to -14 after 14 fixtures.

Only Swansea and Hull have a worse goal difference at -15 and -17 and they currently occupy the bottom two spots in the league.

Sky Sports pundit Quinn identified that no club in the last 20 years have been relegated with a goal difference better than -14, but he also highlighted it is only the first week of December.

“Leicester and West Ham are probably asking who they need to complain to, there has been some mistake, they don’t belong in the basement,” wrote Quinn in his column for Sky Sports. “But there is only one way out and on Saturday neither of them looked like they had figured it out yet.

“I don’t know if Slaven Bilic has ever paid attention to things like this but in the last 20 years, no team with a goal difference better than -14 has been relegated (apart from Boro, who had a three-point deduction when they went down on a goal difference of -9  in 1997). The margins are that slender.

“In fact, Sunderland escaped the drop last year on exactly that goal difference but Blackburn went down on a goal difference of -14 in 1999. So the damage which Arsenal did at the London Stadium on Saturday put West Ham on a goal difference of -14. And it is only the first weekend in December.

“There’s an old song, Success Has Made A Failure of Our Home. Maybe for West Ham, home has made a failure of their success.

“In the goal difference donkey derby, only Hull  (-17) and Swansea (-15) have been haemorrhaging more generously this season. Newcastle went down last year on just -21 goals. On the other hand Aston Villa, who abandoned all hope early on, finished on -49 goals.”

Quinn also pointed out that West Ham are in their first season in their new home, the London Stadium.

Many fans were hoping to enjoy a good first campaign in the famous former Olympic ground, but it has so far proven to be quite the opposite.

The Hammers have won just five matches at home in all competitions this season, while suffering four losses and two draws.

Their poor campaign has seen them eliminated from the Europa League at the play-off stage, while they are also sat in 17th place in the Premier League table.

West Ham face another difficult encounter in their next clash, as they are set to travel to Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

In other West Ham news, Rio Ferdinand has made a bold offer to the Hammers.