Tenth in the table and 12 points clear of the drop zone, a forgettable first few months of the season has been left behind, but while relegation is almost certainly out of the question, any kind of challenge to the top six is also well out of reach.
So with the league season almost certain to peter out, the FA Cup presented a real and genuine chance of an adventure.
And yet, a West Ham team including two-time Premier League winner Javier Hernandez, £22m Issa Diop and plenty more quality contrived to crash out this weekend to AFC Wimbledon.
That’s bottom-of-League-One Wimbledon, who have scored just 22 goals in 29 games this season and struggled past non-league Haringey Borough in the last round. They scored four against West Ham.
That result, naturally, came just two weeks after the defeat of Arsenal.
Then, just 22 minutes after going out of the cup, the club announced a contract extension for Marko Arnautovic.
For a little perspective, let’s quickly rewind to January 10.
It was then that, in light of interest from the Chinese Super League, Arnautovic’s brother and agent said: “Now West Ham have a fantastic offer. It is close to double what they paid for him. He wants to go to a new market and challenge for titles. This is what he wants. It is his great desire that West Ham accept the offer from China.”
On Saturday night, a “happy” Arnautovic was telling fans to “listen to what this club and myself are saying… don’t listen to the other people who are not in the club” having just been handed a new and improved contract. Funny how things like that work out.