​Five years ago, West Ham United were midway through a season in the Championship, brining in the likes of Ricardo Vaz Te to fire their side back to the top flight.

Now, Slaven Bilic and Co are pushing for a top four place in the Premier League, after three excellent seasons in the top flight of English football.

When the Hammers dropped down a division, they were on the brink of administration, with all of their best players running a mile. Consequently,the future looking bleak!

Sam Allardyce, backed by the magnificent David Gold and David Sullivan, rejuvenated the side, captained by the experienced Kevin Nolan, turning the East London side into a comfortable Premier League side.

A.F.C. Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League

This season, with the introduction of the likes of Dimitri Payet, the best signing of the year, West Ham have beaten Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool twice, forcing neutrals to consider them as a serious threat.

Apart from Leicester, who have enjoyed a rather unexpected season of success, West Ham are the most improved side in the past five years.

The majority of teams who gain promotion end up struggling in the following seasons, but the Hammers are no longer even considered a relegation contender, for the first time in as long as fans can remember.

With a move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon and Champions League football the goal to achieve in the next five years, it is hard to believe that just five years ago, West Ham's future was empty, and fans expected to see their beloved club continue it's yo yo seasons.

No longer a selling club, the Irons have a squad full of players wanted by the best teams in the league, and that speaks volumes.

The likes of Winston Reid, Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate, Enner Valencia, Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini have all been targeted by top six sides, and they would probably slot into a top team's squad.

But with a reluctance to lose these key men, West Ham continue to soldier on and fight hard to improve, year after year, with European football now a serious possibility.

The past decade has been a rollercoaster for West Ham, but the past five years have been oddly stable and optimistic, and they are by far the most improved side in the half-decade, with only Leicester City matching their short-term successes.