West Ham have been helped by the lack of supporters in the stadiums this season, according to Ray Houghton.
The Hammers have made a surprise push for a European spot under David Moyes this season – they’re only outside the top six on goal difference with two games to go.
And former West Ham midfielder Houghton believes he has games behind closed doors, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has played a role in the form of the East London club.
He told talkSPORT: “Some teams thrive without crowds and others hesitate.
“The West Ham players, without a crowd, a lot of them came to the fore and played really really well.
“There wasn’t as much pressure on them. Fans don’t get on their bad side and you can see that during the season.
“But getting to the position they’re in with 59 points in 36 games is an absolutely phenomenal achievement.
“It’s as good as anyone, maybe not as good as Leicester because Leicester won the FA Cup, but where they were where they are now, it’s a remarkable turn of events.
Houghton also reserved special praise for Tomas Soucek, who he believes should be a player of the year contender.
The Czech Republic midfielder has scored nine goals starting every Premier League game so far this season.
He said: “Some of the players who came were brilliant for them. Declan Rice was absent, Soucek held that position and he was brilliant.
“He’s not someone you look at and say ‘wow, you did a wonderful skill’, but his value to West Ham is incredible.
“He won’t be mentioned for Player of the Year, but he’s worth it in my opinion.
“David Moyes should be extremely proud of his players and what they have given to the cause this season.”