Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Crystal Palace?

Two delightful goals from Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson and a well taken poachers’ effort from Javier Hernandez gave West Ham their third straight Premier League win as they beat Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace 3-2 at the London Stadium.

As they had done against Cardiff, the Hammers trailed at the interval, but blew away their opponents in a strong third quarter performance. Interestingly, they have also scored three goals in each of these three wins, triumphing 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.

Manuel Pellegrini chose to restore his defence to full strength, with Fabian Balbuena and veteran Pablo Zabaleta both coming back into the XI after sitting out the Cardiff game. Lucas Perez’s impressive game off the bench against the Bluebirds earned him a starting spot in the absence of the injured Marko Arnautovic. [Read more…]

9 Points & 9 Goals from 3 Games- Is this actually West Ham? Five Talking points from Crystal Palace game

Even though the pundits had West Ham as firm favourites against Crystal Palace, we, like many fans around us, were not sure of three points! Inconsistency has been such a hallmark of West Ham’s play in recent times- two wins from two games was fantastic, but three from three? Surely not! Palace had been so woeful against Brighton in midweek and were roundly criticised by fans and pundits alike. Roy Hodgson however named the same XI that had done duty against the Seagulls, and one thought they’d be up for this game, wanting to prove a point. Privately we thought a draw would be good enough, and at half time, after McArthur’s goal and Milivojevic hitting the bar with his free kick, most fans would’ve probably taken it. Instead, like they had done against Cardiff, West Ham blew away their opposition in the third quarter. We had suggested post the Cardiff game that Anderson and Snodgrass would be our most creative players in the absence of Arnautovic, and the duo scored fantastic goals that helped the Hammers win 3-2 in front of their biggest league crowd of the season.

Here are some talking points from the game today.

Did Andy Carroll have an impact?

Definitely yes. West Ham started with Lucas Perez and Chicharito upfront, and that combo didn’t seem to offer much on attack together, especially when the Hammers’ first half strategy was to put in cross after cross to Palace’s imposing central defensive pair of Tomkins and Sakho.

Carroll’s introduction allowed West Ham an aerial presence. Even though he didn’t do much with the ball, he always attracted defenders, which provided extra space for the likes of Anderson and Chicharito to operate. The free kick from which West Ham scored their second goal was earned by Carroll. [Read more…]

West Ham v Crystal Palace | Pre-match Pundit Predictions for the Hammers against Roy Hodgson’s men

West Ham take on Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace this weekend as they attempt to make it three consecutive league wins following victories away at Newcastle and at home against Cardiff. The fixture is a battle between two of the most well travelled gaffers in the Premier League, with Manuel Pellegrini and Hodgson having managed in fourteen different countries between them.

The referee for this game is Anthony Taylor- Palace are winless in their last seven games under him. He’s already refereed two of their games this season- the 2-1 loss away at Watford in GW3 and the 2-0 loss at Goodison Park to Everton in GW9.

Palace were very poor against ten man Brighton in midweek, and key players like Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur were scathing in their criticism of the performance, with the former calling it “nowhere near good enough” and the latter describing it as “unacceptable”. The Eagles will be looking to prove a point, but given their dreadful away record, not many fans will be optimistic of their chances at the London Stadium.

West Ham of course will be without Marko Arnautovic, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Cresswell. Fabian Balbuena is however expected to return in the heart of defence to take his place alongside Issa Diop. [Read more…]

No Wilshere for Palace game, Arnautovic potentially out for a month, says Pellegrini

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Jack Wilshere will not be considered for this weekend’s home game against Crystal Palace. The midfielder made his return in their 3-0 win over Newcastle last weekend and even set up Felipe Anderson for a late goal, but was not in the squad for the midweek game against Cardiff. Pellegrini later said that it was an issue with his other ankle, and today confirmed in his pre-game presser that the 26 year old will “not be risked” on Saturday against Palace.

Pellegrini also added that Marko Arnautovic would be out for around a month with the hamstring injury he picked up against Cardiff. The Austrian limped off the field at the London Stadium just minutes after conceding a penalty for a silly foul on Junior Hoilett. Fortunately for the Hammers, Joe Ralls’ poor spot kick was saved by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski- a pivotal moment in the game. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Cardiff?

West Ham claimed back to back Premier League wins for the first time in nearly two years as they beat Cardiff City 3-1 at the London Stadium. It was the Hammers’ seventh straight win over the Bluebirds in all competitions and was secured thanks to a brace from substitute Lucas Perez, who became the first West Ham player to do so off the bench since Paulo Wanchope against Newcastle back in April 2000. [Read more…]

Five talking points from West Ham 3-1 Cardiff- Fan Analysis & Post Match Thoughts

West Ham achieved back to back wins for the first time since January 2017 by beating Cardiff City 3-1 at the London Stadium. The crowd was the Hammers’ lowest (though not by much!) at the Stadium this season, but they went home happy, with Manuel Pellegrini’s men continuing their progress up the table.

It wasn’t all one way traffic for West Ham though. One expected them to start fast off the blocks against a poor Cardiff side who’ve been absolutely woeful away from home. They did that reasonably well for about 20 minutes and then fell back into their old ways. The best chance in this period went to Marko Arnautovic, who showed a great burst of pace to speed past Sol Bamba, but his final shot was hacked off the line by Sean Morrison.

Perhaps frustrated by that miss, Arnautovic unnecessarily went and barged Junior Hoilett in the back, giving away a stupid penalty. Perhaps Arnie thought Hoilett was offside, but he wasn’t, and referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot. Joe Ralls decided to take the spot kick and Fabianski, one of West Ham’s best signings this season, produced what was effectively a match winning save.

Had that gone in, coupled with Marko Arnautovic’s injury minutes later and West Ham’s inconsistent form, one wouldn’t have bet against the Bluebirds going home with all three points, if not at least the solitary one. [Read more…]

West Ham v Cardiff City- Pre-Match Pundit predictions for the Hammers against the Bluebirds

West Ham will be looking to continue from where they left off at Newcastle when they host Cardiff City in a midweek clash at the London Stadium. The Hammers produced an impressive performance on Saturday afternoon, scoring 3 goals and keeping a clean sheet to end the Magpies’ three game winning run.

The Bluebirds have lost their six games against West Ham in all competitions. The referee for this game, Graham Scott, is one under whom Cardiff have alternated between losses and wins in their six fixtures. Going by that trend (LWLWLW), this seventh game against the Hammers should end in defeat for the visitors.

Cardiff’s last six games under Graham Scott

Leeds 1-4 Cardiff (WIN) 2018
Cardiff 0-2 Newcastle (LOSS) 2017
Cardiff 2-0 Preston (WIN) 2017
Cardiff 0-2 Leeds (LOSS) 2016
Bristol 0-2 Cardiff (WIN) 2016
Cardiff 2-3 Brentford (LOSS) 2014 [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players perform against Newcastle?

West Ham put in one of their best performances of the season as they ended Newcastle United’s three game winning run with a fine win at St.James Park. None of the pre match pundits had backed the Hammers to come away with all three points from Tyneside, but a brace from Javier Hernandez and a stoppage time third from Felipe Anderson saw the Irons emerge 3-0 winners.

Newcastle, it must be remembered, had done the double in the league over West Ham last season and the visitors prior to this clash had won only once at St.James Park in the last two decades.

Manuel Pellegrini made four changes for this clash, bringing in Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Javier Hernandez for Arthur Masuaku, Pedro Obiang, Grady Diangana and Michail Antonio.

Newcastle certainly had their chances, especially in the first half, but West Ham’s centre backs- Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena were nothing short of outstanding, thwarting many a potential Magpies attack. It was also the Hammers’ first clean sheet in the Premier League since the 0-0 draw at home against Chelsea, and the win would’ve pleased Pellegrini, who finally saw both offence and defence click together at St.James Park. [Read more…]

Several West Ham players named in Team of the Week for Premier League Round 14

West Ham defied the odds by registering a 3-0 win over Newcastle at St.James Park in GW14, and several Hammers players have been rewarded for their fine performances in various pundits’ Premier League Teams of the Week.

Newcastle definitely had their chances, but the Hammers defence was top notch, and each of the four Teams of the Week we’ve covered here has at least one WHUFC defender in it.

Felipe Anderson and Javier Hernandez, by virtue of their goals scored, were the obvious favourites in many pundits’ XI. Chicharito made the most of a rare start with two well taken goals, while Brazilian Anderson added the icing on the cake when he scored the visitors’ third in second half stoppage time.

Garth Crooks: The BBC Premier League Team of the Week for Round 14 had three West Ham players- Pablo Zabaleta in defence, Felipe Anderson in midfield and Javier Hernandez upfront. [Read more…]

Newcastle v West Ham Predictions- What do the pundits say about the Hammers’ chances at St James Park?

West Ham will be looking to halt Newcastle United’s three game winning run when they meet the Magpies at St.James Park on Saturday afternoon. Robert Snodgrass is available for selection after missing last weekend’s loss against Man City through suspension. While NUFC are certainly in form, the ref for this game is one under whom they’ve never won a Premier League game. The Magpies though did do a league double over the Hammers last season and manager Rafa Benitez has a good record against the Irons. [Read more…]

Who could play right back for West Ham if Zabaleta needs rest?- Other RB options for Pellegrini

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed in today’s press conference that the club would have to find another right back apart from Pablo Zabaleta to play during their busy set of fixtures in December. Ryan Fredericks was the backup to Zabaleta, but the former’s injury has left West Ham’s depth at RB looking shaky. Pellegrini has said that he does not expect Zabaleta at his age to play all seven fixtures next month.

Last season, West Ham also tried out Michail Antonio and Sam Byram at right back, but the latter’s now on loan at Forest, while the former has been employed as a winger-cum-striker under Pellegrini. [Read more…]