A tale of two clubs, Arnie finishes as top scorer and more- Talking Points from Watford 1-4 West Ham

West Ham ended their season on a high as they beat FA Cup finalists Watford 4-1 at Vicarage Road. Here are our talking points from the game.

A tale of two clubs: Watford started the season with four straight wins while West Ham started theirs with four straight defeats. The two teams were 10th and 11th going into this fixture, but the Hammers secured a top ten finish at the expense of the Hornets with this 4-1 victory. If Watford had avoided defeat, it would’ve been their first top-ten finish in the top flight since Graham Taylor did so in the mid 1980’s. Instead, the Hornets had to be content with a spot in the bottom half of the table.

The red card that changed the game: The 4-1 end scoreline was a flattering one to the Hammers. Watford had dominated the first half, but trailed 2-0 at the break. They pulled one back immediately from kickoff after the interval and were looking dangerous before Holebas’ red card (on his 100th Premier League game) changed the complexion of the game. It was perhaps a slightly harsh one, but his dismissal snuffed out any hopes the Hornets might have had of winning the game. Felipe Anderson started to pull the strings for West Ham after Holebas’ dismissal and worse, Javi Gracia’s side may be without their influential left back for the FA Cup final against Man City.

Watford fans would’ve also had their hearts in their mouths after Etienne Capoue’s late challenge on Mark Noble, but fortunately for them, Chris Kavanagh deemed it worthy of only a yellow. Capoue, like Holebas, was playing a landmark game- his 150th Premier League appearance.

Marko Arnautovic finishes as the club’s top scorer: At 2-1, Felipe Anderson’s shot beat Ben Foster, only for the woodwork to deny the Brazilian. It however rebounded for Arnautovic to score, and the Austrian made no mistake. If Anderson had scored, he would’ve finished as West Ham’s top league scorer for 2018/19, and the only one to get into double digits, but as it so happened, that honour went to Arnautovic.

While Anderson fell a bit off the pace in the second half of the season, the Brazilian has had a very successful 2018/19 for West Ham, and fans will be hoping that he can kick on in 2019/20.

A poor game for Pablo Zabaleta: The veteran Argentine would perhaps not have anticipated coming on in this game, but an unfortunate injury to Ryan Fredericks necessitated his early introduction. He had a game to forget, tormented by Deulofeu’s pace, and it was his misplaced back pass that allowed Watford to score just 11 seconds from second half kickoff.

Another good game for Mark Noble: West Ham’s veteran skipper scored two goals- one a very nice individual goal to open the scoring for the Hammers, as well as the fourth and final goal for them from the penalty spot. Also had a pivotal part to play in the Lanzini goal. All in all, a fantastic day at the office for the medio.

WHUFC starting lineup vs Watford 2019

Watford v West Ham Pundit Predictions- Can the Hammers sign off with a win?

The final day of the 2018/19 Premier League season is upon us, and West Ham will finish their engagements with this clash away at Watford. Beating the Hornets will seal a top 10 finish for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

Javi Gracia’s Watford will have one eye on their upcoming FA Cup final against Man City- it perhaps comes as no surprise that they’ve won just once in their last five games (that too against relegated Huddersfield) once they beat Wolves in their Cup semi-final.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have to say about this Round 38 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says that every time he thinks West Ham are going to kick on, they go missing. Notes that Watford will seal a top 10 finish in the top flight for the first time since 1986/87 if they avoid defeat on Sunday afternoon, and has backed the Hornets to do exactly that with his 1-1 prediction.

Celeb opponent: Lawro’s celeb opponent this weekend is hip hop star Loyle Carner, who has also chosen a 1-1 draw. [Read more…]

Noble, Fredericks and Arnautovic among West Ham players named in the Premier League Team of the Week

West Ham United completed a double over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton by beating them 3-0 at the London Stadium over the weekend. Wins normally bring entrants into the Team of the Week, as it happened when the Hammers upset Spurs in Round 36.

Here, we take a look at different pundits’ TOTW and the West Ham players named in them. We had noted that Mark Noble had his best game in a while against the Saints, and the Hammers skipper is among those who features, with goal scorers Ryan Fredericks and Marko Arnautovic being the other two.

Alan Shearer’s Premier League Team of the Week for Round 37

The former Magpies legend had Fredericks and Arnautovic in his Team of the Week. West Ham had 2 representatives in his TOTW, as did Wolves, with seven other clubs contributing a player each.

Shearer TOTW Round 37 [Read more…]

Nobes enjoys himself, league double over Saints & more- Talking Points from West Ham 3-0 Southampton

West Ham’s final home game of the Premier League season saw them beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton 3-0 at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic’s brace and Ryan Fredericks’ first ever league goal for the Hammers sealed victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Saturday afternoon in this GW37 clash. Let’s take a look at our talking points from the game.

Mark Noble enjoys himself: The West Ham veteran enjoyed one of his best games in a Hammers jersey against the Saints. He was paired with Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini in the centre of midfield, with Declan Rice, Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson missing from the starting XI.

Afforded too much time and space by Southampton, Noble bossed the midfield. It was he who pounced on Yan Valery’s error and gave a perfect pass to Marko Arnautovic for the opening goal. And it wasn’t just attack- he put in some fine tackles as well, none better than the one on Armstrong to stop a potentially dangerous Saints move just before the hour mark. [Read more…]

West Ham v Southampton Predictions- How do the pundits think the Hammers will fare against Hasenhuttl’s Saints?

West Ham will be looking to complete a league double for the third time this season when they take on Southampton in their final home game of the 18/19 season. Fulham and Newcastle are the only teams that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have beaten home and away this season, and they’ll be hoping to add Southampton to that list later this afternoon.

When the Hammers beat them at St.Mary’s in December, Saints were hovering precariously near the drop zone, but new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has achieved his primary goal of keeping them in the top flight. On the way, he’s also got his side to score the Premier League’s fastest ever goal- achieved by Shane Long against Watford.

If they beat Southampton, West Ham will also reverse a losing trend under referee Stuart Attwell- they’ve lost their last four in a row under him, including defeats to Bournemouth, THFC (Cup) and Man City this season.

What do the pundits think of this clash? Let’s take a look.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro took note of the Hammers’ fantastic achievement last weekend- they became the first team to score and win at the new Spurs stadium, and says that despite their up and down form, they should be able to sign off with a good performance in their final game of the season. Has gone for a 2-0 win for the home side. [Read more…]

Diop & Antonio among West Ham players named in Premier League Team of the Week for Round 36

It’s been a while since we saw a West Ham player in one of these lists- perhaps not surprising given the club’s indifferent form over the last few weeks. However the Hammers’ shock 1-0 win over Spurs on Saturday afternoon, which made them the first team to win at the new Tottenham Stadium, saw a number of strong performances, and several players have been rewarded with spots in the Team of the Week for GW36.

There’s a West Ham player in virtually every pundit’s Team of the Week bar Robbie Savage’s. Issa Diop, who was re-united with Fabian Balbuena in the centre of defence, and Michail Antonio, who scored the winner, were the most prominent ones, but there was room for a few other players as well.

Sol Bamba Team of the Week for Round 36 (Sky)

Bamba’s team of the week had a spot for Michail Antonio [Read more…]

Diop and Balbuena re-united, First team to win at New Spurs Stadium & More- Talking Points from Tottenham v West Ham

West Ham became the first visiting team to win at the new Spurs stadium as they secured their first away league triumph of 2019 on Saturday afternoon. Michail Antonio’s fine finish midway through the second half gave the Hammers all three points against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Balbuena and Diop re-united: After a long time, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop together played as a central defensive pair. The pairing between the Paraguayan and the young French star has been one of the bright points of West Ham’s season, and they were fantastic today as the Hammers secured a rare clean sheet. Balbuena denied Vincent Janssen a late equaliser with his clearance off the line, while Diop almost scored a great individual goal, striding from his own half into the opposition box, but was denied by Lloris.

Angelo Ogbonna has his moments, but tends to be inconsistent. Balbuena and Diop are clearly the way forward.

First away team to win at the New Spurs stadium: West Ham became the first away team to win at the new Spurs stadium, and Antonio’s goal was the first the Lilywhites have conceded at this ground. Nice little pub trivia stat in favour of the Hammers, who were also the first team to win against Arsenal at the Emirates.

All the more remarkable given that the Hammers had taken just one point from 8 league games on the road prior to this clash. [Read more…]

VAR cannot come soon enough, a left footed assist from Nobes and more- Talking Points from West Ham 2-2 Leicester

West Ham’s penultimate home game of the 2018/19 Premier League season saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side draw 2-2 with Leicester. In front of their second biggest crowd of the season, the Hammers took the lead twice, only for the Foxes to come from behind on both occasions and take home a point.

Here are our talking points from the game

VAR cannot come soon enough: If it was Felipe Anderson’s disallowed goal against Manchester United last week, this time it was Lucas Perez’s turn. Just before Harvey Barnes’ equaliser, Perez had the ball in the back of the net, but 3-1 remained 2-1 as the linesman had his flag up. Both decisions that would’ve gone in West Ham’s favour with VAR present and given how the games panned out, potentially six points to Pellegrini’s men instead of the single they eventually had to be content with. [Read more…]

West Ham win hearts, but not points- Manchester United 2-1 WHUFC Post Match Analysis & Talking Points

West Ham put in one of their best away performances of the season but still ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline as Manchester United prevailed 2-1 at Old Trafford thanks to a pair of penalties from Paul Pogba. Here are our talking points from the game.

West Ham won hearts, but not points: Going into the game, no one expected Manchester United, even if they rested several first team regulars, to be really troubled by West Ham. The Hammers had been awful (to put it mildly!) on the road in the lead up to this game, and had scored only one goal in their last seven away games in the league.

Instead the Hammers dominated possession, had more passes (519 to United’s 373), shots and touches of the ball, and a whopping 11 corners in comparison to United’s three.

If they had VAR and a little more luck, they might’ve even been able to register their first league double over the Red Devils since the 2006/07 season. As it transpired, two soft moments of defending lead to their downfall, and United- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted as much after the game, were lucky to take all three points.

Manuel Lanzini went off injured at the wrong time: The little Argentine will be the first to tell you that he’s not been at his best since returning from injury. Given his long layoff, that’s perhaps understandable. He started on the left side of Pellegrini’s 4-2-3-1 formation at Old Trafford, with Felipe Anderson taking the right. Lanzini was instrumental in West Ham’s equaliser, and just as he was beginning to get into the game, he had to be taken off. It robbed the Hammers of some of their momentum and a player who could’ve been key to unlocking the United defence. [Read more…]

Manchester United v West Ham Pundit Predictions- Can the Hammers do a league double over the Red Devils?

West Ham will be looking to complete a league double over Manchester United when they square off against Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s men at Old Trafford later this evening. United have lost four of their last five under the Norwegian, and come into this fixture on the back of a midweek defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.

West Ham were well beaten 2-0 by Chelsea last Monday. They had their moments in the game, especially in the second half, but were ultimately no match for the brilliance for Belgian forward Eden Hazard, who scored a brace.

The referee for this game is Graham Scott, under whom United have never lost a game (P3 W3). West Ham’s last game under him was that dreadful 2-0 loss to Cardiff City last month.

What do the pundits think of West Ham’s chances at Old Trafford? Let’s take a look.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says that United’s defeat against Barca showed how far off the pace the Red Devils were in Europe, but reckons they will be too strong for the Hammers. Has gone for a 2-0 win to United. [Read more…]

Talking Points from Chelsea 2-0 West Ham- The Genius that is Eden Hazard, WHUFC formation and more!

West Ham put in a much improved show on Monday night against Chelsea, but their struggles on the road continued as Eden Hazard’s double helped the Blues pick up a 2-0 win and jump to third in the league table. Let’s take a look at our talking points from the game.

A 10/10 performance from Chelsea’s No.10: Big players often win you games. Eden Hazard was virtually untouchable here, making a mockery of the Hammers defence with a fantastic solo goal for Chelsea’s first, and an accurate finish on 90 minutes for the second. It wasn’t just scoring- some of his passes, to the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Callum Hudson-Odoi, were simply delicious, and on another day Chelsea might have been 3 or 4-0 up at half time.

If Chelsea didn’t have Hazard here, West Ham might have even managed to come away with a point from Stamford Bridge. Their performance wasn’t too bad, but Hazard was at another level, and even as an opposition supporter, you had to doff your hat to the little Belgian.

Performances like this will only drive up his fee for a potential transfer to Real Madrid in the summer.

West Ham’s tactics: Manuel Pellegrini started this game with a 4-2-3-1 that had Marko Arnautovic on the right wing and Javier Hernandez on his own upfront. Later in the first half, Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson swapped wings, with Pellegrini perhaps concerned at the Brazilian’s reluctance to track back, which resulted in plenty of space being afforded to Azpi and Hudson-Odoi down Chelsea’s right flank.

At half time, Hernandez was withdrawn for Robert Snodgrass and Arnautovic took the Mexican’s place upfront as the Hammers switched to a 4-1-4-1, a formation that saw them being a bigger threat in the second half. Rudiger and Luiz weren’t threatened by Hernandez, but had their hands full tackling Arnautovic after the interval. [Read more…]

Chelsea v West Ham predictions- What do the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances at Stamford Bridge?

West Ham will look to bounce back from what Manuel Pellegrini said was “their worst performance of the season” when they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea tonight. It’s the beginning of a busy week for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues- after hosting the Hammers, they have to make the long trip eastwards to Prague to take on Slavia in the Europa League and then return home to take on Liverpool on Sunday.

Given the fixture congestion, Sarri would’ve ideally liked to rotate some first team regulars tonight. But with Arsenal’s slip up against Everton over the weekend, fourth place remains quite possible for the Blues. Chelsea have lost only once at home in the league this season, while West Ham have been very average travellers.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have predicted for this clash? The Hammers do have a decent record against the Blues in recent years- they’ve lost only one of the last five clashes between the two sides. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings from West Ham v Everton- Another edition of the “Fab & Rice” Show

West Ham turned in a shocking performance at the London Stadium over the weekend as they were outclassed 2-0 by Everton. The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have found the London Stadium a tough venue to pick up points from, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side were simply not at the races as Everton emerged comfortable winners.

As it’s often happened in such games this season, Saturday was another edition of the “Fab & Rice” show- where West Ham as a team play poorly, Fabianski makes several saves to keep the scoreline respectable and Declan Rice is the best of a bad bunch of outfield players.

Lucas Perez came in for real flak- Football London termed him “useless”. The Spaniard earned a rare start, but was anonymous and was hooked soon as Pellegrini sent on early replacements in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game. Neither Pedro Obiang nor he made any compelling reason for the manager to start them in future games. [Read more…]

Questions over 4-4-2, Defensive issues & More- Five Talking points from West Ham 0-2 Everton

Here are our talking points from West Ham’s shock 2-0 defeat at home against Everton over the weekend, described by Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s “worst performance of the season”.

The warning signs were already there: West Ham’s performances over strugglers Cardiff and Huddersfield earlier this month were very ordinary too. The warning signs were there, but the fact that the loss against the Bluebirds was away from home (and West Ham tend to be inconsistent on the road), and the late comeback over the Terriers papered over the cracks. However this was a big jolt- a loss at home and to Everton, who like West Ham, have been up and down away from Goodison Park this season. None of the pre-match predictions from the pundits had predicted an Everton win despite them coming into this clash on the back of a victory over Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.

Set piece defending continues to be poor: Huddersfield’s first goal in the previous game week came from a corner. Everton’s first one here came from a near identical set piece- Kurt Zouma scored, with neither Diop nor Zabaleta covering themselves in glory.

Does the 4-4-2 work for West Ham?: Pellegrini chose to start with the pair of Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez upfront, with Javier Hernandez, the hero of the 4-3 win over Cardiff, on the bench. Perez, apart from the brace he netted against Cardiff, has done virtually nothing in his spell here, and was literally anonymous before being hooked off. Arnautovic was a little better, but way off the heights we know he can reach. [Read more…]

Pundit predictions & Referee Analysis- West Ham v Everton

West Ham will look to do the double over Everton when they host Marco Silva’s men in their first game after the international break. Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has never lost to the Toffees in seven previous Premier League games as manager and will look to preserve that impressive record today evening.

The Hammers came from behind to beat Huddersfield 4-3 in their last game while Everton were impressive as they beat Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park.

The visitors have won more games against West Ham (24) than any other club in Premier League history.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have to say about this clash, plus a little analysis on the referee for this game- Paul Tierney.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro wonders “which West Ham team will turn up this week, and in which half?”. Says their inconsistency makes it “hard to know”. Adds that Everton have been up and down too, and has gone for a 1-1 draw.

Celeb opponent: Guitarist Johnny Marr has predicted a 3-2 win for Everton. [Read more…]

Talking Points and Media Player Ratings- West Ham 4-3 Huddersfield

West Ham avoided a major embarrassment at home against strugglers Huddersfield Town as Javier Hernandez’s brace helped them snatch a last gasp 4-3 win. Up against a Town side that hadn’t scored away from home since Boxing Day, the Hammers were 3-1 down midway through the second half before a late fightback saw them down Jan Siewert’s men. Here are our talking points from the game, as well as the player ratings from the media.

Fabian Balbuena needs to start soon: The Balbuena-Issa Diop partnership was one of the highlights of the season for the Hammers before the Paraguayan got injured. He’s now fit, but Pellegrini, perhaps out of loyalty to Angelo Ogbonna, has chosen to continue with the Italian’s partnership with young Frenchman Diop in the heart of defence.

There have been some good moments with the Ogbonna-Diop partnership, but the consistency that Pellegrini would like is missing. Together, the solidity you’d expect from a side wanting to challenge for Europe isn’t quite there- too many defensive lapses for the fans’ liking. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- Cardiff v West Ham

West Ham’s struggles on the road continued as they slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cardiff City over the weekend. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of Manuel Pellegrini’s team this season has seen them take points off Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool at home, and yet lose to the likes of Cardiff and Burnley on the road.

West Ham’s dreadful 2019 away from the London Stadium

Cardiff 2-0 West Ham
Man City 1-0 West Ham
Palace 1-1 West Ham
Wolves 3-0 West Ham
Wimbledon 4-2 West Ham
Bournemouth 2-0 West Ham

The Hammers boss opted to keep faith with the same lineup that had done a league double over Newcastle last weekend- the only change came on the bench, where Paraguayan defender Fabian Balbuena returned to the squad, with Lucas Perez dropping out. [Read more…]

Another poor away performance, 70% possession & over 500 passes!- Talking Points from Cardiff v West Ham

Mark Noble’s 400th league appearance for West Ham ended in defeat as they turned in a lacklustre performance to go down 2-0 to relegation threatened Cardiff. Goals in either half from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa sealed a 2-0 win for the Bluebirds. Let’s take a look at the main talking points from the game.

West Ham very sluggish and off the pace

Literally every pundit predicted a West Ham win before the game. Few gave a Cardiff side who had conceded 10 goals in the last three games a chance against Manuel Pellegrini’s men, but the home team not only picked up all three points, but also kept a clean sheet.

This was in someway a typical West Ham performance against lower ranked opposition. With Wolves and Watford away at Chelsea and Man City respectively, this was a great opportunity for the Hammers to heap pressure on their nearest rivals. Instead they fluffed their lines badly and turned in one of their worst performances of the season. Cardiff were physical and niggly, and West Ham’s players failed to adapt.

It took them over 70 minutes to register their first shot on target! There were only two notable chances- one a long range Rice effort denied by the woodwork, and another one from Arnautovic that was parried away by Neil Etheridge.

At the final whistle, West Ham had 70% of possession and had made over 500 passes- Cardiff by comparison had made a little over 200 with a pass accuracy of only 67%. Yet the Bluebirds had more clear cut chances than their opponents.

Rice and Fabianski the only positives in Noble’s 400th league game.

As it’s so often happened this season in a poor performance, Declan Rice and Lukasz Fabianski were the only shining lights for this West Ham team. Fabianski made a terrific double save in the second half and without him, the Hammers may have easily lost 3 or 4-0.

Noble won’t look too fondly upon his 400th league appearance. The Cardiff midfield trio of Gunnarsson, Arter and Camarasa outshone the Hammers, and Pellegrini had hooked Anderson, Noble and Lanzini by the hour mark- so frustrated was he by his side’s sluggish play.

Fredericks onside

Ryan Fredericks didn’t appear to be on the same wavelength as the rest of his defence for the offside trap against Palace last month. It didn’t cost them there, but did so here. Everyone thought Camarasa was offside for his goal, only for the wide angle to reveal that Fredericks had played him onside. With that goal went West Ham’s slim chances of taking something from the game.

Worrying away performances

The Hammers are winless away on the road in 2019 with six defeats and a draw in their last seven. For some reason, they don’t seem to really turn up for away games and this inconsistency must be frustrating for Pellegrini.

Referee Graham Scott

Scott seemed to be content to allow things to flow and kept his cards in his pocket- more of a laissez faire attitude. There was an early Harry Arter challenge for which the medio should’ve seen yellow- it might have reduced the free for all nature of the game. Late in the fixture, there was a dangerous collision between Fabianski and Sean Morrison, which some may have seen worthy of a red for the Cardiff defender rather than the yellow he received.

WHUCAR

West Ham Attendances 2018-19 season | Olympic Stadium London Crowd Figures & Stats

Here is a look at West Ham’s attendance stats for home games at the London Stadium during the 2018/19 season. Includes both Premier League and Cup clashes. The Hammers had the fourth best average attendance in the league after Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal in 2017-18. We did this feature in the 2017/18 season and are doing it again.

Stats to be updated after every home game (last updated after West Ham v Southampton 2019 attendance (59,961) Premier League game on 4 May, 2019.

What is West Ham’s average Premier League attendance for the 18/19 season?

As on date, it is 58,336 (Total attendance 11,08,375/19 games) [Read more…]