Five things we learnt from West Ham v Tottenham- Post Match Thoughts

Another disappointing result despite perhaps playing the better football of the two sides- that’s been the story for most of this season for Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham. Fans will count several games- Arsenal, Chelsea, Brighton and now Spurs, where the Irons deserved much more. Some would argue they played well enough to take 12 points from these four games, but the fact remains that they’ve taken only one, and find themselves stranded deep in the bottom half of the table with only 7 points to show for their efforts so far. Perhaps it should’ve been expected- the Hammers were winless in their last five at home under Martin Atkinson, the ref for the Spurs clash.

On the positive side, West Ham have now played five of the current Premier League “big” six in their opening nine games. Their next set of games appears to be far easier, but does Pellegrini have the personnel to do the job? The latest person to join the casualty ward was Andriy Yarmolenko, who ruptured his Achilles and joins a growing long term injury list which already contains the likes of Sanchez, Wilshere, Lanzini, Carroll and Reid. It’s not quite crisis time, but the rising amount of injuries will worry West Ham’s Chilean gaffer.

What does Pellegrini do against Leicester now that Yarmolenko is injured?

RW is not exactly an area of depth for West Ham. There are of course options available to Pellegrini- Snodgrass, Antonio or young Diangana could be asked to fill in, but neither of the trio have the full requisite mix of skills and experience that the Chilean would’ve wanted for this position. He could also play Marko Arnautovic at a pinch there, but the Austrian is struggling with his own knee problems, and may be better off not playing in a position that requires a strong workrate in defence.

Did we miss Pedro Obiang against Spurs?

The Spaniard is an underrated part of West Ham’s midfield and Saturday afternoon showed how much he is missed, particularly when the other two in midfield are Noble and Rice. Robert Snodgrass did a decent job, but few would’ve missed how frequently the likes of Moura and Winks found gaps in midfield to run into.

Why was Felipe Anderson so poor?

West Ham’s system (and the quality of their defenders), requires their wingers to put work into tracking back. Anderson didn’t seem very intent to do so, and that troubled poor Aaron Cresswell, who was brought into the XI at the expense of the injured Arthur Masuaku. One goal came down that flank, and it would’ve probably been a second had Fabianski not pulled off a stunning double save.

Is Diangana ahead of Antonio?

It was telling that when Yarmolenko got injured, Pellegrini sent Diangana on instead of Antonio. The latter did make an appearance as a second half sub, but he continues to look uncomfortable in Pellegrini’s system. Diangana, despite his inexperience, seems to be a better fit.

Issa Diop is getting better and better

The young Frenchman was the standout player in defence for the Hammers and has formed a very nice partnership with Fabian Balbuena. Diop also covered for several of Cresswell’s mistakes and didn’t put a foot wrong against Spurs.

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