Pellegrini rings in the changes, Squandered chances & More- Talking Points from West Ham vs Sheffield United

West Ham United’s recent struggles continued as they drew 1-1 with newly promoted Sheffield United at the London Stadium. The home side took the lead against the run of play through Robert Snodgrass, only for Lys Mousset to equalise for the Blades after the interval.

The Hammers are now winless in their last five games across all competitions- their last victory was the famous 2-0 triumph over Manchester United back in September.

Here are our talking points from this GW10 game.

Pellegrini rings in the changes: It’s clear that Manuel Pellegrini was disappointed with the way his charges have played in the last few weeks. He made FIVE changes for this clash- three of them in the backline. Pellegrini is usually not one to tinker too much with his squad, but he probably felt it necessary to let the players know they needed to perform better. Out went Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini, and in came Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena, Aaron Cresswell, Robert Snodgrass and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Two glorious second half chances wasted by Felipe Anderson: West Ham had two fabulous chances in the ten minute period just before the hour mark. One needed Anderson to pass to the unmarked Snodgrass, while another required the Brazilian to get his pass away to Yarmolenko. Unfortunately for West Ham, Anderson messed up both chances, and Sheffield United were let off the hook while trailing 1-0.

Anderson is not at his best, but with Manuel Lanzini off colour and Pablo Fornals still settling in, much of West Ham’s play goes through the Brazilian. It’s perhaps no coincidence that their winning streak has coincided with his dip in form.

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Lanzini and Ajeti anonymous: Both were introduced from the bench, but unfortunately didn’t have the impact required. With Anderson on the pitch, the Hammers at least had a few chances- they became less of a threat after his withdrawal.

Mousset the hero again for SUFC: He scored the winner against Arsenal on Monday night, and Lys Mousset was again the hero for Sheffield United here at the London Stadium, netting the equaliser just five minutes after replacing Oliver Norwood- an attacking substitution from opposition boss Chris Wilder.

Newcastle game a big one for the Hammers: Next week’s home game against Newcastle now shapes up as a very important clash for West Ham. They have Burnley away after the Magpies- not a guaranteed three points by any stretch of imagination given their struggles on the road, and then fixtures against Spurs (H), Chelsea (A) and Wolves (A).

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