Much improved Felipe Anderson, Big Snodgrass miss & More- Talking Points from Wolves vs West Ham

West Ham’s first ever Premier League game on Amazon saw Manuel Pellegrini’s men slump to a disappointing 2-0 defeat away at Wolves on Wednesday night. Hopes had been raised following Saturday’s stunning 1-0 win over Chelsea, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, who have managed the pressure of playing both in the Europa League and PL with aplomb this year, brought the visitors down to earth at Molineux.

West Ham have never won a Premier League game this season after conceding first, which meant it was crucial for Wolves to open the scoring, and they did so through a deflected Leander Dendoncker strike midway through the first half. Patrick Cutrone sealed all three points for the home side four minutes from time.

Manuel Pellegrini made only change to the side that had beaten Chelsea, with Michail Antonio rested and Sebastien Haller brought into the XI. Haller was again disappointing, and how Pellegrini would’ve wished for the French striker to show the energy and physicality that Antonio brought on Saturday- a key reason for West Ham’s triumph at the Bridge.

The success of the Balbuena-Diop pairing against the Blues meant they kept their places in the XI, but Issa Diop, available for selection after serving his one game suspension, dropped out of the 18 altogether.

Here are our talking points from the clash.

Much improved Felipe Anderson: The Brazilian has been disappointing this season, but put in a much improved performance yesterday evening. He was easily the Hammers’ best player, and ran rings around the Wolves’ midfield, causing them all sorts of problems. Much of West Ham’s recent struggles on attack can be put down to Anderson being off colour- he scored ten goals across all competitions in 2018/19, but is yet to find the back of the net this season.

Big Robert Snodgrass miss: A big moment in this game came on the hour mark. Wolves were 1-0 up, and an excellent ball from Pablo Fornals found Snodgrass in acres of space and in a one on one situation with the opposition keeper. His first touch was decent, but the second was absolutely horrendous, and Wolves escaped. At 1-1, and with West Ham having the better of the game in the second half, things could’ve finished very differently. The Scottish international’s corners, normally so reliable, were also disappointing at Molineux.

Mixed bag for Pablo Fornals: Two of West Ham’s best plays in the game involved Fornals- the Snodgrass chance mentioned above, and the other a beautiful strike after a one-two with Anderson that forced Rui Patricio into action.

The Spaniard didn’t have it all his way though- he struggled against the pace and physicality of Adama Traore, and was sometimes guilty of squandering potentially good attacking opportunities. Nevertheless, he seems to be growing in confidence, and hopefully Hammers fans will soon get to see the Villarreal Fornals that enthralled one and all in La Liga.

Nathan Holland debut: David Martin made his Premier League debut over the weekend against Chelsea, and this time it was Nathan Holland’s turn. He came on as a replacement for skipper Mark Noble, and was a willing runner down the left flank. It didn’t amount to much though- perhaps his lack of familiarity with the rest of the first team and their attack moves played a part?

Should Mark Noble have started?: Speaking of Noble, the skipper had a disappointing evening before being hooked for Holland. There were injury concerns over him before the game, but Pellegrini deemed him fit enough to start. But the load of playing two games in the space of four days perhaps told on the veteran, who was nowhere near his best. Wasn’t his influential self on attack, and also gave away the ball too frequently in dangerous areas, leaving the Hammers vulnerable on the counter- Rice’s booking essentially came from one of those situations.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 West Ham (Dendoncker 23, Cutrone 86)

Attendance: 31,217 (Referee- Andre Marriner)

WHU WOL

Comments

  1. Haller has been a big disappointment, almost as if he feels he erred in moving to West Ham and now thinks it’s not worth his time and effort.

    At this moment, he’s almost playing like a taller version of Chicharito.

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