Felipe Anderson disappointing, Adama Traore the punisher, Rice at CB & More- Talking Points from West Ham v Wolves

West Ham’s disappointing season continued as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening. A rare recent defeat for the Hammers under Anthony Taylor, and a fourth consecutive win against WHUFC for Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo (with a combined 8-0 scoreline in favour of the Midlands outfit). An even more disappointing result given that fellow strugglers Brighton and Watford both managed to pick up something from their games against Arsenal and Leicester respectively.

Here is a look at the talking points from the game.

Woeful Felipe Anderson: It was another disappointing day at the office for West Ham’s star Brazilian, as has unfortunately been the case for most of this season. He was expected to be the Hammers’ key attacking threat, but did little of note, and was subbed off midway through the second half for Manuel Lanzini.

There was one occasion early in the first half when West Ham had a promising opportunity on the counter after a Wolves corner. Anderson found himself on a 1 on 1 with Ruben Neves on the wing, and you would’ve backed an in-form version of the Brazilian to get past Neves. Instead the latter comfortably nicked the ball off him, and put in a delightful diagonal that very nearly resulted in Wolves scoring at the other end.

There’s even a video circulating on social media of Anderson missing an attempt from point blank range during the warm up- perhaps a sign of what was to come during the actual game. A fit and firing Anderson would greatly aid West Ham’s quest for survival, but he’s gone missing too many times this season.

Traore the punisher: Adama Traore had scored the winner in the corresponding fixture last season and he was again West Ham’s tormentor-in-chief here.

While Wolves was the better side, their dominance didn’t show on the scoreline until Traore was unleashed off the bench. He was a constant menace down the right wing, brushing off opposition players as if they weren’t there, and causing all kinds of problems with his pace and strength. It was a delightful Traore cross that lead to Diogo Jota scoring the opener. He had a key role to play in the buildup to the second goal too- a cross from Doherty, again on Traore’s wing, that West Ham were unable to deal with, leading to Pedro Neto scoring a stunning volley.


West Ham have a new sleeve sponsor: This was West Ham’s first game with their new sleeve sponsor Scope Markets, but the change didn’t bring around any change in their on-field fortunes as they crashed to another disappointing defeat. Yes Sebastien Haller and Issa Diop were missing, but this didn’t feel like a performance from a side that knows it’s in a genuine relegation fight.

The Fornals chance in the first quarter: West Ham actually had the first real opportunity of the game. Mark Noble’s long pass found Pablo Fornals, who had timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap. However the Spaniard went for the glory volley, and ended up blazing it over the bar. If he had laid it into the path of the incoming Michail Antonio, it would’ve been an easier one on one chance for the latter. Given West Ham’s struggles upfront, half chances have to be converted, and this was certainly one.

Declan Rice at CB: With Angelo Ogbonna injured, Moyes decided to play young Declan Rice at centre-back instead of his usual defensive midfield role. The youngster’s performance was one of the few positives that the Hammers could take from this game. He even took on Traore in 1v1 when the latter was in a dangerous position, and won his little duel.

Rice has been one of the few players to play at a consistently high level throughout the season, and his teammates would do well to take a leaf out of his book.

West Ham 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Jota 72, Neto)

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