Five Talking Points from Brighton v West Ham

What a bizarre weekend of football it was! Bayern, Real and Barcelona all failed to win, and so might have Manchester United, if it hadn’t been for that late comeback and a stoppage time winner from the much maligned Alexis Sanchez that saw them edge Newcastle.

Currently, Bayern, Real and Barcelona have not won in the last 10 league games combined between them! Real are even having problems scoring, and while Barca are drawing, their story might also have been different had Lionel Messi not been available for them.

Moving away from Bayern, Real and Barca, and back to West Ham, this was one very disappointing result. As Hammers fans though, must admit that some of us actually expected this. BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson, in his pre-game prediction, had gone for a Brighton win just because “it would be typical of West Ham to have a stumble just as they start to get back on their feet

This was a very winnable game- make no bones about it. If not a win, West Ham, as manager Manuel Pellegrini pointed out his post match interview, at least deserved a point. They had 65% of possession, made over 510 passes (in comparison to Brighton’s 280 odd). The home side had a passing accuracy of only 68%, and their only goal came from a horrible Hammers mistake, with Yarmolenko losing the ball in midfield and some very ordinary defending allowing Murray to score. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Brighton?

In his prediction for this game, BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson had said that it would be typical of West Ham “to have a stumble just as they start to get back on their feet“. They turned out to be pretty prophetic words, with Brighton claiming a win at the Amex last night thanks to Glen Murray’s first half goal.

Several Hammers were below par against the Seagulls- Arthur Masuaku, who ignored his defensive responsibilities when Murray got into the box for the first goal, was one. It appeared from replays that Issa Diop had clearly pointed to Masuaku to mark Murray, but for reasons best known to the left back, he chose not to, and the unmarked Murray gleefully scored what was to prove to be the winner for Chris Hughton’s side. Questions have always been asked about Masuaku’s defensive capabilities, and this display is only sure to add to those. [Read more…]

West Ham 3-1 Manchester United 2018 Analysis and Match Report

West Ham pick up their second win of the season and pushed Jose Mourinho closer to the exit door after beating Man Utd 3-1 at the London Stadium. The Hammers had won only one of their previous 19 games against United, a side that has traditionally had the better of the Irons, but were good value for their win here, with the Red Devils looking a pale shadow of their former selves.

While Manuel Pellegrini stuck to the 4-1-4-1 formation that has seen an upturn in his side’s fortunes [Read more…]

Arnautovic-less West Ham break Chelsea’s 100% record

West Ham continued to build on the progress made away at Everton in Round 5, holding Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea to a goalless stalemate at the London Stadium. Few, if any, of the 56,875 fans at the stadium would’ve expected the struggling Hammers, sans key forward Marko Arnautovic, to take points off the Blues, who came into the fixture having won all five of their previous games and tied for most goals scored along with Man City.

Instead, West Ham produced a resolute defensive performance which showed their players were getting a hang of the systems implemented by Manuel Pellegrini. It could’ve even been a famous win- there were three very decent chances to the Hammers, two of which would’ve probably been buried by Marko Arnautovic, had he been available.

West Ham made only one change to the side that had beaten Everton, with Michail Antonio coming for the injured Arnautovic in their 4-1-4-1 formation. Antonio’s promotion to the starting XI also allowed Ryan Fredericks to come onto the bench. Chelsea, on the other hand, made 5 changes from the side that had beaten PAOK in the Europa League in midweek. With Pedro injured, Chelsea opted for a front trio of Willian, Giroud and Hazard. [Read more…]

Everton 1-3 West Ham | 4-1-4-1 formation gives Pellegrini victory on 65th birthday

West Ham gave manager Manuel Pellegrini a fantastic birthday present as they beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park to claim their first points of the season. The Hammers, who had lost their first four games, were under lots of pressure coming into this fixture. Chelsea and Man Utd were their next opponents after the Everton game, meaning a loss at Goodison could potentially see the club start the season with 7 defeats. Add to this their poor H2H record against Everton- the Toffees had won more Premier League games against West Ham than any other club, and the Hammers had only been victorious twice in their last 22 visits to Goodison Park. [Read more…]

West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth 2018 Review & Analysis- 150th league win as Bournemouth manager for Eddie Howe

Few would’ve expected West Ham to beat Liverpool at Anfield on the opening weekend, but this was definitely seen as a winnable fixture when the lists were announced. It was against Bournemouth (who had strung together only 4 away league wins last season), was their first of the 18/19 at the London Stadium under Manuel Pellegrini (who had registered 5-1 and 4-0 wins over the Cherries when he was manager of Man City)

Unfortunately, it all went pear shaped for the Hammers in the second half, with the Cherries completing a stunning come from behind victory to give manager Eddie Howe his 150th league win in charge of the club.

Pellegrini seemed to have sent a stern message with Ryan Fredericks, Declan Rice and Michail Antonio, all of whom could’ve been said to have performed poorly against Liverpool, axed from the match day squad. In came Pablo Zabaleta, Robert Snodgrass and Javier Hernandez, with Pellegrini opting for an effective 4-4-2 formation. [Read more…]

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham 2018- Hammers put to the sword at Anfield

If Manuel Pellegrini needed an idea of the enormous task that lies in front of him as he seeks to rebuild this club, he got it on the opening day of the season at Anfield. There was a mild air of optimism among the travelling fans, with the Hammers among the top five spenders domestically in this transfer market. Five of the ten signings made by Pellegrini this summer- Lukasz Fabianski in goal, Ryan Fredericks at right back, Fabian Balbuena at CB, Jack Wilshere in the centre of the park and club record signing Felipe Anderson on the left side of midfield, were given their league debuts for the club in this game.

West Ham effectively lined up in a 4-2-3-1 position, with Arthur Masuaku at LB, Declan Rice and skipper Mark Noble sitting deeper in midfield and Marko Arnautovic on his own upfront. Liverpool were in a 4-3-3, with the trio of Naby Keita, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner in midfield behind their attacking triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. [Read more…]

West Ham 3-0 Southampton | Abysmal Saints crash to defeat at the London Stadium

A disappointing performance from Southampton, perhaps one of the worst you’d see from a Premier League team this season, saw West Ham pick up a vital win in this effective six pointer game and ease their relegation fears at the London Stadium.

Saints were expected to give West Ham a run for their money in manager Mark Hughes’ first game in charge, but produced a shocking first half display, allowing a struggling West Ham side to look utterly dominant.

For West Ham, injuries meant David Moyes went with a Cresswell-Ogbonna-Rice back three, with Joao Mario and Michail Antonio in support of Marko Arnautovic. The game also saw the return of Arthur Masuaku after the conclusion of his ban for spitting at Nick Powell. [Read more…]

Liverpool v West Ham Report & Analysis- Reds complete “4-1” league double over Hammers

A dire second half performance saw West Ham slump to defeat at Anfield to Liverpool, who ended up beating the Hammers by the same 4-1 scoreline they had won by when the two teams met at the London Stadium earlier this season.

Given West Ham’s poor record at Anfield and Liverpool’s attacking prowess, few would’ve given the Hammers a chance before the game, but a two week break and the club’s encouraging performances against the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea earlier in the season had several fans hopeful.

West Ham boss David Moyes, who had never won at Anfield as manager, made two changes, bringing in Patrice Evra for his club debut for Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini back from injury at the expense of Javier Hernandez. [Read more…]