Fulham 0-2 West Ham Match Report | Abject Cottagers defending hands Hammers fourth straight win

New Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri has massive, massive problems. His side created far more chances (16 shots to West Ham’s 6), but were let down by two horror moments of first half defending. West Ham didn’t have too many chances, but as Manuel Pellegrini remarked after the game, clinically took the ones they had. It’s the hallmark of a good team, and the Hammers moved into the top ten with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage- their fourth straight victory on the bounce.

Pellegrini made only one change, bringing in Michail Antonio upfront for the injured Lucas Perez. Fulham had Andre Frank Anguissa suspended and Ryan Sessegnon injured, and Ranieri brought in Calum Chambers and Aboubakar Kamara into the starting lineup. The Italian chose to keep faith with the same backline that had struggled against Man Utd, which in hindsight, proved to be a terrible decision. He could’ve played Christie at right back instead of Odoi, who had a torrid evening against the in-form Felipe Anderson. [Read more…]

Newcastle 0-3 West Ham December 1 2018 | Post Match Report, Thoughts and Analysis

West Ham claimed only a second win at St.James Park since 1998 as they produced a quality attacking performance away from home to beat Rafa Benitez’s men 3-0. While the Magpies were on a three game winning streak going into this game, they had lost all four of their previous games under Paul Tierney, and four became five on Saturday afternoon.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini rung in the changes, with four players coming into the XI that had lost to Man City. Arthur Masuaku’s horror show at the London Stadium saw Aaron Cresswell replace him at left back. Skipper Mark Noble, who surprisingly didn’t start against City, came back into the XI and so did Scottish international Robert Snodgrass, who returned from suspension. There was another start for Javier Hernandez, who had been linked with a move away from the London Stadium in the leadup to the game, which meant the like of Michail Antonio, Grady Diangana and Pedro Obiang dropped out of the XI. Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere were both on the bench, with Arnautovic deemed fit enough to start after passing a fitness test. Chicharito played behind Arnautovic in the Hammers’ preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Newcastle made only one change, with Javi Manquillo coming in for Ciaran Clark. The Magpies had employed 5 at the back against Burnley, but switched to a more traditional back four against the Hammers. With Schar and Fernandez in decent form, Clark was the one to be dropped, despite a more than decent performance against the Clarets. [Read more…]

West Ham 0-4 Man City | Same number of attempts as City and eight times as many corners, but defeat!

The headline pretty much tells it all. West Ham haven’t been a walkover for top six sides in the Premier League this season, more so at home. The pre-game predictions for this game had City as easy winners. The end scoreline may not have suggested so, but West Ham gave Pep Guardiola’s men a fair run for their money. The Spanish gaffer even agreed in the end that his “City side were lucky” and “nowhere near their best”.

West Ham had the same number of attempts as City and had eight corners, compared to their solitary one, but were on the receiving end of a humbling 4-0 scoreline. A better attacking side with more lethal finishers all round- West Ham this season have been heavily reliant on Arnautovic and Anderson for goals, might have even upset City here. [Read more…]

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

Prior to this game, West Ham had only scored two second half goals in the ten Premier League fixtures they had played this season. Here, they proceeded to score three times in the space of 25 second half minutes to secure 3 absolutely precious points and give manager Manuel Pellegrini, who had labelled this a “must-win”, some much needed breathing space.

All pundits had expected the Hammers to beat Sean Dyche’s side, and for forty five minutes till the interval, they dominated all aspects of the game except the scoreboard, where Burnley somehow found themselves level at half time despite having only 32% possession and having a passing accuracy of only 60%. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham fare in the Carabao Cup v Spurs

West Ham were unable to produce an encore of their stunning win from 12 months ago as they exited the League Cup following a 3-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. Lilywhites coach Mauricio Pochettino made ten changes from the side that had lost to Man City on Monday. His opposite number Pellegrini couldn’t make as many, owing to injuries and suspensions, but the Chilean did his best to cobble together a side that had a chance against a second string Spurs outfit while also giving some key players a bit of a break- with the likes of Fabianski, Balbuena and Zabaleta rested.

Unfortunately for Pellegrini, defensive errors let his side down. All three goals scored by Spurs could be chalked down to individual errors, with Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku culpable. The latter has already attracted the ire of fans for some shoddy defending- the way he let Glenn Murray score for Brighton is one example, and the way he allowed Son to score Tottenham’s second will only add to their frustration and anger. Spurs had been unbeaten this decade under the ref for this game, and their record continued with this victory at the London Stadium. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

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

Like Brighton, this was a game West Ham should’ve at least drawn, if not won. They certainly created enough chances to take all three points, but Spurs walked away with the win at the end- the first time in nearly six decades that the Lilywhites have won five straight London derbies.

Both of West Ham’s changes for this game- Aaron Cresswell for Arthur Masuaku and Robert Snodgrass for Pedro Obiang, were injury enforced. Javier Hernandez made his first appearance since the Wolves game for the Hammers as a second half substitute and even managed to get the ball into the back of the net after some beautiful interplay with Marko Arnautovic, but it was disallowed for offside.

If Yarmolenko was poor against Brighton, his fellow winger Felipe Anderson had a game to forget this time around, with his reluctance to track back not helping left back Aaron Cresswell’s cause. He was culpable for the first goal- some poor defending that allowed Moussa Sissoko to set up Erik Lamela. It was a goal that should never have been conceded, and was Spurs’ first shot on target till then! And lest it not be forgotten, when West Ham were on the attack, Mark Noble was robbed of the ball in the move that eventually lead to Spurs’ goal. Yarmolenko was stretchered off towards the end of the first half and is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines, adding to Pellegrini’s headaches. [Read more…]

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…]