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…]