First away win for Hodgson, Superb Hammers team goal & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace

West Ham’s six game unbeaten streak was halted on Saturday evening as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. With Leicester having lost earlier in the day to Liverpool, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone third with a victory over the Eagles, but have instead dropped to eighth going into the October international break.

Here are our talking points from this Round 8 clash at the London Stadium.

Roy Hodgson’s first away win against West Ham as manager: This was Roy Hodgson’s first away win against the Hammers in his managerial career after six previous unsuccessful attempts. Given that his side were huge underdogs coming into this clash (not one pundit thought they’d win), this was a fine achievement from the veteran gaffer.

His side were without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic, which meant Hodgson had to give young James McCarthy his first start since the latter’s horrible leg break against Albion last year.

Palace were well organised defensively, as you’d expect a Hodgson side to be, and his introduction of Andros Townsend at the end when the score 1-1 showed he wasn’t willing to settle for a draw, but instead wanted all three points.

West Ham’s goal a thing of beauty: There weren’t too many bright spots in this GW8 clash, but the Hammers’ goal here was a thing of beauty- a goal worth watching again and again. A simply marvellous team goal- a move that began in the WHUFC half and involved quick, incisive passing to break Palace down and a superb finish from Sebastien Haller as well- the goal had a xG of just 0.14 (14 out of every 100 would score in that situation based on past evidence). Easily the best team goal of the Pellegrini era. [Read more…]

West Ham vs Crystal Palace 2019 Predictions- Media Pundits give their expected scoreline

West Ham’s first game of October sees Manuel Pellegrini’s side square off against Crystal Palace at the London Stadium. The Hammers haven’t lost in the Premier League since their opening round loss to Man City and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games on Saturday evening against Roy Hodgson’s men.

The Eagles will be without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic and injured defender Mamadou Sakho. They’ve also had a good start to the season and are only a point behind West Ham in the league standings.

For West Ham, most of the team pick themselves. The only questions in front of Pellegrini will be whether to start with Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku or continue with Pablo Fornals and Aaron Cresswell.

The referee for this game is Michael Oliver- Palace have won their last three league games under him. Oliver refereed six of the Eagles’ games last season, but only two for the Hammers (the win at home against Man Utd and the draw away at Leicester).

Here is a look at what major TV and media pundits have predicted for this Game Week 8 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro notes that both teams have done well but adds that West Ham, in particular “have impressed him”. Reckons that the home side’s attack is better than Palace’s, and has backed Manuel Pellegrini’s men to run out 2-0 winners.

Lawro’s celeb opponent for this weekend- legendary athlete Michael Johnson, has echoed the former’s prediction (2-0 to the Hammers)

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Nicholas says this is the “best West Ham side” he’s seen, and reckons they’ll take this clash 3-1, with Sebastien Haller to score at the London Stadium. [Read more…]

Yarmolenko excellent, Wilshere not so much, Roberto’s league debut & more- Five Talking Points from Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham

West Ham extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six games as they drew 2-2 with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. A draw was probably a fair result for both sides after an enthralling afternoon of play on the South Coast. Here are our talking points from the game.

Andriy Yarmolenko excellent: We thought Andriy Yarmolenko was good last week against United, but he was even better today against Bournemouth. Scored a fine opening goal- almost a replica of his strike against United from last week, and played a key part in Aaron Cresswell’s equaliser. His interplay with Sebastien Haller was fantastic to watch and he gave Cherries left back Diego Rico a torrid afternoon.

The Ukrainian didn’t shy away from his defensive duties either, regularly helping Ryan Fredericks on the right wing. All in all, a very fine afternoon of work from him [Read more…]

Bournemouth vs West Ham Pundit Predictions- Who will win this GW7 clash?

Both Bournemouth and West Ham will look to bounce back from their respective midweek Cup defeats when they lock horns at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon. With Arsenal not playing until Monday night, victory for either side will, at least temporarily, see them move into the top four.

The referee for this game is Stuart Attwell, who was also the man in the middle when the Cherries beat the Hammers 2-1 in August 2018. This will however be his first game involving the Irons in the 19/20 season.

With Arthur Masuaku back from suspension, Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to restore the former to his starting XI, or to persist with Aaron Cresswell, who scored a fine free kick to help seal all three points against Manchester United, and was named in several pundits’ Round 6 Team of the Week.

Here is a look at what various TV and media pundits have predicted for this clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons that home advantage will help Bournemouth and has backed Eddie Howe’s side to edge this clash 2-1. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings Oxford 4-0 West Ham | How did Alban Ajeti and Carlos Sanchez fare?

Days after beating Manchester United 2-0 at home, West Ham were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by third tier Oxford United, who thrashed Manuel Pellegrini’s side 4-0.

The Hammers made nine changes to the side that had beaten United, with Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals the only survivors from that game. The reserves unfortunately didn’t rise to the occasion- Oxford, 12th in League One, made six changes and were comfortable winners, and could’ve won by an even greater margin had luck favoured them in the first half.

Another big scalp for OUFC manager Robinson, who was also in charge of the MK Dons side that famously beat Manchester United 4-0 in this very competition five years ago. [Read more…]

Referee & match officials announced for Bournemouth vs West Ham

The referee for West Ham’s league clash this weekend at Bournemouth has been announced, and it’s a person who will be refereeing the Hammers for the first time in the 2019/20 season. Manuel Pellegrini’s men have played only six Premier League games this season but two referees- Mike Dean and Anthony Taylor, have already been in charge of two matches apiece for them.

Saturday’s referee will be Stuart Attwell, with Constantine Hatzidakis and Nicholas Hopton his assistants, and Andrew Madley in charge of VAR. Neil Hair will serve as the fourth official while Stephen Child will be Madley’s assistant on VAR.

How did West Ham do under Attwell in the 2018/19 season?

West Ham played four games under Attwell last season and lost three in a row before prevailing in the fourth and final one- a 3-0 victory at home against Southampton in the penultimate game of the season.

Interestingly, Attwell was also the referee when these two teams met last season- a fixture which the Cherries won 2-1 at the London Stadium.

West Ham under Attwell in 18/19

West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth (Round 2)
West Ham 1-3 Tottenham (League Cup)
Man City 1-0 West Ham (Round 28)
West Ham 3-0 Southampton (Round 37) [Read more…]

Several West Ham players in Premier League Team of the Week after 2-0 win over Man Utd

West Ham secured their best result of the season so far as they beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. The victory took them to fifth in the league table, tied on points with Leicester and Arsenal but below the duo on goal difference.

A big name scalp often brings recognition in the form of places on the Team of the Week, and four Hammers players have found their names in various pundits’ XI for Game Week 6.

Garth Crooks (BBC): Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week has one West Ham representative- skipper Mark Noble, chosen in a four man midfield alongside James Maddison, Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne.

Crooks also brought to light an interesting stat- West Ham’s win percentage under Manuel Pellegrini with Mark Noble playing is 48%, but it drops to 18% when the veteran medio doesn’t feature. [Read more…]

Yarmolenko good, Cresswell’s 400th game, Fourth Consecutive Clean Sheet & more- Talking Points from West Ham vs Manchester United

West Ham added to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s woes by crafting a fine 2-0 win over Manchester United earlier this afternoon. The result took the Hammers to fifth in the table (they would’ve been fourth if not for Arsenal’s late winner against Villa), and makes Manuel Pellegrini the only coach to have got the better of four different Man Utd managers (Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solsksjaer) in the Premier League.

Here are our talking points from this clash at the London Stadium.

Yarmolenko good: We’ve often criticised Andriy Yarmolenko for his below-par performances in the past, but today was one of his best displays for the club. The Ukrainian winger’s goal was a rare moment of quality in an otherwise cagey first half for both teams (coming back from an offside position and then producing a fine finish).

Another heart-warming thing to see was him putting a last ditch tackle in the 78th minute to stop Jesse Lingard after Lukasz Fabianski had come off his line to deny United’s first time effort. Yarmolenko has often been criticised for ignoring his defensive work and not tracking back enough, so this was fantastic to watch. [Read more…]

Aston Villa v West Ham Predictions- What do the media pundits think?

Premier League football returns after the international break, with West Ham in action on Monday night against newly promoted Aston Villa. Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be looking for their fourth consecutive win across all competitions at Villa Park after having beaten Watford, Newport and Norwich in straight succession last month.

Ref watch: The referee for this game is Mike Dean. In Villa’s last season in the top flight before this one (2015/16), Dean was in charge of six of their games. They lost five of those six, and the only team against whom the Midlands outfit picked up points, as you might expect, were West Ham!

Villa will be without the key duo of Jonathan Kodjia and Trezeguet, with the former injured and the latter suspended. Here is what the big media pundits have predicted for this Round 5 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons this will be a close one, but expects Villa to make their “home advantage count”. Also says Dean Smith’s men will be up for this one after having their late equaliser against Crystal Palace disallowed.

Lawro has predicted a 2-1 win for Villa. His celeb opponents this weekend- the trio of Chelcee Grimes, Craig Mitch and Reece Parkinson however don’t expect the home side to emerge victorious, with Chelcee (2-2) and Reece (1-1) both expecting draws and Craig predicting a 2-1 win for the Hammers.

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Nicholas has made a slightly controversial statement, saying that “people are far too excited about Declan Rice“, and reckons Wilshere and Noble will be back in the starting line up. He also says he likes “what Villa have at the moment” and like Lawro, has gone for a 2-1 AVFC win. [Read more…]

Fantastic Felipe, First home goal for Yarmolenko, Cantwell miss, Haller penalty not given & more- Talking Points from West Ham v Norwich

West Ham secured their first home win of the 2019/20 Premier League season as they beat newly promoted Norwich City 2-0 at the London Stadium. The goals came from Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko as the Hammers moved into the top half of the table in their last game before the international break.

Here are our talking points from the fixture.

Fantastic Felipe Anderson: Many will consider the second half as one of West Ham’s best ever attacking performances at the London Stadium, and Felipe Anderson was at the heart of it. The Brazilian troubled Norwich all afternoon and was virtually unplayable. West Ham went from 4 attempts at the end of the first half to 18 at full time. They only won 2-0, but on another day, it could very easily have been 5 or 6-0 to the home side.

First goal for Andriy Yarmolenko at the London Stadium: We had criticised Andriy Yarmolenko for his poor performance last weekend against Watford and for fifty minutes today, it appeared that nothing much had changed. All the Ukrainian had to show for his first half efforts was a couple of theatrical falls in the opposition box that amounted to nothing, and even the commentators called his performance “weary”

He however turned it around in the 56th minute with a well taken volley that sealed the game for the Hammers. A minute before the goal, he had hit an even better volley, but was denied by the woodwork.

His celebration with the physios and medical staff (Dom Rogan and co.) after the goal was heart warming- it showed how hard they had worked with him after last season’s horror injury. [Read more…]