Referee announced for Wolves game- West Ham unbeaten in last four games under him

The Premier League resumes this weekend after the three month Covid-19 enforced break, and West Ham’s first fixture sees them square off against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening.

The referee for this game has been announced, and it’s someone under whom the Hammers have a pretty good recent record- Anthony Taylor.

The Hammers are unbeaten in their last four games with Taylor as referee, and have lost only once in the last eight Premier League games when he’s been in charge of affairs. [Read more…]

Premier League postponed till April 30, announces FA

Another coronavirus update from the Premier League, who have now announced that the competition will be postponed till at least April 30. The original suspension of the league was till April 3, but with more cases of the epidemic emerging in the United Kingdom and schools being ordered to shut down, it’s now been extended till April 30.

UEFA moving Euro 2020 to 2021 has created some much needed space on the calendar for the domestic leagues, who will now be free to potentially continue the league later on in the summer. The FA’s regulations state that leagues must be completed by June 1 at the latest, but that will be relaxed in the wake of the virus, which appears to be world football’s biggest crisis since World War II. [Read more…]

Smash & grab win for Gunners, Haller & Antonio squander chances & more- Talking Points from Arsenal 1-0 West Ham

Alexandre Lacazette’s second half goal, given after a lengthy VAR check, saw Arsenal edge West Ham 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in Game Week 29. With Watford and Bournemouth both losing and Brighton drawing, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone as high as 14th with a win against the Gunners, but their poor record at the Emirates continued as they slumped to defeat despite a strong performance.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Smash and grab win for Arsenal: Arsenal had nearly 70% of the ball, but they were very ordinary here. The quality of West Ham’s chances were far superior, and the visitors had six shots on target as opposed to the Gunners’ two.

The Arsenal goal also had an element of luck- Aubameyang’s pass took a wicked deflection off Declan Rice and it wrong-footed the Hammers defence before falling to Mesut Ozil, who chested the ball down to Lacazette to slot home from close range. It was also Ozil’s first open play assist in more than a year!

Hammers squander chances: As mentioned above, West Ham created several clear cut chances. They had a 2 on 1 in the 10th minute, with Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller against David Luiz, but the French striker overran the ball. Another chance in the 18th minute saw Haller in a promising one on one with Bernd Leno, but the former’s first touch let him down. A third opportunity saw Diop’s header from a corner land at the feet of Antonio, but the striker inexplicably missed from point blank range. A fourth saw Antonio get a free header, but it was again squandered. [Read more…]

Arsenal vs West Ham Predictions- What do the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances?

David Moyes will be looking for his first away win against Arsenal as a Premier League manager when his charges square off against the Gunners on Saturday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium. The hosts are managed by Mikel Arteta, whom Moyes coached as a player during his stint at Goodison Park.

Arsenal come into this game on the back of a win in the FA Cup against Portsmouth, while West Ham also registered an important victory last weekend against Southampton.

Here is a look at what the pundits have predicted for this Round 29 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says it was “imperative” for West Ham to beat Southampton last weekend and that victory may have given them “something to build on”. Reckons that while West Ham have their issues, the Gunners are not entirely without problems either, and has predicted a 1-1 draw.

His celebrity opponent this weekend, singer Tom Grennan, expects this to be a goalless stalemate. [Read more…]

Two strikers upfront, first start (and goal) for Jarrod Bowen, Haller’s rabona & more- Talking Points from West Ham 3-1 Southampton 2020

West Ham claimed a much needed win as they beat Southampton 3-1 at the London Stadium on Leap Day. Given their tough run of fixtures recently, this was a game that the Hammers would’ve targetted for three points, and they achieved it thanks to goals from Jarrod Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio.

Here are our talking points from West Ham’s game against Saints at the London Stadium.

Two strikers upfront works well: Moyes opted for Antonio to partner Haller upfront, and the two were excellent as a duo. Haller, who has often appeared lethargic and disinterested while playing as a sole striker this season, seemed to pick up his game in the company of the energetic Antonio.

Both of them scored goals and their presence forced Hasenhuttl to switch to a back three strategy in the second half to contain the duo, with Jannik Vestegaard coming in for Michael Obafemi.

The downside of this strategy is that it leaves West Ham a bit thin in midfield, where they can be overrun, as was illustrated in Southampton’s first goal on the counter, but the positives appear to outweigh the negatives currently.

First start and first goal for Jarrod Bowen: Given his first Premier League start, young Jarrod Bowen responded with a well taken goal to open the scoring for the Hammers. He didn’t shy away from his defensive responsibilities either, something that the likes of Anderson and Lanzini have often been criticised for. Perhaps a bit greedy on a couple of other occasions when he could’ve picked a team mate in a better position instead of going for goal himself, but a good performance nevertheless. [Read more…]