Felipe Anderson disappointing, Adama Traore the punisher, Rice at CB & More- Talking Points from West Ham v Wolves

West Ham’s disappointing season continued as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening. A rare recent defeat for the Hammers under Anthony Taylor, and a fourth consecutive win against WHUFC for Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo (with a combined 8-0 scoreline in favour of the Midlands outfit). An even more disappointing result given that fellow strugglers Brighton and Watford both managed to pick up something from their games against Arsenal and Leicester respectively.

Here is a look at the talking points from the game.

Woeful Felipe Anderson: It was another disappointing day at the office for West Ham’s star Brazilian, as has unfortunately been the case for most of this season. He was expected to be the Hammers’ key attacking threat, but did little of note, and was subbed off midway through the second half for Manuel Lanzini.

There was one occasion early in the first half when West Ham had a promising opportunity on the counter after a Wolves corner. Anderson found himself on a 1 on 1 with Ruben Neves on the wing, and you would’ve backed an in-form version of the Brazilian to get past Neves. Instead the latter comfortably nicked the ball off him, and put in a delightful diagonal that very nearly resulted in Wolves scoring at the other end.

There’s even a video circulating on social media of Anderson missing an attempt from point blank range during the warm up- perhaps a sign of what was to come during the actual game. A fit and firing Anderson would greatly aid West Ham’s quest for survival, but he’s gone missing too many times this season.

Traore the punisher: Adama Traore had scored the winner in the corresponding fixture last season and he was again West Ham’s tormentor-in-chief here.

While Wolves was the better side, their dominance didn’t show on the scoreline until Traore was unleashed off the bench. He was a constant menace down the right wing, brushing off opposition players as if they weren’t there, and causing all kinds of problems with his pace and strength. It was a delightful Traore cross that lead to Diogo Jota scoring the opener. [Read more…]

West Ham vs Wolves Predictions- Pundits give their predicted scorelines for first Hammers game after Covid-19 break

West Ham will play their first Premier League game after the Coronavirus enforced break when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers this evening. The Hammers will be looking to create some distance between themselves and the drop zone, while the visitors will go level on points with 5th placed Manchester United should they win at the London Stadium.

West Ham might be a tad more comfortable with the referee for this game than Wolves, given both sides’ recent records under him.

Here is a look at what the pundits have to predict for this game.

Mark Lawrenson: At the BBC, Lawro says that “there’s often a negative vibe at the London Stadium” and thinks that the lack of fans might actually help the Hammers. He also adds that West Ham “are better than their position in the table suggests” and has backed them to win this 1-0. [Read more…]

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…]