The return of Fabianski, loss to Leicester reserves, Carlos Sanchez poor, Pellegrini sacked- Talking Points from West Ham vs Leicester

West Ham’s 2019 finished on a disappointing note as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Saturday evening. Brendan Rodgers fielded what was virtually a Foxes B team by making nine changes, but his reserves ran out comfortable winners at the London Stadium. The home side will feel they could have done better defensively for both goals, and apart from that moment of brilliance from Felipe Anderson to set up Pablo Fornals, didn’t trouble Kasper Schmeichel too much.

The result left the Hammers just one point above the drop zone and forced the club to part ways with Manuel Pellegrini after the game, with Wednesday’s fixture against Bournemouth now shaping up to be a massive one. Here are our talking points from this GW20 clash.

The return of Lukasz Fabianski: West Ham’s problems began the moment Fabianski got injured at the Vitality Stadium in September. The club started the season encouragingly, but everything went haywire once the Pole, the reigning Hammer of the Year, was diagnosed with a torn hip muscle. His replacement Roberto didn’t exude confidence under the sticks, and that nervousness seemed to spread to the rest of the team. Roberto was finally replaced by veteran David Martin, who himself picked up a hip injury after keeping clean sheets in the wins over Chelsea and Southampton that bought Pellegrini some time.

Fabianski saved an early penalty from Demarai Gray, but there was precious little he could do to stop the other goals. Nevertheless, the fans will be glad to see the Polish stopper back in goal.

Carlos Sanchez poor: A poor outing for the Colombian who was asked to start as Pellegrini chose to rest veteran Mark Noble. Had a couple of nervy passes in the beginning that led to Leicester counter attacks, and the early penalty that the Foxes earned came from a move that began after his misplaced pass. He didn’t cover himself in glory for Gray’s winner either.

When Sebastien Haller was hooked early in the second half, the crowd wasn’t happy, but they almost cheered in appreciation when Sanchez was taken off. That tells a story in itself- the Colombian has clearly not endeared himself to the fans at the London Stadium. [Read more…]

Noble, Fredericks and Arnautovic among West Ham players named in the Premier League Team of the Week

West Ham United completed a double over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton by beating them 3-0 at the London Stadium over the weekend. Wins normally bring entrants into the Team of the Week, as it happened when the Hammers upset Spurs in Round 36.

Here, we take a look at different pundits’ TOTW and the West Ham players named in them. We had noted that Mark Noble had his best game in a while against the Saints, and the Hammers skipper is among those who features, with goal scorers Ryan Fredericks and Marko Arnautovic being the other two.

Alan Shearer’s Premier League Team of the Week for Round 37

The former Magpies legend had Fredericks and Arnautovic in his Team of the Week. West Ham had 2 representatives in his TOTW, as did Wolves, with seven other clubs contributing a player each.

Shearer TOTW Round 37 [Read more…]

Analysis- How far up can West Ham move in the table if they beat Crystal Palace this weekend

West Ham are in action against Crystal Palace this weekend, and doing a league double over Roy Hodgson’s men could be quite rewarding for the visitors, who could potentially break into the top 10 at the end of Game Week 26. That would be a fair accomplishment for Manuel Pellegrini with two thirds of the season gone.

Here’s a look at the potential permutations and the league table ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures.

8th- Watford 34 points GD -1
9th- Everton 33 points GD 0
10th Bournemouth 33 points GD -7
11th Leicester 32 points GD -1
12th West Ham 32 points GD -7 [Read more…]

Can Pellegrini’s men avoid fourth straight defeat?

West Ham will look to avoid their fourth straight defeat across all competitions when they host table toppers Liverpool on Monday night at the London Stadium.

The Hammers have had a nightmarish fortnight, losing to Bournemouth and Wolves in the league and getting knocked out of the FA Cup by lowly Wimbledon. Their fantastic December run now seems ages ago, and their season appears to be in danger of imploding. [Read more…]

Wolves v West Ham- Can Hammers bounce back from Cup loss?

West Ham will look to end the month on a high when they travel to Molineux to take on Wolves in a midweek Premier League clash. Victory for the Hammers will see them leapfrog Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in the league table, with only a single point separating the two sides going into this GW24 fixture.

West Ham fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat in their last league game against Bournemouth. With Marko Arnautovic not even named in the squad, the Hammers were forced to turn to Andy Carroll upfront and the lanky forward struggled to provide the same impact as the Austrian. Both goals came from counter attacks, with Callum Wilson’s brilliant volley putting the Cherries ahead and Joshua King wrapping up victory with a simple finish in stoppage time. [Read more…]

Fabian Balbuena and Felipe Anderson named in Premier League Team of the Week for GW17

West Ham picked up a 2-0 win over Fulham over the weekend, rising to 9th in the table by virtue of their victory over Claudio Ranieri’s side. The Hammers, as mentioned by manager Manuel Pellegrini after the game, didn’t create too many chances, but were clinical with the few that they created.

While the likes of Garth Crooks (BBC) and Danny Mills (Sky) didn’t have any West Ham players in their TOTW, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Savage thought a couple of Hammers did merit representation in their team. [Read more…]

Five talking points from West Ham 3-1 Cardiff- Fan Analysis & Post Match Thoughts

West Ham achieved back to back wins for the first time since January 2017 by beating Cardiff City 3-1 at the London Stadium. The crowd was the Hammers’ lowest (though not by much!) at the Stadium this season, but they went home happy, with Manuel Pellegrini’s men continuing their progress up the table.

It wasn’t all one way traffic for West Ham though. One expected them to start fast off the blocks against a poor Cardiff side who’ve been absolutely woeful away from home. They did that reasonably well for about 20 minutes and then fell back into their old ways. The best chance in this period went to Marko Arnautovic, who showed a great burst of pace to speed past Sol Bamba, but his final shot was hacked off the line by Sean Morrison.

Perhaps frustrated by that miss, Arnautovic unnecessarily went and barged Junior Hoilett in the back, giving away a stupid penalty. Perhaps Arnie thought Hoilett was offside, but he wasn’t, and referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot. Joe Ralls decided to take the spot kick and Fabianski, one of West Ham’s best signings this season, produced what was effectively a match winning save.

Had that gone in, coupled with Marko Arnautovic’s injury minutes later and West Ham’s inconsistent form, one wouldn’t have bet against the Bluebirds going home with all three points, if not at least the solitary one. [Read more…]

Michael Oliver appointed as referee for Leicester- West Ham clash- Can Hammers reproduce Man Utd heroics

West Ham’s last game saw their winless run at home under Martin Atkinson extend to six games, but they will be hopeful of a better result under the referee appointed for their next clash away at the King Power Stadium. The Premier League have awarded Michael Oliver this clash- the same person who was in the middle when the Hammers produced their famous 3-1 upset over Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United a few weeks ago.

The Hammers were also victorious on their last visit to the King Power, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Noble and Inter loanee Joao Mario. [Read more…]

West Ham v Tottenham predictions- What do the pundits say?

West Ham beat Everton in their first game after the September international break and will be hoping for a similar result when they host Spurs after the October break on Saturday afternoon at the London Stadium. The Hammers are winless in their last five home games under Martin Atkinson, the ref for this clash, but did edge the Lilywhites the last time the 47 year old reffed a WHUFC-Spurs game.

How do the pundits reckon this game will pan out? Spurs are fifth in the table with 18 points from 8 games while West Ham are in 15th with 7 points from the same number of fixtures. [Read more…]

Brighton vs West Ham Predictions- What do the pundits say?

Brighton did the double over West Ham United in the 2017/18 season, with Jose Izquierdo scoring crackers in BOTH fixtures. The Hammers had different managers for their games against the Seagulls last season, with Slaven Bilic in charge when they lost 3-0 at home in October, and David Moyes in the hot seat when they were beaten 3-1 on the South Coast in February. Today Brighton boss Chris Hughton will be up against a third different West Ham manager, with Manuel Pellegrini taking his charges to the Amex for this Friday night clash. [Read more…]