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…]