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…]

Media Player Ratings for West Ham against Watford- Haller excellent, Yarmolenko disappointing

Here is a look at the how major papers rated West Ham’s players in their game against Watford on Saturday. The Hammers defied the pre-game predictions of several pundits by emerging 3-1 winners at Vicarage Road.

Sebastien Haller was the star of the show for the visitors, with his two goals sinking the Hornets after a sustained spell of pressure from the home side after the interval had come to nothing. One of the papers even had “Hallerlujah” as their headline for this fixture. The French international also became the Hammers’ first TOTW representative this season. [Read more…]

West Ham star named in Premier League Team of the Week for Round 3

We didn’t have a single West Ham player feature in any pundit’s Team of the Week for the previous two rounds, but the club do finally have a representative in Round 3, thanks to their upset win over Watford at Vicarage Road.

That player is club record signing Sebastien Haller, who scored twice (including a bicycle kick) to open his Premier League account for the Hammers.

Haller appears in virtually every pundit’s Team of the Week. No other West Ham player features though- perhaps a reflection on the shaky nature of the Hammers defence and the number of chances the Hornets had, but didn’t take! [Read more…]

100th Premier League away win, poor afternoon for Yarmolenko, Miss of the Season contender & more- Five Talking Points from Watford vs West Ham

West Ham claimed their first win of the 2019/20 Premier League season and condemned Javi Gracia’s Watford to a third successive defeat as they ran out surprise 3-1 winners at Vicarage Road. Here are our talking points from the game.

100th Premier League away win & first in August since 2016: Not only was this West Ham’s 100th Premier League win on the road, it was also their first win in August in nearly three years. The Hammers, perhaps not helped by their opening fixture list in recent years (the last six seasons have all started against big name opposition) have often struggled to get going in the first month of the new season. Today was their first victory in August since a solitary Michail Antonio goal gave them victory against Bournemouth on 21 August, 2016.

None of the pre-match predictions had the Hammers winning. Four points on the road from Brighton and Watford will be highly satisfying for Manuel Pellegrini, especially given West Ham’s struggles away from home against mid table opposition in recent years.

A forgettable afternoon for Andriy Yarmolenko: The Ukranian was given his first start in the Premier League since October 2018, and didn’t quite make the most of it.

There were three major moments in the first half involving Yarmolenko- one where he could’ve ensured that Felipe Anderson’s header went in, but for some bizarre reason, simply chose to stand there, letting Watford off the hook. The second was when the Hornets scored their opening goal, with Yarmolenko guilty of ignoring his defensive duties, jogging back slowly as Watford attacked on his flank. The third was when 35 year old left back Jose Holebas beat him for pace and nearly set up a goal for the home side, forcing Pellegrini to temporarily switch Felipe Anderson to the right wing.

Yarmolenko was subbed off at half time, with Antonio taking his place. [Read more…]

Watford v West Ham Predictions- What do Messrs Lawro, Nicholas & Co. think of West Ham’s chances at Vicarage Road?

Javi Gracia’s Watford will be desperate to move off the bottom of the Premier League table when they host West Ham this weekend. The Hornets, incredible as it may sound, are the only team neither to have picked up a point nor to have to scored a goal going into Match Week 3.

Gracia has also had to contend with injury issues- Troy Deeney is a long term absentee, Doucoure and Pereyra are doubtful for this clash, while new summer Ismaila Sarr is working his way into match fitness.

West Ham, on the other hand, should have the troika of Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller available for the trip to Vicarage Road.

The Hammers won this clash 4-1 when the two sides met last season. Let’s take a look at what the pundits have predicted for them this time around.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons Watford “will sneak a win” and that Jack Wilshere “doesn’t look up to it” so far for the Hammers. Has gone for a 2-1 win to the Hornets. [Read more…]