Media Player Ratings from West Ham v Everton- Another edition of the “Fab & Rice” Show

West Ham turned in a shocking performance at the London Stadium over the weekend as they were outclassed 2-0 by Everton. The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have found the London Stadium a tough venue to pick up points from, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side were simply not at the races as Everton emerged comfortable winners.

As it’s often happened in such games this season, Saturday was another edition of the “Fab & Rice” show- where West Ham as a team play poorly, Fabianski makes several saves to keep the scoreline respectable and Declan Rice is the best of a bad bunch of outfield players.

Lucas Perez came in for real flak- Football London termed him “useless”. The Spaniard earned a rare start, but was anonymous and was hooked soon as Pellegrini sent on early replacements in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game. Neither Pedro Obiang nor he made any compelling reason for the manager to start them in future games. [Read more…]

Questions over 4-4-2, Defensive issues & More- Five Talking points from West Ham 0-2 Everton

Here are our talking points from West Ham’s shock 2-0 defeat at home against Everton over the weekend, described by Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s “worst performance of the season”.

The warning signs were already there: West Ham’s performances over strugglers Cardiff and Huddersfield earlier this month were very ordinary too. The warning signs were there, but the fact that the loss against the Bluebirds was away from home (and West Ham tend to be inconsistent on the road), and the late comeback over the Terriers papered over the cracks. However this was a big jolt- a loss at home and to Everton, who like West Ham, have been up and down away from Goodison Park this season. None of the pre-match predictions from the pundits had predicted an Everton win despite them coming into this clash on the back of a victory over Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.

Set piece defending continues to be poor: Huddersfield’s first goal in the previous game week came from a corner. Everton’s first one here came from a near identical set piece- Kurt Zouma scored, with neither Diop nor Zabaleta covering themselves in glory.

Does the 4-4-2 work for West Ham?: Pellegrini chose to start with the pair of Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez upfront, with Javier Hernandez, the hero of the 4-3 win over Cardiff, on the bench. Perez, apart from the brace he netted against Cardiff, has done virtually nothing in his spell here, and was literally anonymous before being hooked off. Arnautovic was a little better, but way off the heights we know he can reach. [Read more…]

Pundit predictions & Referee Analysis- West Ham v Everton

West Ham will look to do the double over Everton when they host Marco Silva’s men in their first game after the international break. Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has never lost to the Toffees in seven previous Premier League games as manager and will look to preserve that impressive record today evening.

The Hammers came from behind to beat Huddersfield 4-3 in their last game while Everton were impressive as they beat Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park.

The visitors have won more games against West Ham (24) than any other club in Premier League history.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have to say about this clash, plus a little analysis on the referee for this game- Paul Tierney.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro wonders “which West Ham team will turn up this week, and in which half?”. Says their inconsistency makes it “hard to know”. Adds that Everton have been up and down too, and has gone for a 1-1 draw.

Celeb opponent: Guitarist Johnny Marr has predicted a 3-2 win for Everton. [Read more…]

Talking Points and Media Player Ratings- West Ham 4-3 Huddersfield

West Ham avoided a major embarrassment at home against strugglers Huddersfield Town as Javier Hernandez’s brace helped them snatch a last gasp 4-3 win. Up against a Town side that hadn’t scored away from home since Boxing Day, the Hammers were 3-1 down midway through the second half before a late fightback saw them down Jan Siewert’s men. Here are our talking points from the game, as well as the player ratings from the media.

Fabian Balbuena needs to start soon: The Balbuena-Issa Diop partnership was one of the highlights of the season for the Hammers before the Paraguayan got injured. He’s now fit, but Pellegrini, perhaps out of loyalty to Angelo Ogbonna, has chosen to continue with the Italian’s partnership with young Frenchman Diop in the heart of defence.

There have been some good moments with the Ogbonna-Diop partnership, but the consistency that Pellegrini would like is missing. Together, the solidity you’d expect from a side wanting to challenge for Europe isn’t quite there- too many defensive lapses for the fans’ liking. [Read more…]

West Ham v Huddersfield predictions- What do the pundits think?

After last week’s horror show at Cardiff, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping for an instant response from his players in this GW31 clash against Huddersfield. The Hammers have been far better at home than on the road, and will be bidding to win three consecutive home games for the first time at the London Stadium.

Bottom of the table Huddersfield look set for the drop- they are 16 points from safety currently with eight games to play. Pellegrini could shake up things a bit, potentially recalling both Marko Arnautovic and Fabian Balbuena to the starting XI and perhaps even Samir Nasri and Michail Antonio.

The referee for this game is Jonathan Moss under whom the Hammers have a fine recent record- they’re unbeaten in their last six Premier League games under the 48 year old. HTAFC’s two games with Moss in charge this season have both ended in defeat.

What do the pundits predict for this WHUFC Huddersfield game? Let’s take a look. [Read more…]