Moyes 2.0 starts with a fine win, rare win over Cherries & more- Talking Points from West Ham 4-0 Bournemouth

The first game of David Moyes’ second stint as West Ham manager saw the Hammers turn in one of their best performances of the season as they demolished Bournemouth 4-0 on New Years’ Day.

By kick off time, the Hammers were in the drop zone because of Villa’s 2-1 win away at Burnley, but they blew away Eddie Howe’s side to snap their four game losing streak at the London Stadium and lift themselves up to 16th in the league table.

Here are our talking points from this GW21 clash.

A very good win against Bournemouth: The Cherries have been tough opponents for West Ham in recent years- they were unbeaten in six against the Irons coming into this fixture, and did the double over them last season. However the home side’s first half blitz left the visitors stunned and forced Howe into making two changes at half time, albeit to no avail. The eventual margin of the win- four goals, was West Ham’s biggest Premier League win since their 5-0 win over Derby back in November 2007.

A real statement of intent from David Moyes, and perhaps apt that it came against Bournemouth- it was in the reverse fixture at the Vitality Stadium back in September that saw Lukasz Fabianski injured and the Hammers’ slide down the table begin.

Fantastic pressing and closing down from West Ham: Bournemouth were simply unable to live with West Ham’s pressing game in the first half, and the likes of Jefferson Lerma ended up giving the ball to the opposition time and again in dangerous areas. The Hammers took their intensity levels up a notch- their work rate was excellent, and Howe cut a shell-shocked figure on the sidelines.

Felipe Anderson scores his first goal of the season: Felipe Anderson hasn’t been at his best this season, and it’s probably no coincidence that the Hammers’ attacking struggles have coincided with his own slump in form. The Brazilian’s confidence appeared low for most of the game- there were a couple of opportunities he would have easily put away in his first season.

He eventually did manage to get on the scoresheet just seconds before being subbed off, courtesy of a fine ball from Declan Rice. Will this help him turn his season around? West Ham fans will certainly be hoping so. [Read more…]

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…]

Southampton vs West Ham Predictions- Pellegrini like “an empty tube of toothpaste”, says pundit

West Ham take on Southampton today evening in what is effectively shaping up as a must win game for manager Manuel Pellegrini if he is to stay at the London Stadium. There was rumours swirling over the future of the Chilean at the beginning of this month- a surprise win against Chelsea bought him some time, but back to back defeats against Wolves and Arsenal, have put the pressure back on him. Defeat could see the Hammers drop into the bottom three at the end of GW17.

The referee for this clash against the Saints is Martin Atkinson, who will be in charge of his first game involving these two clubs this season.

Here is what major TV pundits have predicted for this clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says Pellegrini at this moment feels like “an empty tube of toothpaste”, with the Hammers “squeezing the last bits out of him”, and it won’t be too long before “he is done”

Also says Saints have looked like a “different team” in recent weeks, and has tipped Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men to win this game 2-1.

Author David Baddiel, Lawro’s celeb opponent this weekend, has gone for a 2-2 draw.

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Charlie Nicholas got his prediction absolutely spot on last week, correctly tipping the Gunners to run out 3-1 winners.

Nicholas says he’s “amazed Pellegrini is still there” at West Ham and reckons Saints will edge this clash 2-1. [Read more…]

Referee announced for Southampton v West Ham- His first game in charge of both clubs in the 19/20 season

The referee for West Ham’s crunch GW 17 clash against Southampton has been announced, and it’s an official who is yet to officiate a game for both the Hammers and the Saints in the current 2019/20 Premier League season- Martin Atkinson. The 48 year old will be assisted by Lee Betts and Daniel Cook, with Jonathan Moss handling VAR. Andy Halliday will assist Moss, while Robert Jones will be the fourth official.

Atkinson refereed two West Ham games last season- the 3-1 away win at Everton and the close 1-0 home loss to Tottenham.

Southampton, like West Ham, also had a win and a defeat in their two games under Atkinson last season. The win was a 2-0 one away at Crystal Palace, while the defeat came against Cardiff City at St.Mary’s.

Only one point separates 16th place West Ham and third from bottom Southampton in the league table, and Hammers gaffer Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that he could face the axe if his charges lose on the South Coast on Saturday evening.

Some stats about Martin Atkinson in the current Premier League season

Atkinson has refereed 14 PL games in 2019/20. The winning margin in all of those games has never been greater than a single goal. [Read more…]

Rare come from behind Arsenal win, Masuaku disappointing & more- Talking Points from West Ham vs Arsenal

Arsenal secured their first win under caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg as they beat West Ham 3-1 in Round 16’s final game on Monday evening. The result sees the Gunners back in the top half while the Hammers are now just one point above the drop zone, with next week’s game against third from bottom Southampton shaping up as a massive one for both the Irons and the Saints.

Arsenal were woeful in the first half and when Angelo Ogbonna headed the Hammers into the lead at the interval, many Hammers fans would’ve felt their side could repeat last season’s feat- when Declan Rice’s first ever goal saw them edge the Gunners 1-0, but a three goal burst in the space of nine odd second half minutes from the visitors put paid to those hopes.

Here are our talking points from this GW16 clash.

A rare come from behind win for Arsenal: In the fifteen league games this season that Arsenal had played before this clash, they had come from behind to win in only one- against Villa.

The Gunners were absolutely woeful for the first hour or so, but found their groove once Gabriel Martinelli scored the equaliser, with Lucas Torreira pulling the strings from midfield. West Ham unfortunately capitulated instead of taking the fight back to a travelling Arsenal side that was low on confidence and there for the taking.

Sky pundit Charlie Nicholas got his prediction absolutely spot on, having predicted a 3-1 win for the Gunners.

Unai Emery’s tenure started with two losses, before victory against West Ham saw him embark on a six game winning streak. Will it be the same for Freddie Ljungberg?

Arthur Masuaku disappointing: Both sides lost their left backs to injury in this game- Kieran Tierney departed in the first half while Aaron Cresswell (playing three games in 10 days) had to be subbed off five minutes after the interval. West Ham were leading 1-0 when Cresswell left the pitch.

Nicolas Pepe was lively and energetic the whole game for Arsenal, but found a new gear once Masuaku came on the pitch. He scored an stunner to put the Gunners ahead and it was his delicate cross that was converted by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for the visitors’ third. On both occasions, Masuaku didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with his defending.

Ljungberg rings in the changes: While West Ham made just one change (Antonio for Haller), Ljungberg effectively changed half his side. [Read more…]