Media Player Ratings- West Ham’s players rated by the press after shocker at Turf Moor

West Ham put in another insipid performance as they were beaten 3-0 by Burnley at Turf Moor. It was a horror afternoon for the visitors- shambolic defending, listless in attack and injuries to skipper Mark Noble and influential playmaker Manuel Lanzini.

Most of the blame (and perhaps rightly so), will be laid at the feet of Fabian Balbuena and Roberto, but there were very few positives from this game. Pablo Fornals was anonymous, Sebastien Haller looked disinterested and even Declan Rice wasn’t at his best. Robert Snodgrass was again an honest worker, although it didn’t amount to much. [Read more…]

Shockers for Fabian Balbuena & Roberto, VAR Blunder & More- Talking Points from Burnley vs West Ham

Burnley halted their three game losing streak as they comfortably beat West Ham at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon. The Hammers have now gone seven games without a win across all competitions, and Manuel Pellegrini’s job appears to be under serious threat.

Just six weeks ago, West Ham were in the top three (behind Liverpool and Man City), but today’s defeat has seen them slump to 16th in the table. Their recent opponents- at least on paper, aren’t fearsome by any stretch of imagination- Bournemouth, Palace, Everton, Sheffield United, Newcastle and now Burnley, but Pellegrini’s men have collected just two points from these six games. It’s borderline relegation form, and given their next set of fixtures after the break (Spurs, Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal), it could get even worse.

Here are our talking points from the game.

VAR blunder hurts West Ham: When it rains, it pours, and it certainly seemed so for the Hammers at Turf Moor. Replays clearly showed that Phil Bardsley’s long range attempt on goal had taken a deflection off Ashley Barnes, but referee Kevin Friend gave a corner to Burnley. The home side scored from the resulting set piece, and VAR, somewhat bizarrely, chose not to interfere.

West Ham never do well when they concede first- they had lost eight in a row before this game after going behind, and it predictably became nine on this horror afternoon in Lancashire.

Chris Wood scores against against West Ham: New Zealand striker Wood has a fantastic record against the Hammers (had scored in all four of his previous games against WHUFC), and Clarets boss Sean Dyche had no hesitation in restoring him to the starting line up for this game and putting Jay Rodriguez on the bench.

Wood originally thought he had scored from a header (the cross from Dwight McNeil for the goal was simply exquisite), but VAR disallowed it for offside. However he was not to be denied his customary goal against the Hammers, with Balbuena robbed in possession just minutes later and McNeil setting him up for Burnley’s second.

Shockers for Falbian Balbuena and Roberto: Paraguayan defender Balbuena, as mentioned above, handed Burnley their second goal on a platter. Even more shocking was goalkeeper Roberto, who attempted to flap at thin air and then proceeded to divert Westwood’s corner into his own net.

The first goal was also partly Roberto’s fault- it was his weak punch (under no real pressure) that saw the ball fall to Bardsley.

The Spaniard, to his credit, did make some good saves, but he doesn’t inspire confidence currently, especially at set piece time. Burnley even thought they had scored a fourth (again from a corner), but Mee’s header was disallowed for an alleged foul in the box.

At this rate, third choice keeper David Martin might fancy his chances of making his league debut for West Ham when they play Tottenham after the international break. [Read more…]

Pellegrini rings in the changes, Squandered chances & More- Talking Points from West Ham vs Sheffield United

West Ham United’s recent struggles continued as they drew 1-1 with newly promoted Sheffield United at the London Stadium. The home side took the lead against the run of play through Robert Snodgrass, only for Lys Mousset to equalise for the Blades after the interval.

The Hammers are now winless in their last five games across all competitions- their last victory was the famous 2-0 triumph over Manchester United back in September.

Here are our talking points from this GW10 game.

Pellegrini rings in the changes: It’s clear that Manuel Pellegrini was disappointed with the way his charges have played in the last few weeks. He made FIVE changes for this clash- three of them in the backline. Pellegrini is usually not one to tinker too much with his squad, but he probably felt it necessary to let the players know they needed to perform better. Out went Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini, and in came Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena, Aaron Cresswell, Robert Snodgrass and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Two glorious second half chances wasted by Felipe Anderson: West Ham had two fabulous chances in the ten minute period just before the hour mark. One needed Anderson to pass to the unmarked Snodgrass, while another required the Brazilian to get his pass away to Yarmolenko. Unfortunately for West Ham, Anderson messed up both chances, and Sheffield United were let off the hook while trailing 1-0.

Anderson is not at his best, but with Manuel Lanzini off colour and Pablo Fornals still settling in, much of West Ham’s play goes through the Brazilian. It’s perhaps no coincidence that their winning streak has coincided with his dip in form. [Read more…]

First away win for Hodgson, Superb Hammers team goal & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace

West Ham’s six game unbeaten streak was halted on Saturday evening as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. With Leicester having lost earlier in the day to Liverpool, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone third with a victory over the Eagles, but have instead dropped to eighth going into the October international break.

Here are our talking points from this Round 8 clash at the London Stadium.

Roy Hodgson’s first away win against West Ham as manager: This was Roy Hodgson’s first away win against the Hammers in his managerial career after six previous unsuccessful attempts. Given that his side were huge underdogs coming into this clash (not one pundit thought they’d win), this was a fine achievement from the veteran gaffer.

His side were without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic, which meant Hodgson had to give young James McCarthy his first start since the latter’s horrible leg break against Albion last year.

Palace were well organised defensively, as you’d expect a Hodgson side to be, and his introduction of Andros Townsend at the end when the score 1-1 showed he wasn’t willing to settle for a draw, but instead wanted all three points.

West Ham’s goal a thing of beauty: There weren’t too many bright spots in this GW8 clash, but the Hammers’ goal here was a thing of beauty- a goal worth watching again and again. A simply marvellous team goal- a move that began in the WHUFC half and involved quick, incisive passing to break Palace down and a superb finish from Sebastien Haller as well- the goal had a xG of just 0.14 (14 out of every 100 would score in that situation based on past evidence). Easily the best team goal of the Pellegrini era. [Read more…]

West Ham vs Crystal Palace 2019 Predictions- Media Pundits give their expected scoreline

West Ham’s first game of October sees Manuel Pellegrini’s side square off against Crystal Palace at the London Stadium. The Hammers haven’t lost in the Premier League since their opening round loss to Man City and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games on Saturday evening against Roy Hodgson’s men.

The Eagles will be without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic and injured defender Mamadou Sakho. They’ve also had a good start to the season and are only a point behind West Ham in the league standings.

For West Ham, most of the team pick themselves. The only questions in front of Pellegrini will be whether to start with Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku or continue with Pablo Fornals and Aaron Cresswell.

The referee for this game is Michael Oliver- Palace have won their last three league games under him. Oliver refereed six of the Eagles’ games last season, but only two for the Hammers (the win at home against Man Utd and the draw away at Leicester).

Here is a look at what major TV and media pundits have predicted for this Game Week 8 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro notes that both teams have done well but adds that West Ham, in particular “have impressed him”. Reckons that the home side’s attack is better than Palace’s, and has backed Manuel Pellegrini’s men to run out 2-0 winners.

Lawro’s celeb opponent for this weekend- legendary athlete Michael Johnson, has echoed the former’s prediction (2-0 to the Hammers)

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Nicholas says this is the “best West Ham side” he’s seen, and reckons they’ll take this clash 3-1, with Sebastien Haller to score at the London Stadium. [Read more…]