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…]