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West Ham’s draw at Sunderland was worse than the loss at Hull

Another disappointing trip to the Northeast this weekend results in a single point.

Sunderland v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Sunderland are team that appears to know its fate. The Black Cats are moored to the bottom of the table, and despite the best efforts of David Moyes, Jermain Defoe, and against West Ham, Wahbi Kharzi, the team appears headed for the Championship next year. Previous to the draw against West Ham United, Sunderland had gone 11 hours without scoring a goal and had not put the ball in the net, much less won, since February 4th. Sunderland, since the 1st of the year, have taken 6 out of a possible 39 points, with the sole win coming at Crystal Palace in February.

Hull City, on the other hand, looking at the last 13 games, has gotten 17 points out of a possible 39 points, including the 2-1 win against West Ham that came earlier in April. Marco Silva, famously, has not lost a home game as a manager in an absurd number of matches spanning three different leagues. Sprinkled in those league results was a run to the semi-finals of the League Cup where they bowed out over two legs to Manchester United, including a 2-1 win in the second leg at home. The team, which appeared sunk, now sits above the relegation zone, and is now a pundit favorite to survive to play another season in the Premier League, despite their appalling start to the season.

On the face of it, a draw away from home isn't a bad result, especially for a team like West Ham that had lost five straight games on the trot until the home win against Swansea City. But the two results, looking at the form of the two opponents, paints a picture of a team that absolutely frittered away two vital points Saturday. The shocking goalkeeping display notwithstanding, Sunderland never should have been able to get within striking distance of a Hammers team that was full of confidence after an inspiring, soul-lifting win from the previous weekend.

West Ham, once taking the 2-1 lead, seemed to take the foot of the gas and coasted the rest of the way towards the end of the match, leaving the gate wide-open for a last-minute comedy of errors at the back that let Sunderland pull level. West Ham now has gotten 15 points out of the last 39 available, in comparison to Hull and Sunderland. The defense cannot be trusted to keep the ball out of the back of the net, and the team lacks either the will or the ability to finish off the other team off or kill off a game and guarantee a result.

Losing at Hull seemed bad at the time, as the team was desperate for points, and needed a win to keep the knives that had come out for Slaven Bilić sheathed. However, losing to a team that has a better record than West Ham does post transfer-window, doesn’t appear to carry as much shame as a draw against a team that has already given up and started to make plans for the Championship. The only player for Sunderland that appeared to have any life on Saturday was Wahbi Kharzi, who has appeared less than 20 times for Sunderland this year after starring for Tunisia at AFCON 2017, and there is no way a team that is hoping for a top-ten finish should have allowed them to draw level.

West Ham United may yet finish in the top half of the table, but it will because of the incompetence of their fellow teams that are clumped together. West Ham have games against Everton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Burnley left this season, with the two “easiest” opponents, Stoke and Burnley, away. This team appears that it will struggle to get two more points down the stretch, and while the spectre of relegation appears to have been avoided for another season, this is in no way what most fans or the board would have hoped for with the abandonment of Upton Park for the glitz and “glory” of the London Stadium.