Whether we deserved that beating against Manchester United or not remains to be seen, but it has offered up a few tasty talking points to talk about. In this new series of articles, The Kiwi Hammer will be looking at Five Things We Learned from the Premier League fixture of the weekend.
5: Our defense was absolutely shocking!
The Premier League opener against United was indeed a tasty affair... For all of 30 minutes. West Ham United’s starting defenders consisted of Pablo Zabaleta, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku, which looked strong in theory. In reality though...?
Pablo Zabaleta’s pace definitely kept the United players on their feet, especially as Zaba consistently made advances towards United’s keeper, David De Gea. His commanding presence in the back-four definitely helped out Winston Reid, however it did look somewhat confusing and shambolic after the second Lukaku goal in the 53rd minute.
Winston Reid definitely had a good game, but there have been a couple of people who’ve begun asking questions about Winston’s future with West Ham United. And rightfully so. While he had a good game, it’s safe to say that for a Center-Back, we do expect more from him, especially as he’s come up against Manchester United countless times, and has even scored against them.
Angelo Ogbonna looked strong for the first 30 minutes of the match, but his performance slowly deteriorated. He looked somewhat lost in a couple of places, but always found his way back into the swing of things shortly after the Irons reclaimed possession of the ball.
Arthur Masuaku had an interesting game against Manchester United as he did make some good performances in his left-back position, but there’s a small question being asked by a couple of West Ham fans. Is he a left wing-back, or a left-back? Because some of his decisions were questionable at best. In my mind, I don’t think he should’ve attempted to have saved Lukaku’s second goal, but that’s just my opinion anyway.
4: Ayew there? Andre Ayew wasn’t...
Former record-signing Andre Ayew didn’t appear to be having a great first Premier League game back as he made numerous errors throughout. Although we can put this down to the fact Manchester United’s defense was tight, he was still making errors which ultimately led to him turning over the ball to Manchester United.
Ayew’s time at West Ham United has been somewhat interesting as he’s often made errors which have led to the opposition gaining possession of the ball, but he does have the skill for judging crosses and grabbing goals for the club with his link-up play with other players. In this fixture though, he was looking lost, making incorrect calls and judging passes poorly. How long will he remain at West Ham? Only time will tell...
3: Where was Robert Snodgrass?
Our Scottish winger was nowhere to be seen as the club were in Manchester this weekend. And it seems there have been reports that the Scotsman may be on his way out of the London Stadium after just eight months with us.
The number 11 has been heavily linked with moves to the Championship with Leeds United, Aston Villa and Hull City keen to land the winger’s signature, however it seems Aston Villa are now the favourites to get Snodgrass’ services.
So, where was he? While we can’t be sure where he was, what we can say is he may be leaving West Ham soon, ending his nightmare at the Club.
2: Diafra Sakho returns... But is he ready yet?
We saw the inevitable return of Diafra Sakho as he came back to the team in roaring fashion. Sakho’s 30-minute appearance showed how hungry he is to grab a goal for the club, and it was proven when he made the runs up to De Gea’s goal with intent to shoot. Had the Manchester United defense be weaker, we would’ve seen at least a goal from him.
Is he ready yet? I think he is. Diafra is a decent striker and would serve to be a good partner with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2 formation. He’s pacey, he’s strong in the air, and can make the charge to feed Chicharito through if the Little Pea is lurking in the opposition’s box.
1: Manchester United were far stronger than West Ham United
West Ham United fielded a good team to take on Manchester United, however Jose Mourinho showed his cards completely as he fielded his best team he possibly can ahead of the Premier League opener. With a strong defense, midfield and attacking force, Mourinho has showed the rest of the Premier League what his Manchester United for this season will look like at it’s best, and it should have the rest of the Premier League teams concerned.
Lukaku, Matic and Pogba have all shown they’ve found their form already, and we could see more of these 4-0 wins to Manchester United throughout this season. Their ultimate competition will be their loud neighbours in Manchester as Man City arguably have the best team in the City.
So where to from here, for West Ham? Well, that remains to be seen as we’re not in Slaven Bilic’s head, but I’d definitely like to see more of an improved West Ham squad ahead of our trip down to Southampton. We do have a couple of injured players coming back, so hopefully we’ll see some decent football played and I’d like us to walk away with a win from this game.
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