Southampton vs West Ham United could’ve seen the Irons pull a number over Southampton, but that wasn’t the case as the Irons succumbed to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Mauricio Pellegrino’s Saints this weekend. Here’s five things we learned from this game.
5: Marko Arnautovic is as hot-headed as we’ve been warned.
Don’t get me wrong, players who’ll do anything for their team have a special place inside the hearts of the fans. But we can all agree that this red carding by referee Lee Mason was justified. Clobbering an opposition player in football is considered to be violent conduct, and thus, Marko’s red was justified.
Following his ejection from the game, the Austrian kicked what appeared to be a ball bag at the entrance to the tunnel and was subsequently helped down to the away changing room. Marko now has a three-match ban to face, meaning he’ll be out for the Cheltenham Town game in the Carabao Cup second round, as well as Newcastle United away and Huddersfield Town at home in the Premier League.
While Marko’s red card was justified, it should serve as a warning to the rest of the league not to beat the daylights out of your opposition players when your side goes 2-0 down fairly early on in a game.
4: Slaven Bilic needs to alter something... And FAST!
Slaven Bilic didn’t have a good trip to Southampton at the weekend, and unfortunately, I don’t blame him either. After seeing his side go 1-0 down inside of ten minutes by Manolo Gabbiadini (just like the last PL game we played at Southampton), he immediately tried different things to bring the scoreline equal again. However, it didn’t work as a penalty kick was given, and subsequently converted by Dusan Tadic in the 38th minute.
However, things looked up as West Ham United clawed two back, only to be broken completely by Lee Mason’s controversial penalty kick in the 93rd minute.
What does the Croation need to do before the next Premier League clash against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park? Who knows, but he’d better get it sorted as soon as possible as Newcastle United have yet to pick up any points for this season.
3: Lee Mason’s poor refereeing decisions - Was it a penalty?
The real question for this match is simple. Was that final goal a penalty, or not? On Social Media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, there are factions who believe that final goal was indeed a penalty, however there are also others who do not believe that it was.
Throughout this fixture, however, we did see a series of missed calls and poor decisions which ultimately led to West Ham United suffering a defeat at the hands of the Saints. There could’ve easily been a penalty awarded to West Ham United following the handball made by the Southampton player following a set piece, but the referee doesn’t think it was.
In my own personal opinion, I do not trust Lee Mason with Premier League fixtures in which West Ham United play as I believe he is biased against West Ham, but then again, I’m no referee.
2: Declan Rice will be one of our best players this season.
He was handed his first start by the Gaffer on the weekend and rightfully so as he’s been an absolute machine throughout pre-season and was a machine against Manchester United as well.
Partnered with Mark Noble in the second CDM position, he learned a lot in the first half of the match from the veteran Defensive Midfielder, and was ultimately rewarded by kicking off the second half for the Hammers. His awareness of where the ball would be, players shifting ahead into open positions and his general maneuvers on the ball proved he has what it takes to be an absolute standout player this season.
Despite losing possession of the ball just once, Rice’s performance was absolutely brilliant and I, for one, am excited to see how he performs throughout this season.
1: Chicharito’s magic, he wears Sombrero Hats!
What a game Chicharito had! His first goal for the club just before the break was nothing short of right place at the right time. The second was pure class, as he managed to catch the rebound from a Diafra Sakho strike which hit the crossbar after initially being saved by Fraser Forster.
If we learned anything from this match, it’s that Chicharito has definitely found his place at the club and will continue to earn the praise of the West Ham faithful for the next couple of seasons at least. Have we found the striker we’ve been calling out for? Yes, easily. As long as he has a second striker to aid in getting the service from the midfield to wherever he is inside the box, then those goals will stream in for him.
Chicharito’s a Hammer, and this was proven this weekend. What can we expect from our Little Pea? Well, unless you have a crystal ball and can see into the future, then nobody knows. All we know is he’s loved well and truly by the Hammers faithful, as seen in the video below.
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