A home defeat against a team we really should be beating a week after an unlikely and rare victory away at the Emirates? Nobody saw that coming. Actually, I did. We all did. The usual West Ham struck again, much sooner than we’d all hoped.
Anyway, here are a few positives and (mostly) negatives from our recent 1-2 loss at home to Leicester City.
- We scored (yep, really.) – We have scored in both of our games in the Premier League thus far, which is already better than last season I guess. Shame it literally didn’t do anything except give us the false hope which, being West Ham fans we should all have learned to ignore a long time ago.
- Oxford – To be honest, he wasn’t great, which probably wasn’t helped by the huge media attention he received over the past week. However, it’s always good to see academy products start games, and can only benefit him and his confidence.
- Payet – Our best player by far, which honestly isn’t a surprise to anyone. Our goal scorer and best playmaker on the day, caused Leicester a few problems, unfortunately not enough. Even the best players struggle with little to no help from their team mates.
- Introduction of Obiang – I wouldn’t go as far as to say he was a standout performer, but we certainly started to play better when Obiang was introduced into the game. Decent passing and reading of the game meant that he had a satisfactory Premier League debut.
- Claret and Blue Day! – Just no.
- No Width – I don’t know what it is with West Ham and wingers. We hate playing against them, and hate using them too. As seen in the game, Leicester’s utilization of wide players and pace ultimately proved to be too much for us to cope with. We didn’t hit them with any width or pace whatsoever, making our narrow styled game plan for too predictable and easy to read. This wasn’t helped by having no natural wide players either, perhaps (definitely) an area that needs addressing in the remaining 3 weeks of the transfer window.
- The Referee – Now I know that the defeat was largely down to our own inability to play football to a high enough standard, but the referee certainly wasn’t in our favour at all. Kasper Schmeichel should have seen red for blocking off Diafra Sakho, also giving us a penalty, but having our usual luck we weren’t given either. In fact, ironically our own goalkeeper was sent off later on! I doesn’t get much more West Ham than that.
- Adrian was dismissed for a high foot on Jamie Vardy, where his eyes were on the ball the whole time. Not a malicious challenge in any way. It was certainly a foul, but a red was very questionable. I think every West Ham fan across the globe is hoping that we’re not given Anthony Taylor ever again.
- The Defence – I won’t single them out, mainly because I don’t need to, but our defence at times played like complete strangers. Slow passing, lack of communication and bad positioning meant that Leicester had it all too easy. Hopefully this is addressed in training.
- Squad Depth – The fact that we signed Maïga three whole years ago and had to rely on him to try and salvage something from the game off of the bench tells me that we really, really need pull our finger out and sign some more players. It is starting to get worrying, as potential targets could be off to other clubs. We could really do with a prolific striker or two (Hint: his name sounds like Harley Nostin).
I’ll give credit to Leicester. They were far better than us, and have some quality players, but I still think we should be beating sides like them, with all due respect. We have Bournemouth at home up next, who have a similar pressing, attacking style to Leicester, so hopefully we will have learnt from our mistakes and can get a very important victory against them. Time will tell I guess. Irons.