Cover image courtesy of Reuters
West Ham United has started the season without a point and at the bottom of the table. Manuel Pellegrini is currently under pressure. The club is not where it expected and since it is an international break, here is the first of five/six clubs in unexpected table positions.
The Hammers aren’t in real trouble. Last season, Crystal Palace started the season with zero points through the first four matches and the club finished 11th. This campaign is in the early stages but after the exciting summer signings being made, most would have expected at least a win, if not a point. The fixture list wasn’t favorable for the club as West Ham faced two clubs from the top-six last season. The opener was a 4-0 loss to Liverpool in a dreadful performance. Three of the four goals came from an open West Ham defense, while the fourth was an easy tap-in from Daniel Sturridge at the far post off a corner.
The second loss was a 2-1 defeat against AFC Bournemouth at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautović opened the scoring from the spot before Callum Wilson and Steve Cook gave the win to the Cherries, which is a club that earned seven points from the first three matches. Next was an Arsenal squad that lost to Chelsea and Manchester City in the first two weekends. The Gunners were in a real need of a convincing win and the club did just that with a 3-1 victory. Arnautović actually scored the opener of the match again, but the defense allowed goals to Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck, along with an Issa Diop own goal.
The most recent loss was a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers with Adama Traore scoring in second-half added time. This was a rough schedule, but the Hammers will have to move past it. One positive from these matches has to be the partnership between Arnautović and Felipe Anderson. The duo appears to be creating, but are still trying to understand each other. Jack Wilshere, Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio all have appeared in the front three and Arnautović and Anderson appear to understand each other the best.
The real crisis is the backline. Seven different names have played across the back four with not much consistency in the early stages. The Hammers have conceded 10 goals in the four matches, which is joint-most in the Premier League. The club can be content with the 3-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Cup.