West Ham United got off to a winning start to their life at the London Stadium in what was a tight and somewhat drab affair between the Hammers and Bournemouth. With this setback, the Cherries were condemned to their second successive defeat and Slaven Bilic’s side got their campaign off and running. Bournemouth have to regroup quickly and not let this drift away from them as the level of competition is at an all-time high this season with the likes of Hull notching up two wins in succession.
We look at the 3 talking points from today’s game which was short on quality.
SLAVEN BILIC NEEDS TO ACT. FAST.
Everything looked rosy with the successful retention of Dmitri Payet and the seeming arrival of a top striker every other day throughout the summer. But finally, it was Andre Ayew who was added to the ranks with the completely unreliable Andy Carroll for company. And Carroll has duly delivered by injuring himself and the unfortunate Ayew finds himself out till December. With Payet missing as well, West Ham looked woefully short of creativity or any kind of attacking threat and they have tougher teams to face than Bournemouth. Bilic needs to sort out his squad, and he needs to do it fast.
LOOKING OMINOUS FOR BOURNEMOUTH
It is extremely early in the season but the frenetic pace of the league demands that you are up to speed else the situation can quickly slip out of hand. While Bournemouth have certainly faced a couple of difficult sides till now, their overall play especially higher up the pitch has been extremely poor. There has been no cohesion and penetration has been nil. Howe has to come up with how he can embed the likes of Ibe into the team else they are going to fall behind pretty soon. The likes of Hull City have already got 6 points out of 6 and look likely to vacate a relegation favourites spot with the way they have started. Early days. But it won’t take long to get too late.
MICHAIL ANTONIO CAN BE A BIG FACTOR THIS SEASON
Regularly played out of position at right-back last season, the Englishman still found enough opportunities to show his devastating nature in the advanced areas. Juggled between the right wing and right back, the 26-year old still found ways to score goals and if the beginning of the season is anything to go by, Bilic needs to accommodate him higher up the pitch. He can be frustrating at times but his raw physicality and tendency to be at the right place at the right time will cause teams many problems this season.