Following a bright start to the campaign, West Ham are falling apart it seems, after a dreadful run of form. Since their triumph over Manchester United last month, the Hammers are yet to secure a single win in their previous four matches. They most notably lost 4-0 to Oxford United in the League Cup while slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Everton on the weekend.
In this article, we will talk about three West Ham players who need to step up if Manuel Pellegrini’s men are to recover from their rough patch.
Lukasz Fabianski’s injury was a massive blow for West Ham. The Pole, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, has been ruled out till the end of the year with a hip injury. And the onus is on new signing Roberto to fill in the shoes of the former Swansea star.
However, Roberto is yet to impress at the highest level and has already conceded seven goals in the four games he played this season. His performance against Everton, in particular, was not the greatest as he could have done a lot better in keeping out Bernard’s opener in the first half.
Therefore, it’s probably fair to say that Roberto needs to improve his performances and stop leaking so many goals in the upcoming matches.
It is, on a personal level at least, hard to imagine why Pellegrini keeps preferring Arthur Masuaku ahead of Aaron Cresswell in the left-back slot. Although 25-year-old offers excellent support in attack and is quite useful in physical duels, his poor defensive positioning has let West Ham down on numerous occasions this season.
Masuaku’s lack of competence in defence often allows the attackers to make runs in behind the defence. Not to mention, the DR Congo international is quite clumsy when it comes to making challenges or covering up grounds.
Cresswell, in contrast, is quite versatile and can offer tactical width to Pellegrini. Besides, the Englishman is also quite effective from set-pieces, notably starring in the win over Manchester United.
As for Masuaku, his dreadful display against Everton would hopefully give him the warning shot about the fact he must improve his performances to maintain his place ahead of Cresswell at left-back.
Since joining from Villarreal for a fee of €28 million, Pablo Fornals hasn’t been able to make any notable impact in the Premier League so far. The playmaker was initially brought in as an alternative to Manuel Lanzini. And while his presence has given Pellegrini additional tactical leverage, he has been quite ineffective.
Indeed, Fornals has mostly hovered around the final third without doing anything meaningful. As a result, West Ham have lacked the creative essence in the final third every time Felipe Anderson, Lanzini or Andriy Yarmolenko struggled to perform. Hence, the Spaniard needs to step up to the plate and quickly get used to the fast-paced nature of English football.
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