Paul Merson has criticised West Ham’s lack of consistency, according to his weekend predictions on Sky Sports.
The club held Liverpool to a creditable 1-1 draw on Monday and denied the Reds the chance to extending their lead at the top of the Premier League table, but that result came after three successive losses, including a shock 4-2 FA Cup defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
Merson, in giving his predictions for this weekend’s football, was asked by Sky Sports to pass judgement on West Ham’s weekend clash with Crystal Palace.
A victory over the Eagles could see Manuel Pellegrini’s men move as high as eighth in the table, should other results go their way.
But Merson has predicted a 1-0 defeat for the Irons.
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He told Sky Sports: “You never know what you are going to get from West Ham, this is not a massive game. You watched them against Liverpool on MNF and think, ‘How can this team get beaten and concede four to Wimbledon?’
“You really have to ask some serious questions about what is going on there, they were a completely different team.
“No disrespect to Wimbledon, but you should not be letting in four goals against a side bottom of League One.
“And then you play against a team like Liverpool with their front three and they never really looked like scoring.”
Merson’s question is a salient one.
The Hammers can’t seem to raise their game against those around them in the table and have seriously struggled for consistency.
If they are to rise up the table, they will have to start winning these games, with Palace a dangerous opponent.
Roy Hodgson’s men have not lost in their last three in all competitions – including a win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup and a convincing 2-0 win over Fulham.
If West Ham take this game for granted, they will be in for a nasty shock.