West Ham spurned a golden opportunity to win consecutive Premier League games for the first time in nearly two years on Saturday, so what can Manuel Pellegrini do to get the Hammers firing on all cylinders?
The Hammers travelled to the John Smith’s stadium on Saturday to take on a Huddersfield side that had scored just two goals there since February, but it only took six minutes for the hosts to get in front.
Felipe Anderson equalised with a fine finish in a much improved second half, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side are becoming extremely inconsistent.
The performances in wins against Everton, Manchester United and Burnley were enthralling, but they have come sandwiched between drab displays with very little creativity.
So what can the gaffer do? How can he get the Hammers scoring goals every week? It starts with fixing a mistake he made in the summer…
West Ham did some excellent business this summer, bringing in a whopping nine new signings. Led by Pellegrini and Mario Husillos, signings like Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena are already looking like huge hits.
However, the side is really lacking a midfielder who can dictate the tempo of the match, and it was foolish to think Jack Wilshere would ever be fit long enough to do it.
The Hammers are packed with attacking flair with the likes of Anderson and Marko Arnautovic, but their inability to control the midfield means those attacking players get very little service.
The return of Manuel Lanzini will help, but the boss simply must target a new central midfielder in January.
David Moyes’ best move as West Ham manager was giving Arnautovic the freedom to play as a central striker, but the Austrian international is crying out for some support up there.
The 29 year-old has five goals and one assist already this season, but far too often he finds himself isolated up front and loses possession.
He could excel playing just off of a more natural goalscorer like Javier Hernandez, and it could also kick start Hernandez’s Hammers’ career.
The Mexican international has never quite lived up to the hype in East London, and he struggles to hold the ball up when he plays up front alone. Deploying the pair together with Arnautovic slightly deeper could kill two birds with one stone , helping both players find their top form again.
So, West Ham fans, is a new central midfielder the answer? How much will Lanzini help? Let us know your thoughts on the Huddersfield display in the comments down below…