Life at the London Stadium hasn’t been as most West Ham fans envisaged when their club finished seventh in the Premier League last season.
Indeed, the move to a new arena appeared to coincide with an uplift in results and quality of performances from the more attritional Sam Allardyce era, but the latest chapter in the Hammers’ history has proved tough going.
Slaven Bilic’s side currently find themselves just one place and one point above the relegation zone after drawing with Stoke City last weekend.
And although most expect the Hammers to recover in time to avoid the pressure of a genuine relegation scrap, the signs suggest things will get worse before they improve in east London. Here are THREE…
As things stand, West Ham have the most injuries of any Premier League club – courtesy of PhysioRoom – with eight players currently sidelined.
Admittedly, James Collins, Arthur Masuaku, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are all expected to be available after the international break, but some complications seem inevitable and in certain instances, it will take at least a handful of appearances for players to reach true match fitness – such as Carroll and Sakho who have been absent pretty much all season.
Winston Reid is perhaps the biggest concern in regards to the Hammers’ next outing, with fellow centre-back Reece Oxford also absent and Bilic’s boys struggling at the back.
West Ham vs Tottenham
Man United vs West Ham
Man United vs West Ham
West Ham vs Arsenal
West Ham vs Liverpool
Coinciding with West Ham’s injury problems is a simply horrific run of fixtures, including back-to-back trips to Old Trafford (the second being in the League Cup) and hosting three of the top five (including pole position Liverpool) at the London Stadium.
The Hammers performed far beyond expectations against the Premier League’s top clubs last season, particularly away from home. But they appear unlikely to repeat the feat again based on current form, especially with so many players out injured.
West Ham’s priority for the summer transfer window was to sign a guaranteed goalscorer but the failure to do so is already having a hugely detrimental impact on their campaign. Indeed, only the bottom three have scored fewer goals than the Irons this season, despite Dimitri Payet conjuring up the most created chances of any Premier League player, and almost half of their eleven top-flight strikes have been provided by winger Michail Antonio alone.
If you don’t score goals you won’t win games, but solutions to West Ham’s dry spell aren’t exactly forthcoming. Summer signing Simone Zaza is proving to be a massive flop, whilst Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho, never being the most potent of goalscorers anyway, are still recovering from injury. As previously mentioned, they’ll return after the international break – but will either be fit enough to find the net?