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West Ham 1-0 Bournemouth: Three things we learned

Far from ‘Super Sunday’, there wasn’t anything super about West Ham and Bournemouth’s Premier League fixture this afternoon.

Indeed, both sides appeared almost overwhelmed by the Irons’ new stadium and quickly found themselves caught up in a contest¬†of who could commit the least embarrassing individual errors.

To give credit where it’s due, there was a slight lift in action in the second half. Joshua King finally called Hammers No.1 Adrian into action with a long-range piledriver and just when it appeared the fixture would peter out, Michail Antonio popped up at the back post with an 85th-minute winner.

No doubt, the 1-0 affair has an incredibly strong shout for most boring Premier League game of the season so far.

Nonetheless, we at Football FanCast believe there’s something to be learned from every football match, whether it’s an end-to-end Champions League final or an attritional conference scrap.

With that in mind, here are three things we learned from the Hammers’ first match at their new ground.

WEST HAM STILL DEPENDENT ON PAYET

Dimitri Payet
West Ham have spent a significant sum on improving their attacking options this summer, with the likes of Andre Ayew, Gokhan Tore, Ashley Fletcher, Jonathan Calleri and Sofiane Feghouli arriving in East London.

But it was evident enough today as the Frenchman watched from the sidelines; West Ham still haven’t bought enough talent to eradicate their dependence on Dimitri Payet.

That may seem obvious considering the talismanic proportions his performances reached last season, but the Hammers seriously struggled going forward this afternoon. They lacked flair, verve and dynamism and without Payet dictating play, really struggled to get a rhythm going.

The last thing Slaven Bilic will want to do is risk the 29-year-old picking up an injury. But the Hammers just aren’t the same side without him and need the attacking midfielder pulling the strings once again when they face Manchester City next weekend.

JORDON IBE STILL HAS A LOT TO LEARN

Jordon Ibe
Bournemouth splashed out a club-record £15million transfer fee to lure Jordon Ibe away from Liverpool. Considering the outrageous fortunes some clubs have spent this summer, that may seem like a decent deal for a young, English talent with a fair amount of Premier League appearances already under his belt.

But the 20-year-old has gone from being a support act at Liverpool to the flagship talent at Dean Court and he’s still struggling to deal with that transition. Ibe’s enthusiasm is there for all to see – he works incredibly hard and always tries to be positive on the ball – but his two outings so far for the Cherries have been incredibly underwhelming.

Before being subbed off with eleven minutes to go, Ibe created just one chance and completed only two dribbles against the Hammers. Admittedly, it was a hard fixture away from home but the winger’s early form suggests he’s still got a long way to go before justifying that price-tag.

ANTONIO PROVES HE’S NOT A RIGHT-BACK

West Ham United v Sunderland - Barclays Premier League
In a single week, Michail Antonio has successfully made the transition from zero to hero.

Playing at right-back, a poor pass followed by a horrendous tackle saw the 26-year-old concede a penalty in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Monday night. He was hooked off by Slaven Bilic minutes later.

But Antonio was reinstated in his natural position of winger for the Bournemouth fixture and went on to prove exactly why he shouldn’t be playing at No.2 – by finding the back of the net with a far post header.

It certainly wasn’t an exceptional performance from the former Nottingham Forest man – or for that matter, any player from either side. But Antonio has always been a goalscorer, a threat in and around the box, and proved that once again today.

Something tells me his days of playing at the back are well and truly over.

Article title: West Ham 1-0 Bournemouth: Three things we learned

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