Wolves and West Ham have enjoyed differing start to the Premier League season despite both investing well in their squads.
Returning to the Premier League for the first time in seven years, Wolves have started the season very well. The Midlands club currently sit 11th in the table and notably held Premier League champions Manchester City to a draw.
West Ham however currently sit bottom of the table and have failed to register even a point so far this season.
It’s the signings of Jack Wilshere and Joao Moutinho who are of particular interest, so let’s compare the two…
After so many years at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere left the club and joined the Hammers on a free transfer. So far, however, the midfield man hasn’t had the best of starts, although nor has the club as a whole.
So far Manuel Pellegrini has played Wilshere as a 10 but also further back at the base of his midfield. It will take time for the midfield to bed into the team but as of yet, he’s looked off the pace and unable to have an effect.
At his best, Wilshere has the ability to take players on, receive the ball in type areas and weave his way through opposition defenders. However, without a reliable ball winner next to him, his abilities are being wasted by Pellegrini – the England international needs to play further forward.
It’s going to take time for West Ham to get into form but if Pellegrini plays him his best position, it might just kickstart their season.
TT Grade: B-
Experienced, great with the ball at his feet and yet another Portuguese national to make the journey to Wolverhampton. Joao Moutinho joined Wolves for a reported £5 million and has been an ever-present since his arrival.
In tandem with Ruben Neves, Wolves have two passing metronomes in midfield and potentially two that will push the club towards a top 10 finish. Last season Nuno Espirito Santo opted to go with Romain Saiss in midfield and although he did a great job, Moutinho is a massive upgrade.
Although he may be on the back end of his career, the former Ligue 1 winner is going to provide great experience for Wolves in their first season in the league. In their natural 5-4-1, Moutinho’s defensive inability and lack of physicality has been hidden and so far he’s been able to dovetail with Neves.
For the amount they paid for, combined with his experience and quality, Wolves might have pulled off a coup here.
TT Grade: B
Both players are very talented and should show their quality over time. At a West Ham that has so many new recruits, it’s going to take time for Wilshere to get into his rhythm. He’ll also need to be played further up consistently which as of yet, he hasn’t.
Moutinho, on the other hand, has made an instant impression at Wolves. His intelligence and quality with the ball has fitted perfectly with Neves in the heart of midfield. The physicality and pace of the league may start to take it’s toll as the season goes on, but so far, Moutinho has looked like a shrewd piece of business.
Considering the fee the club paid for such a decorated player and his instant impact, Moutinho wins this one.
West Ham and Wolves fans… what do you think? Let us know!