After a sub-par season last time out, West Ham embarked on a serious summer spending spree bringing in a host of new talents to the London Stadium. However, after losing both of their opening two Premier League games, there is already concern that Pellegrini’s new signings might not deliver the quality of football Hammers’ fans hoped for.
It was a tough opening fixture for the Irons, travelling to Anfield to face Jurgen Klopp’s free-flowing Liverpool. A defeat was to be expected, but the manner of the defeat will have concerned the Argentinian boss, as West Ham rolled over and were comfortably beaten by the Anfield outfit. Then came a fixture against Bournemouth in East London, in which despite going ahead in the first half, they fell to a 2-1 defeat as Eddie Howe’s side snatched maximum points. Not the start the club would have been hoping for, considering a serious spend in the summer.
Names such as Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Issa Diop all joined for big fees in the summer, as transfer records for the East London outfit tumbled. However, spending is no guarantee of success, as has so far been proved in the poor results at the start of the season. Perhaps the new squad need time to gel, or perhaps the problem runs slightly deeper.
The one issue David Sullivan and Manuel Pellegrini didn’t manage to fix this summer was an imposing defensive midfielder for the side. A ball-winning midfielder who can break up play has been sorely missed in the opening two matches, as the opposition have been allowed to be too comfortable in possession in the West Ham half. A player in the mould of Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante would do wonders for West Ham, covering ground and giving them some steel in the middle of the park. The lack of pace and tracking back in the middle of the park has been particularly noticeable, with Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere not possessing good pace.
This problem really ought to have been fixed in the summer window, and will likely cost the Hammers plenty of points in this campaign.