West Ham have had a mixed start to the season. Narrow losers to Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season and then seeing off Bournemouth comfortably even if it was only by 1 goal suggests that they haven’t started the season that poorly. However, last nights exit in the Europa League against what many would say is a inferior team in Astra Giurgiu, highlighted worrying weaknesses in the side.
The Hammer’s key target in the summer has clearly been to bring in a top class striker and you can see why. Last season, they relied heavily on Payet and Lanzini to create and score the goals. However, with both sidelined for whatever reason, the Hammer’s are struggling to kill teams off hence the fact they have managed only 3 goals in 4 games since the start of the season. They have had bids rejected for strikers like Carlos Bacca of AC Milan, Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette and now they have been heavily linked with a move for Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony.
The most surprising thing about West Ham at the start of this season is that they have at times been fairly boring to watch. Last season, they played some brilliant football turning over teams at times on their way to European football. This season on the other hand, they have often looked short on ideas and the imagination to break down defences. It takes no maths wizz to figure the reason for this, two words, Dimitir Payet. Arguably the signing of the season last term, bar perhaps N’Golo Kante, Payet at times carried his side through games producing moments of magic when his side needed him most. With 9 goals and 12 assists last season, it was no surprise at the number of accolades he received with many believing he deserved to land the PFA Players Player of the Year Award. Following a successful Euro’s with France, many believed Payet could be on his way out but he seems set to stay at least another season which at the moment is West Ham’s best bit of business this summer. Furthermore you can see that without him the Hammer’s are struggling.
Payet enjoyed a stellar first season in England (see above)
He’s not the only player who West Ham are missing. Manuel Lanzini also enjoyed a successful first season in England and was a key part of the Hammers success last season. It’s essential that Payet and Lanzini are fit as soon as possible if West Ham want to avoid more upsets like on Thursday Night because at the moment, they are miles of the pace. Yes it’s only 2 games into the premier league season and the time to worry perhaps isn’t just yet, but West Ham need to fulfil the needs of 57,000 fans each week, and at the moment, they simply aren’t.