Last season two of our most admired players were Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson . Aaron picked up Hammer of the year and Jenks was the first name on the shopping list for most fans following his successful season on loan.
Yesterday, they both had shockers and gifted all 4 goals to Bournemouth. First up was Cresswell slipping over to allow an easy cross and shot, followed by passing a ball straight into the path of Hat Trick Hero Callum Wilson to net his second.
Jenks took up the mantle in the second half, first up continuing his ability to be unable to control the ball, which seemed to start last week. This allowed Pugh to take the ball off him and score the third. The forth was Jenkinson taking out Max Gradel after failing to control the ball again and gifting Bournemouth a penalty. Carl also earned a red card for his effort.
In amongst all this we scored 3 goals, the first 2 bringing back the game to 2-2 post the now traditional half time bollocking from the manager. A Noble penalty very early on set us on our way. The equaliser came with Kouyate smashing into the top corner finishing some nice play in the penalty box.
From here we were on top and looking for the win, with the crowd in full support. However the Jenkinson show started and we were then 2-4 down.
Maiga came off the bench to take an easy opportunity to get us once again within one goal of the draw. However it was a bridge too far for the Hammers, and we ended the day with our second home defeat of the season (out of 2).
This is an issue, as we are now 3 points behind where I thought we would be and coming up we have Liverpool and Man City away sandwiching a visit from Newcastle. Not a lot of points to be collected in those games. We could potentially be 6 games in with 3 points. The Liverpool game will also see us without Jenkinson and Adrian due to being suspended (there goes the fair play league!!)
With every issue there is an answer, and for this particular problem it’s firepower, plain and simple. As a hangover from Sam, we are still persevering with one up top. Valencia and Carroll being injured does not help, but this week before the end of the window we need another striker. Maiga is just not good enough. Charlie Austin would have been the obvious choice but ham fisted comments from one of our co-chairmen has scuppered that move. The ambitious move for Chicarito from United is now also off the table. Where we go is beyond me, unless our European scouting system has something up its sleeve, as it appears Bilic has no love for Elliot Lee. To be fair I don’t think he is a premier league striker either and should be moved on for both the benefit of him and us.
On the subject of Bilic, he seems to like to tinker with the back lines early on, and yesterday he subbed off Ogbonna for Tomkins before half time for no good reason (unless he was injured). The bigger question is does he know his team yet, and is this being reflected on the pitch?
Some words for newly promoted Bournemouth. Their style of football is very attractive, and as we saw, they can punish individual mistakes. I do think they will struggle though, unless they tighten up their defence. I did like the ironic song from the packed away end, “We’re only here for the season”. This I think is not true. I reckon about 15th / 16th. Probably near us.
My next report will be after the Newcastle game; hopefully I have some better news to report.
MOTM yesterday was obviously Callum Williams. The West Ham voted player was Darren Randolph, as the player who let in four goals, due to his teammates ineptitude. For me it was probably Mark Noble