Managers & Tactics Prem: What is wrong with West Ham?

Prem: What is wrong with West Ham?


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West Ham have looked like a girl in an all boys’ school so far in the Premier League. They have been edgy, and seemingly have a mental breakdown in every single one of their games. Last year’s revelation Dimitri Payet hasn’t been in the best of form, but then again, he’s now mostly playing in his own half, compliment of Slaven Bilic.

Speaking of whom, the most charismatic and animated persona there was in the Premier League last season has suddenly capitulated into a small cocoon not yet ready to free its wings.

West Ham’s Payet has just returned from injury, and needs time to shine. (Photo by Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images)

The Londoners may be suffering from an influx of injuries, but that was not the case in today’s game against Southampton. Only Ayew is missing from the lineup who could be said to have a genuine shot in making an impact, but otherwise, this is what the Hammers’ gameplan has to revolve around. A defensive setup does not essentially help things, though again, Bilic needs help. Serious help.

Questions will undoubtedly be raised about the Croatian if performances do not improve, although the board can be forgiven for offering a bit more leniency to the man who took the club to a 7th place finish last term.

But, honestly though, what seems to be the problem here?

Bilic needs to find some inspiration for his players to follow. His uncharacteristically quiet sideline antics don’t exactly reverberate that sort of thing. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

Is it the team’s acclimatization to their new surroundings? Is it the manager’s tactical gameplan? Is it a player-manager feud? Why is this team not performing?

And the answer, frankly, is that it’s likely a combination of all the above, with exception to the player-manager feud idea. The effort from the players is pretty evident, so it would not make much sense.

As much as we don’t consider it to be a huge trouble, pressure can be a big, big burden to bear on a player’s shoulders. The large stadium can be intimidating, but so too can the expectations for this football club.

However, it can only go on for so long. West Ham’s roster possesses too much talent for the team not to gel at some point. The manager has proven himself already. Two wins in the next two games against Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace will get the Hammers back on track.

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