West Ham closed out Matchweek One with three points and continued form. Before getting into Leicester, we look at some major storylines from week one.
After a shaky first half, West Ham looked fully confident on their way to earning all three points and an opening weekend victory. However, all that shimmers certainly isn’t gold, and there are still some things to work on for David Moyes’ lads.
West Ham and Leicester finished last year neck and neck, only separated on GD. Both clubs will be competing in the Europa League this year, and both have recently put on amazing matches against each other. Last year West Ham took all six points, winning both matches, and many will be hoping for similar results starting Monday night. Here are some storylines leading up to the match.
Filling the defensive leak
Whether it was Newcastle’s fast counter-attacking play or Matchweek One jitters, but regardless, the Hammer’s defense looked shaky in a lot of ways. On the Toon’s first goal, Aaron Cresswell really looked stuck and was no help as Allan Saint-Maximin worked Delcan Rice down before setting up a perfect goal.
As Newcastle retook the lead late in the first half, the Hammer’s defense was once again caught watching as the Toons knocked in a beautiful ball as Craig Dawson watched on. It could be very easily a case of the opening day jitters, but that hole will need to be fixed before opening up the season at home next Monday.
West Ham: Three storylines leading up to Matchweek Two
“Benrahma Season” has begun
After an up and down campaign last year, West Ham fans didn’t really know what they had in Said Benrahma. After an incredible preseason and 87 minutes of pure joy, it’s safe to say that “Benrahma Season” has officially kicked off. The Algerian international opened up his 2021/22 points book with a goal and an assist and was the MOTM against Newcastle last Sunday.
He was ever prevalent throughout the match and a constant throne in the side of the Newcastle defenders. In a time where West Ham needed him to step up, it appears that he has and is ready to make a permanent home in that Starting XI.
Hammers Captain in midseason form
It’s safe to say that Declan Rice didn’t have the best first half of the new campaign. He had many West Ham fans worried after getting “Ronaldinhod” on just minutes into the match and being all over the place during the opening 45′. However, the second half was a completely different ball game for the young English international.
Rice started the run to set up the Hammer’s 2nd goal, paying back Saint-Maximin and getting the ball out to Bowen. Bowen set up Antonio inside the box to cross it to Benrahma as he headed in West Ham’s equalizer just minutes into the 2nd half. He closed out the match, completing 49 of his 50 passes, winning six of his nine duels and two of his three aerial battles.
The Hammers still have a question mark surrounding Fabianski and who should be in between the pipes moving forward, but that question is still too young to know for certain. West Ham looked good and ready for next week. Now they must find a way to keep this form and use it against the much better Leicester City on Monday night.