West Ham have started the Premier League season dreadfully and pressure is beginning to build on manager David Moyes.
With the international break upon us, Moyes has two weeks to reflect on the recent 1-0 loss to Everton and the disappointing form that leaves the Hammers 18th in the table.
Big money was spent in the summer and few of the new signings have hit the ground running or been given a chance – so how can West Ham turn it around and where’s it going wrong?
How can David Moyes fix West Ham’s woeful start to the season?
One of the biggest problems West Ham have suffered with is poor ball retention. They have simply been giving the ball away far too often. With Thilo Kehrer at the back West Ham have a centre-back capable passing out from the back. Moyes wants the Hammers to pass out from the back more but they’re struggling to progress the ball through the thirds and often find themselves passing and going nowhere in their own half.
To fix this issue there needs to be better movement ahead of the ball from the attacking players. Also, Tomas Soucek, who has been in bad form and is uncomfortable in possession should be dropped. West Ham need a more press resistant midfielder and a better passer of the ball.
The options are to bring Flynn Downes into the side, he is fantastic on the ball and seems like a Mark Noble type with more running ability. Or to tweak formation into a 4-3-3 and have Declan Rice sitting in midfield with Lucas Paqueta and Pablo Fornals either side of him. This means West Ham have more technical players involved in the build-up and retaining the ball and all three are hard workers without it.
Lack of Chances Created
West Ham have scored the fewest goals from opening play (two) in the Premier League this season. The club’s expected goals is down at 7.6. That’s 1.1 goals a game they should be scoring but aren’t due to wastefulness. West Ham also average 0.9 big chances per game – yes, that’s less than one big opportunity to score per match.
Essentially, more chances need to be created. There has been a big problem of making poor passing decisions on the counter-attack. West Ham were excellent on the counter last season and with Jarrod Bowen not firing the team has suffered.
Maxwel Cornet has looked promising in the Conference League and when coming off the bench with his pace and direct running. Perhaps he deserves a start.
Paqueta is set to be the main creator but is still getting up to speed with English football and his strength is his through balls and he doesn’t have runners beyond him. Moyes should play him as a No.8 rather than a No.10 to begin counters with his passing to the pace of Bowen and Cornet.
Additionally, he can be frustrating but Said Benrahma deserves more minutes – Fornals isn’t playing well on the left and could instead move central to allow the Algerian to play on the wing. Benrahma has been one of few bright sparks this season but is still getting benched for the trusted out of form Fornals.