West Ham battle with current fellow relegation scrappers Wolves in what could prove a massive match for both teams. A point away from home, while usually a fine consolation, won’t be enough for West Ham and Wolves cannot afford to lose at home or anywhere else for that matter.
Desperation vs. desperation in this match for two teams who shouldn’t be anywhere near the relegation zone halfway through the season. There appears to be a mentality difference between the upper management of the two teams, however.
Wolves have welcomed playmaker and attacker Matheus Cunha to their team from Athletico Madrid, spending upwards of £44m for the deal. Wolves have scored just 11 goals this season so they identified and brought in a solution to this problem as soon as the January window opened.
West Ham can gain some much-needed breaking space with a crucial win over an underperforming Wolves side.
West Ham, on the other hand, is currently fending off offers for two first-team regulars in Craig Dawson and Michail Antonio… from Wolves. More attacking options are needed in the form of forward depth for the Hammers, but nothing seems imminent despite their poor form.
What the Hammers should focus on right now is having the luxury of playing a team below them in the table, albeit but one point. The performances this season have been far below the talent level of this team and far away from the playstyle the manager has created over the past two seasons, so embrace the poorer competition and make this a turning point.
Jarrod Bowen has been quoted as saying just that when asked about the match suggesting the Hammers should “stamp [their] authority at Wolves”. Bowen continued when discussing the mentality of the team saying:
"“If you’re not playing well and you’re losing, you can be more down,” Bowen added. “But if you play well and don’t pick up results, you can still take that little bit of confidence from some of the performances we’ve been putting in. The last two games away have been tough away games, and we have come away with a win and a draw. We’re moving in the right direction.”"
Backed as my most important player of the second half for West Ham, Bowen needs to get his performance levels up following his incredible year in 2021/22. Bowen was the offensive sparkplug for this team and instigated a ton of scoring chances, with Lucas Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca now in the fold surely this can happen.
The team will likely be similar to recent matches, hopefully with Said Benrahma returning to the starting XI after his wobbly rocket against Leeds. The Algerian winger has six goals this season and can create offence from seemingly nothing. Surely playing the hot hand at left wing is justified for Moyes.
It’s a can’t-lose fixture for both teams with a spot in the relegation zone up for grabs. Three points could see West Ham climb as high as 13th in the table while Wolves would leapfrog the Hammers pushing them to 18th and officially back in the danger zone. Move over unmovable object vs. unstoppable force, desperate vs. desperate is the new matchup to watch.