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The Pellegrini verdict

Manager Manuel Pellegrini believes the Hammers showed improvement over last week’s City fiasco but admits he is still trying to find the best way to play.”

It’s important that games such as the one at Brighton today are not lost so from that point of view a draw was an improvement on the last campaign!

But it remains a little surprising to hear him admit that he is still looking for the right system when – apart from three outfield player – we have the same squad as last season.

However, like most of the rest of us, he will take the draw and look for more improvement when we travel to Watford next week and on from there.

With Lanzini coming back to his ultimate best that is hopefully likely to be the case although it needs to be said we have – in the last two games – looked one paced in the middle of the park.

Speaking at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2019/august/17-august/pellegrini-we-improved-last-week the manager said: “I think it’s a good point. They are a difficult team, who played with a lot of trust after their win at Watford last week.

“We started well for the first 20 minutes, but we didn’t create chances. After that we disappeared from the pitch and Brighton had all the possession. We defended well and they didn’t create too many chances. “In the second half, it was a good game for both teams. Both had opportunities

In the second half, our play improved. Antonio gave us power up front, we played with two strikers and that was better.

“We improved in defending without any doubt, although Brighton did create a couple of dangerous chances in our box, but we need to have more possession and create more chances ourselves, making better balls in those areas.

“Of course we improved from last week and it’s [always important] not to lose when you play away.”

“We need to find the best way to play with new players, we have a lot of different options now and we must try to integrate them into our team – we’re talking about Yarmolenko, about Carlos Sanchez too, as well as Fornals, Ajeti and Haller.

“That’s why it was important not to lose today and I hope we will continue improving in the next games.”

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Hammers Marmite man under the spotlight

Arthur was back for his first game of the season following the signing of a new contract.

As expected the manager left Creswell out – for whatever reason decided on Ogbonna as skipper – leaving Arthur to use his pace and skill in the left sided role.

Our PlayerWatch reporter Danny Leach was there to take a look at the guy who is Marmite to many performed on his first team return.


5 – Takes on Montoya and knocks the ball past him as he tries to beat him but only loses the ball

7 – Holds the ball up well but he loses the ball as his pass is deflected off Gross

11 – He beats Gross and wins a throw in as Montoya tackles him

14 – His cross is blocked by Propper

15 – He tackles Propper and retains the ball very cleverly as he flicks the ball over him

21 – Makes a horrible clearance with his right foot which falls to Stephens on the edge of the box but his shot is saved by Fabianski

27 – He is caught in no man’s lands by not really marking anyone as Trossard’s goal is ruled offside. However, Ogbonna could have blocked the incoming cross from Burn

52 – He dribbles on the left hand side but loses the ball to Gross

Verdict – 5 – It was quite an underwhelming display from Masuaku who generally struggled against the Seagulls attackers and midfielders. While always looking to be a threat going forward, he too often lost the ball whilst breaking into the attack. His defending and discipline is not up to the standard expect and against better opposition he would have been punished more heavily for his mistakes. Apart from having some neat skills up his sleeve he must up his game if he is to succeed in Pellegrini’s team.


Video: Gonzo’s full time report with our goal footage

In the absence of any TV cameras beyond those discovered on some streams here and there, Gonzo is here to give his after match analysis of the match at Brighton.

Gonzo -a long term partner of CandH – will bring his near on the whistle report from most games this season and in this one tells it as it is..

He makes it abundanty pretty clear that the south coast team were far superior to the Hammers for most of the game and could have won it 4-1.

However, this game being what it is, things could easily have gone the other way had Antonio scored near the end and Snoddy hadn’t seen another well saved following a fine Lanzini dribble.

However, we are grateful to Gonzo for his report  on a day when only a limited number of fans were able to catch up with the action as we grabbed our first point of the season


Haller/Anderson: Here’s the news we couldn’t break before the game

Ok, here’s the news we couldn’t break before the game as we couldn’t, and never will, give opposition sides a clue of Manuel Pellegrini’s team plans.

Felipe Anderson and Seb Haller were never in the frame to play today with both receiving nasty knocks during the game against a very physical Mancehster City.

We learned some time befre the weekend that the Brazilian suffered a DOUBLE  dead leg during last weekend’s game whilst the club’s record signing ended the game with a badly swollen knee.

Maybe I’m being overly cynical but it doesn’t seem a coincidence that our two marquee signings over the last two summers are the pair that should find themselves in trouble at the end of the game against the champions.

And it may explain why Manuel Pellegrini  – not the most controversial of managers – made a point of expressing the view that they had committed 13 fouls.

Both will be monitored carefully through the week and hopes are reasonably high they will be involved against Watford – with two defeats to their name so far – next weekend.


Lanzini stars as Irons grab a point

Brighton 1 Hammers 1

A family commitment meant I missed the first half but I’m told we were pretty dire with a Brighton goal ruled out VAR but and the south coast side very much on top.

We weren’t too bad at all in the second and with Lanzini now hitting top form and fitness we looked a much better proposition.

He set up the first for Chicharito and could have provided a second for Snoddy with a fabulous 60 yard run whilst with more luck Antonio may have converted a header near the end.

For me the highlight  was Lanzini who is back to his ball carrying best, beating players, tricks to spares and showing a big end product.

Snoddy too is an important player – constantly on the move and of course capable of wicked set pieces.

But it remains a big disappointment that having taken the lead we once again surrendered within minutes via a great effort from Leandro Trossard who had seen his other effort fall victim to VAR.

Lewis Dunk and Davy Propper also went close for the home side but in the end we held on for a point we were probably luck to get.

The single point pushed us up to 15th place with Chelsea – second off bottom – playing Leicester City tomorrow.

Given how I’m told we performed in the first half I think I’ll happily settle for a point away to a club who look a real handful this season based on the second half.

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Give us your West Ham player ratings against Brighton

Please give us your personal ratings for West Ham players who played for ten minutes or more in the  Brighton v West Ham Premier League away game at the Amex Stadium today.

Please only vote if you were at the game yourself or watched on TV  selecting a numerical score between one and ten where one is low and ten is high. Please leave out any players who didn’t play or played under ten minutes blank.

Entries containing players who didn’t play will be deleted as will any entries with all tens or all ones.

Once we have collected all the entries we will reveal the results by publishing the number of valid responses together with the mean average of each West Ham player who played ten minutes or more.

Thank you for taking part in the Claret and Hugh West Ham player ratings. Please enter your scores at the link below:



Pelle calls for an end to the “mistakes”

anuel Pellegrini is determined that we see the real West Ham in every game this season – starting today!

Brighton away is an early acid test of where we are really at and all that happened at the London Stadium last weekend will be forgiven if we come away with a point or three.

For me the first priority today will be a clean sheet given the defensive frailties we have see that have led to 17 goals conceded in the pre-season and one PL game played so far.

As many have said previously: “Get it right at the back and the rest follows” and hopefully we will see the defence sort it by playing collectively rather than – as has been the case at time so far – individually.

Like most games, football is 80 per cent played between the ears and our first point/s of the season are massively important for confidence.

So we travel in hope knowing that for nearly 45 minutes last weekend against the best team in the land we had around 48 per cent of the play.

Pellegrini is hopeful but knows we need to sort it at the back and told https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2019/august/16-august/manuel-pellegrini-i-hope-we-are-going-see-real-west-ham-every: ” I hope we are going to see the real West Ham in every game.

“We showed the real West Ham against City for 45 minutes. We had 48 per cent possession. Mistakes cost us and in the second half we didn’t play as well. We have to be consistent over 90 minutes no matter who we play.

“I expect them not to make so many mistakes, and that when we concede a goal it’s because the other team made a very good play.

“Of course, you are concerned when you concede so many goals, [because] you can’t score two or three goals in every game to win, but I am sure we are going to improve.”

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Supporters split on Brighton v West Ham result

Claret and Hugh readers are split on the result of the Brighton v West Ham game this afternoon.

Over 1,060 supporters took part in yesterday’s poll with thirty-five per cent predicting an away win for West Ham, thirty-four per cent believe Brighton will win with the remaining thirty-one per cent predicting a draw.

In their last six meetings: Brighton Won 3, West Ham Won 2, Drawn 1
All-time meetings: Brighton Won 18, West Ham Won 18, Drawn 15

Brighton have the slight upper hand in recent form but both teams have 18 wins apiece over their whole history.

Glenn Murray has scored against West Ham six times.

Bookies have made Brighton the 6/4 favourites after their 3-0 win over Watford, while West Ham are 2/1 and a draw is 9/4.

You can uo to 10/1 for a West Ham 1-0 win, with 2-0 win at 16/1, a 2-1 win is 11/1 while a 1-1 draw is 6/1.

A repeat of the 2-2 draw from last January at the London Stadium is priced at 14/1.



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Pellegrini opens up on Reid

Winston Reid’s future is becoming more and more of a worry.

The central defender missed all of last season of course and has barely been seen in pre-season with intense care being taken over his comeback.

He was due to have returned to full training this week but is unlikely to be seen in competitive action for a while yet as he recovers fully from a knee injury.

Reid, who is now into his ninth season with the Hammers, has been sidelined since he damaged his knee when tumbling to the turf after being knocked out against Swansea City in March 2018.

Now virtually 18 months on he is surrounded by conspiracy theories about his future although the club continue to claim they are hopeful he will make a full recovery.

However, Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that the medics are continuing to be ultra careful with the player telling reporters: “Winston Reid is working with the squad but we must be very careful, he was out for around one year nine months, so he can be fit but we must have special work for him.”


Hammers new boy may be added to squad

Deadline day signing Albian Ajeti could be added to the Hammers squad this weekend.

Manuel Pellegrini revealed in his pre-match presser that both Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller took knocks in the game against Manchester City.

There have been no further updates on the pair and we will need to wait until an hour before kick off to learn whether they are involved for the key match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

As a result it seems possible  that Ajeti could be added to the squad as a safety net with the fate of the the two marquee signings unknown until just before kick off.

And should that be the case it will be interesting to see what the player is all about after Martio Husillos described him as a box player.

Asked by reporters whether he was fit and ready to play the manager said should he be needed : “Yes, I think so. Maybe it’s better for him to know a little bit more about the Premier League but he’s a player who in every training session is showing what he can do

“He’s working well, he’s working hard, he will have a lot of opportunities soon.”