A final thought..


West Ham’s European adventure is on life support after a frustrating 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. While the German giants were always a formidable opponent, the manner of the loss leaves a bitter taste in the mouth for Hammers fans.

West Ham‘s biggest failing was their inability to use the ball effectively. Bearing in mind we were on the back foot constantly, aimless punts and a reluctance to release possession quickly stifled their brief attempts at attacking play. Players lingered on the ball for too long, inviting Leverkusen’s pressure and ultimately losing possession in dangerous areas.

Antonio-Leverkusen-Europa League

Antonio was an isolated figure against Leverkusen

The decision-making in the final third was equally concerning. Kudus, in particular, was guilty of holding onto the ball for too many touches, failing to recognise the right moment to unleash a pass or take a shot. This lack of decisiveness meant clear-cut chances were a rare commodity for the Hammers.

Adding to the frustration is the suspension of Lucas Paqueta following a yellow card. His creativity and attacking prowess will be sorely missed in the return leg. With the potential absence of Jarrod Bowen as well, West Ham’s attacking options are severely depleted.

The only real positive for West Ham was the performance of Lukasz Fabianski. He pulled off some spectacular saves, preventing the score-line from becoming an embarrassing blowout. Without his heroics, the defeat could have been far worse.

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  • Phillip Barlow says:

    I think it’s unfair to say that our ONLY positive was Fabianski’s performance. While we should have done better on those occasions we did have the ball in Leverkusen’s half, especially after having shown that their two centre backs were especially vulnerable in terms of pace, the defensive performance, given the quality of the opposition (arguably one of the best teams in Europe at this particular point in time – you don’t end up 16 points clear of Bayern Munich by being a bunch of mugs), deserves a great deal of credit. Given it took a scuffed shot eight minutes from time that, had he not had ten players in his line of vision, Fabianski probably would have quite easily dealt with to take the lead, I think the whole team should receive some modicum of praise, even despite the defeat. Yes, the second goal was a killer, and it’s probably put paid to our reaching the semi-final, but still, there’s another game to come, so who knows what could happen.

  • Peter says:

    Moyes tactics alone r9 blame. That arrogant dinosaur should have had the decent to leave last year. We have quality players who are a fearful attack (but not enough – again Moyes fault for ignoring Tim). Get that sick, twisted air thief out of my club Sully you complete tight arse. Yo7 left it far too late and should’ve paid him off.

  • Hammeroo says:

    In the end, parking the bus, or rather 2 busses, is fruitless when we almost always cave in to the endless pressure in the last few minutes. Our small Dad’s Army of a squad are just not good enough to play that way. It was a commendable attempt to hold on to a draw but the final result was almost inevitable. It’s a crying shame that our squad is old and small in number. So much for increasing that number for challenging in the Premier League as well as in Europe!

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