Liverpool v West Ham match report

Liverpool 4 Irons 0

By Sean Whetstone

It would easy to overreact to a West Ham four-nil loss after the first game of the Premier League season .

But this was against the team I am tipping for the title this term and a squad who didn’t lose  a single game all season at Anfield last term.

The bookies, not used to giving away money made us a 14/1 shout for the win, so the writing was on the wall before a ball was kicked. Our optimism – from inside the Hammers bubble – proved a little too much.

Pellegrini appeared to borrow an old tactic from his Man City days in demanding a hard line on the 18-yard box and it backfired with spectacular effect.

Masuaku started in the left-back role with Cresswell absent and again his defending was entirely incompetent with it being easy to argue he contributed to the first two Liverpool goals.

Ogbonna and Balbuena started well but they lost concentration  in the second half while Fredericks found it difficult to contain Mane showing maybe a lack of Premier League experience.

Fabianski was my West Ham man of the match and stopped Liverpool from making it a more embarassing six or seven nil.

The West Ham midfield was largely absent in the first half with Noble, Wilshere and Rice having little effect and Arnautovic looking isolated.

Anderson seemed strong in the first half and looked tired in the second before being substituted for Hernandez on the hour mark.

Rice looked slightly uncomfortable and out of his depth in his new midfield role and was substituted at halftime for Snodgrass’ experience.

Marko Arnautovic who faced a late fitness seemed to be suffering and was eventually replaced by Yarmelenko.

It is not a time to overreact, integrating five new signings and changing tactics so radically against Liverpool away was always going to be a tough ask.

The real test begins at home against Bournemouth and there’s nothing more to say but to write it off as a bad day in the office and move on.

My Ratings: Fabianski 7, Masuaku 3, Ogbonna 5, Balbuena 5, Fredericks 4, Noble 5, Rice 4, Wilshere 4, Anderson 6, Antonio 6, Arnautovic 6, Snodgrass 5, Yamelenko 5, Hernandez 4

About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

8 comments on “Liverpool v West Ham match report

  1. Sorry but I don’t agree with that at all we wer awful I agree you don’t expect to get a lot at anfield but after spending the money you expect them to compete at the very least ..utter rubbish men against boys ..don’t care if it’s the first game or the last you could see straight away that they didn’t believe they could get a result…people will say oh it’s Liverpool so it’s ok but arnt we trying to compete with the Liverpool’s …there was no better time to p!ay them with half there defence missing…rubbish

  2. I think we missed Kouyate today. Wishere was very quiet. We’re still a work in progress.

  3. To compete against the top teams you have to play with high press ,aggression and as a complete team all 11 working . From the very beginning we didn’t seem hungry enough ! Liverpool wanted it far more than us .Antonio not a starter for me , impact sub at best somebody needs to tell him to pass the ball . Liverpool didn’t arrive at that team overnight they took there hidings city thrashed them 5-1 .

  4. Agreed, it is not a time to overreact to this defeat. We are a work in progress & will take time to gel. But, this was an awful performance – pretty much on a par with all the disastrous defeats of last season. Liverpool were not only a class above us with their skill, movement & passing, they were also first to the ball pretty much all of the time. Fabianski wasn’t too bad but he had some shaky moments, too. You could see the first two goals coming, what with the man out on the left being unmarked. The defence were, in my opinion, abysmal. Pellegrini has his work cut out proving that he is not just a “name” in the same mold as Avram Grant ! So, I will not overreact – & give the team an overall 4 out of ten for its collective performance. Bearing in mind the quality of our next opponents, I will expect nothing but a Hammers win (& a much higher level of performance, too). If we don’t get that, then I will overreact !

  5. Hi Sean, have to disagree on a few points other than a couple of times when Fabianski raced out to get to the ball ahead of Liverpool players who had sprung the offside trap, he was at fault for the first goal he should have dived to cut out the cross that Salah scored from, it was a routine save that Adrian would have made, as for the third it was so close to his hand its hard to understand why he didn’t stop it (even if it was offside) the 2nd and fourth he had no chance with, I will say this if he stays in goal all season we will be in a relegation fight, despite his stats from last season he is not a good quality keeper he is a no.2, Adrian has more presence, is a superior shot stopper and has quicker feet, as for Balbuena despite making a couple of strong fouls and yes argueably he could have seen red for that accumulation he looked like a proper defender unlike the other three, more triple training sessions are required to get the team familiar with each other, Anderson did show a good willingness to track back and defensively he looks good but we want to see him bombing on down the wing, the officials were poor, look how many times Liverpool carried out cynical fouls near the halfway line (away from danger) they should have had a number of players also booked for professional fouls. Noble tried hard but he was overrun and against teams that move the ball fast he has always struggled, we need someone whether it be Wilshere, Anderson, Snodgrass or a n other to hold onto the ball and dribble past players laterally so that we can build a platform to attack, I thought at times we passed the ball well and can see improvements in posession but when we do attack we need to commit numbers forward and our central midfield have to break up the play, it was too easy for an excellent team to exploit us in that area, we were on the backfoot for the entire match, I hope Bournemouth who also move the ball around pretty quickly give us a chance to address the areas we need to improve upon, If Oggy can’t play in a back four we should try Diop there next match and possibly Sanchez for Rice, it was certainly a baptism of fire as much of us suspected, these first three months couldn’t be much tougher, although I am being critical I am still just as optimistic that we will produce the goods across the season and finish in that 8th – 10th area.

  6. Agree we were alwful today I had to bury my head in my hands and walk away from watching the box.
    Yes we are again work in progress but how much progress we will begs the question?
    We also cannot blame the board they have coughed up the dosh this was down to tactics and belief which our players did not have.
    The Ref was alwful to how the the third goal was not offside beggars belief and should Antony Taylor referee another Premire match?
    Next week I travel down the 200 miles to the London Staduim and will be wanting different to cheer and sing about let’s hope it happens

  7. This is becoming a forum to enjoy – top comments and none of that former nonsense. Some knowledgeable stuff here. Good place to visit. 🙂

  8. Sean, you mention Masuaku as at fault for the first two goals but wasn’t Fredericks responsible for cutting out the cross that gave their first on a plate.

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