By Colin Gates
Ok the window has been and gone making very little difference to the Irons set-up!
We did a great bit of business earlier when bringing in Samir Nasri and regardless of how you feel about Marko Arnautovic, holding onto our top goalscorer can be considered a plus – at least until summer.
Having said that, with the run of recent results it’s easy to forget just how much money has been ploughed into the squad over the last two summer transfer windows.
An eye watering £91 million was invested into the current squad just last summer, with no less than ten new players arriving.
The signings of Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Carlos Sánchez, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko all represents a serious investment.
These most recent arrivals are set against a backdrop of experienced talent in the form of Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez who bolstered the squad in the summer of 2017.
The Hammers will have to make do with what they’ve got until the summer but with an under performing squad packed with talent we look at who should be making the difference.
If you’re interested in following West Ham’s fortunes then look no further than expert Premier League betting tips and match previews to see you through the end of the season.
Top of our list is Javier Hernandez. Chicharito arrived from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen for £16 million in the summer of 2017, on the back of two decent seasons where he had a return of 28 goals.
We still believe that given a run of games guiven his top level experience, he can make a difference over the second half of the season.
Behind the forward line the man who needs to make the difference is without a doubt Felipe Anderson. If the Brazilian midfielder can link up with his Mexican counterpart up top then even better.
Anderson has been a stand out performer at times for the Hammers this season, which isn’t a bad return considering he only arrived from Lazio during the summer.
He has featured in every Premier League match this season, scoring eight goals in the process. On top of that he’s versatile. Although he’s mostly been employed on the left flank and has ability to play across all the forward channels.
Nasri, though perhaps controversial, is a great capture for a club that is struggling to find the net, even despite the wealth of attacking options available. Many of the forward players at the moment simply aren’t returning enough. Nasri, with his wealth of Premier League experience could be the catalyst behind the forward line to spark change.
Another player through the central lines that West Ham have been missing and can aid creation of chances is Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine put in a solid season last campaign and has been a mainstay of the midfield since arriving from the middle east on loan in 2015.
Pellegrini has recently said that it’s looking like only a matter of weeks until Manu is back in contention for selection after making a return to training.
After rupturing his ACL he’s had a lengthy absence, but his 88 club appearances will provide a much needed surety and experience in the middle of the park. His ability to control play and make positive moves benefiting players up top is vital.
Adjustments need to be made further back as well. Conceding 13 goals in 6 games is unacceptable, especially considering the amount of talent, experience and investment that has been put in.
The first line of defence is in the hole in midfield. Since emerging from the academy Declan Rice has been one of the standout players despite his young age. Up to now he’s played that vital role in uniting defensive play and switching the ball forward. His guile and ability to protect the defence and control play in midfield will be crucial in the coming weeks.
Issa Diop arrived from Toulouse for a whopping £22 million in the summer in an attempt to bring about more defensive solidity. Diop has currently played the most minutes of any outfield player for the Hammers this season, representing a remarkable consistency for a player only just arrived in the summer.
With Fabian Balbuena out for the foreseeable future since a knee injury put him out before Christmas, it’s critical that Diop stays fit and in form.
The Hammers are currently experiencing their worst spell of the season since their ill-fated run of four rolling defeats back in August. Improvements need to be made throughout the pitch, but it’s the attacking players most that need to step up.
It’s no wonder that top scorer Marko Arnautovic is a lowly 37th in the bookies list of players to finish top scorer. Hernandez sits at 42nd.
The chances of those bets coming through are slim and it would take a diehard, if not foolhardy Hammer to back that. But if you do fancy backing a more likely candidate then BookiesBonuses.com is the best place to compare betting offers ahead of a bet.
Manuel Pellegrini will have to do as much work on the training pitch as psychological analysis to come back from three successive defeats. While he may not have the funds to strengthen his squad he has a range of talent to choose from and a number of key players who can make the difference.
The views expressed here are those of the blogger and are not necessarily held by ClaretandHugh