Dimitri Payet, Sofiane Feghouli, Michail Antonio and Mark Noble struggling for form as West Ham drop into the bottom three of the Premier League table
Are there any teams in the EPL that are sorrier than Stoke City and West Ham? While they are hardly the worst teams to come out of the EPL this season, they are definitely the most disappointing, and for all the obvious reasons. West Ham United is particularly intriguing when you consider how far it has fallen in the soccer rankings since last season.
There was some hope for Stoke City last year. They showed some potential; however, the fact that they are situated at number 19 in the EPL table isn’t going to drop any jaws or break any hearts.
Sure, they haven’t won a single game in the last six matches but, again, that isn’t anything new. The team is hardly expected to do better when they face Manchester United on Sunday, and the matches against the likes of Sunderland and Swansea will probably follow a relatively predictable path.
With West Ham United, it is a different story because that is one team which exceeded expectations last year by qualifying for Europe; no one really saw that coming, this despite all the surprises of that particular season.
So, you can imagine the disappointment assaulting West Ham Fans in light of their abysmal performance in the first two months of this season. Of the last six matches that they have played, West Ham has lost five.
That means the team only has one victory to show for its efforts in the last two months. West Ham’s flailing campaign is almost bad enough to make people forget about the hullabaloo surrounding the team’s brand new and supposedly soulless stadium; though, not even that controversy is going to save manager Slaven Bilic from the torrent of complaints he is, no doubt, fielding from fans and analysts alike.
Bilic found himself facing a spot of trouble recently when his players went out on a team-bonding night on the town; the night out was sanctioned, so there is nothing to talk about there.
Issues arose when rumours began swirling that the team was drunk the next morning. Sufficing to say, Bilic had no easy answers and there is already an investigation into the issue pending.
All hope isn’t lost for West Ham; following the draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday it’s an away game against Crystal Palace next. That is one game they cannot afford to lose regardless of any problems they might be facing.
The only way West Ham can relieve some of the pressure coming their way is to put Palace down and to do so satisfactorily. The road ahead is teeming with danger; the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea are going to make life difficult for a West Ham United side that lost miserably against teams like Watford and Southampton.
Right now, Bilic probably wishes he was Pep Guardiola. Manchester City is doing extremely well, so much so that people have begun talking about the team running through the campaign unbeaten.
Manchester City has definitely found its stride; at the very least they are doing better than Manchester United. Anyone that has been watching United play must have realized by now that Mourinho is on the verge of letting Wayne Rooney go.
It would definitely make for interesting Drama, though one wonders whether Mourinho would actually do it.
- John Terry to leave Chelsea at the end of the season
- Marcus Rashford is Manchester United’s home-grown talent but he must make the most of his limited chances
- Pep Guardiola needs to overhaul Manchester City’s defence with John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala not living up to their price tag
- Rudy Gestede has joined Middlesbrough