West Ham United’s Premier League campaign has got off to a rocky start. They were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City at the London Stadium on the opening weekend, and were then lucky to scrape a 1-1 draw against Brighton. Manuel Pellegrini will demand a much-improved showing from the Hammers when they take on Watford on Saturday.
Watford will also be desperate to record their first win of the season, so it is well poised to be a thrilling encounter. However, Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas does not believe that the result will go in favour of the Irons. In his Premier League predictions column, Nicholas has forecast a 2-1 win for Watford. He also said of West Ham, “Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere have to do more. They need to get a few results to get going”.
Wilshere has undeniably looked rusty so far this season. It now looks as though years of injuries have taken their toll on the midfielder. The former Arsenal man barely looks capable of competing physically at the highest level anymore.
However, the criticisms of Anderson and Lanzini are harsh. Anderson was ruled out of the Brighton clash with injury, so has barely had a chance to have an impact this season. The Brazilian enjoyed a fine campaign last time out and will likely continue to impress this season.
Lanzini, for his part, has been one of the east London club’s best performers so far. Against the Seagulls, the Argentine attacking-midfielder constantly tried to make things happen and was very positive.
West Ham need to improve as a team certainly, and must tighten up at the back, but Nicholas is wrong to single out Anderson and Lanzini as problems at this stage.