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England hopeful Joe Hart’s latest West Ham error has harpooned his World Cup hopes

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Photo: Getty Images

Everything seemed to finally be falling into place for West Ham’s loanee goalkeeper Joe Hart. Having been benched by David Moyes, he made a man of the match return against Chelsea as he emerged the hero on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Then everything came crashing back to earth in disastrous fashion at the London Stadium on Monday evening.

Hart has gone from a steady and reliable option for one of the best sides in the Premier League and a clear first choice for England to a calamitous liability for a team fighting relegation and his spot on the plane to Russia is in doubt.

With Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland excelling, the latter in the opposite net on Monday night as Hart slipped up by producing his fourth error leading to a goal this season.

(Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Not only did Joe Hart fumble the ball but it was just the latest reminder for Gareth Southgate that he cannot trust his most experienced man in Russia.

He will likely make the 23 man squad, partly out of loyalty and thanks for his role in securing qualification as Southgate has previously suggest would be the case, but also for his experience of such tournaments which could be key for novices like Butland and Pickford.

Burnley‘s Nick Pope may feel aggrieved if he is to miss out, but Hart’s experience and leadership role within the England dressing room may be too important to risk by not selecting him. Even with that in mind though, Southgate has proven himself to be ruthless as he did with his easing out of Wayne Rooney.

Whilst Rooney’s struggle for form saw him dropped from the side, leading to his international retirement, Hart’s can surely only have the same influence.

As Southgate looks to build a new look set-up with the Three Lions, featuring a young back three full of new names such as Harry Maguire, Alfie Mawson and James Tarkowski, Hart will no longer have such a key presence and it seems an opportune time to blood a new first choice in his place.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

English Premier League

Three things learnt from West Ham’s defeat to Bournemouth

Manuel Pellegrini has work to do after back-to-back defeats.

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Photo: Getty Images

West Ham are pointless after their first two matches after an opening weekend loss to Liverpool was followed by defeat to Bournemouth at the London Stadium.

The Hammers took the lead thanks to a first-half penalty from Marko Arnautovic but their performance declined significantly after the break, resulting in a 2-1 defeat after goals from Steve Cook and Callum Wilson.

It meant that Manuel Pellegrini’s first competitive match at the London Stadium ended in defeat and raising the stakes ahead of a testing run of fixtures. Here, we have identified three things we learnt from the game.

Arnautovic remains key

Player of the Year last season, Marko Arnautovic is looking to prove that problems of inconsistency are behind him and has started well – scoring from the spot against Bournemouth and looking like West Ham’s deadliest asset throughout.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 18: West Ham United’s Marko Arnautovic during the Premier League match between West Ham United and AFC Bournemouth at London Stadium on August 18, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The signings of Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson were made to reduce the reliance on the Austria international but, with the pair still finding their feet in the Premier League, it is Arnautovic who continues to shine.

It is a promising sign for West Ham after a tough couple of weeks that Arnautovic appears to be in the mood and he could be an incredibly useful asset when the new recruits around him gel into Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Second half woes

West Ham were on the front foot for the majority of the first period and thoroughly deserved their narrow advantage at the break but the performance after the interval was abysmal – and Bournemouth dominated as a result.

The Hammers offered absolutely nothing moving forward after the break and their defensive play was incredibly concerning, as the pacy pair of Callum Wilson and Joshua King continuously found holes in the hosts’ defence.

After a spending spree in the summer, questions still remain about a West Ham defence that has now conceded a whopping 74 goals since the start of last season – more than any other Premier League side in that time.

“For me the second half we tried to keep the 1-0, and that reflect the lack of trust the players have in what they are doing.”

– Pellegrini gives his assessment of the performance after the game.

Lack of discipline

When the game started to go against West Ham, the attitude of the players on the field dropped significantly as the Hammers lost their rhythm and discipline, finishing the match with six players on a yellow card.

Mark Noble was the only player to be booked before Bournemouth’s goal, with Angelo Ogbonna then having his name taken for the foul that provided the winning goal. From there, Jack Wilshere had his name taken and things got out of control in the final few minutes.

Between the 89th minute and the final whistle, Felipe Anderson, Pablo Zabaleta and Andriy Yarmolenko were all shown cautions that could have been avoided.

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One winner, one loser from West Ham’s defeat to Bournemouth

The Hammers are pointless after two games in 2018-19.

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Photo: Getty Images

West Ham have endured a tough start to life under Manuel Pellegrini after two consecutive defeats at the start of the season.

It was not surprising to see the Hammers defeated by Liverpool at Anfield last week but a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, in a game where West Ham took the lead, has raised the pressure on Pellegrini’s side.

The East London giants need their plethora of new recruits to settle in immediately but there is clearly still work to do. Here, we have identified one winner and loser from West Ham’s defeat to the Cherries.

Winner: Marko Arnautovic

West Ham’s Hammer of the Year after a superb debut season at the London Stadium last term, following his £20 million arrival, Marko Arnautovic now has increased expectations for his second year at the club but he has started in a decent vein of form.

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The Austria international stepped up to open the scoring against Bournemouth from the penalty spot and often looked to be the best player within West Ham’s ranks, remaining as the shining light despite the captures of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko in recent months.

During his time at Stoke, the biggest criticism of Arnautovic was his lack of consistency and he will have to prove that he has improved in that aspect over the course of the season.

Loser: Angelo Ogbonna

With Manuel Pellegrini having signed Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop in the summer, West Ham have depth in the centre of defence and it seems that Angelo Ogbonna could not really afford to put a foot wrong. Unfortunately, that is exactly what he did against Bournemouth.

Ogbonna struggled to cope with the pace of Callum Wilson and Joshua King, with the worst moment of his display coming for Bournemouth’s winning goal – as he conceded the free-kick that provided the opportunity, then being beaten to the ball by Steve Cook.

Ogbonna did not even attempt to beat the Cherries man to the ball, instead focusing his attention to trying to stop the defender – not even having eyes for Ryan Fraser’s delivery, allowing Cook to have an easy finish.

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Some West Ham fans want Andriy Yarmolenko to start v Arsenal

The Ukrainian winger has been used as a substitute so far this season.

Mathew Nash

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West Ham United’s start to the Premier League season has not exactly gone to plan. After an impressive summer of spending and appointing Manuel Pellegrini as manager, big things are expected at the London Stadium.

However, an opening day defeat to Liverpool might have been tolerated, the loss to Bournemouth will not. The Cherries won 2-1 in London yesterday as West Ham struggled to get into any sort of rhythm.

It led to plenty of criticism of the team selection online. West Ham fans would like to see new signings Issa Diop and Lucas Perez get a chance. Others would also like to see Mark Noble dropped.

But the most common theme revolves around their Ukrainian winger.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Andriy Yarmolenko of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on August 12, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Plenty of West Ham fans would like to see Andriy Yarmolenko given a chance in the West Ham starting XI next weekend.

The Hammers paid Borussia Dortmund £22 million for the player this summer. It looks a great signing, considering his previous form with the Ukrainian national team and Dynamo Kiev.

But hip trouble has been bothering him, leaving him behind Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio and Felipe Anderson in the pecking order.

But with West Ham struggling, many fans on Twitter are calling for the 28-year-old to be moved into the starting XI for the clash with Arsenal next week…

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