West Ham United’s Premier League campaign has got off to an inauspicious start. The Irons were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City on the opening weekend. On Saturday they could only scrape a 1-1 draw against Brighton. The Hammers are still to see the best of summer signings such as Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini will be aware that the newcomers will need some time to settle in at the London Stadium. He will not be concerned about this side’s tough start. He is an experienced coach and knows that his squad isn’t at full strength yet. As well as the new signings taking time to acclimatise, the likes of Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko are still finding their way back to their best following long injury lay-offs.
Speaking of Sanchez and Yarolenko, Pellegrini told the official West Ham website, “they are two important players. Carlos is the only replacement we have for Declan Rice and he is working very hard to recover his performance…Andriy was nine or ten months without playing one game, so maybe we need some time”.
It remains to be seen how much time the Chilean coach will be afforded. He is a respected and experienced manager, but the Premier League is a notoriously cut-throat division. West Ham need to improve soon. It won’t take too many more performances like the ones that fans have seen so far this season before they start to grow agitated with the manager.
What’s more, Pellegrini may be expecting too much from Sanchez and Yarmolenko. Sanchez has barely played for West Ham since signing last summer, due to injury. The Colombian is 33-years-old and previously flopped in the Premier League with Aston Villa. The fact he is the only cover the Irons have for a player as vital as Rice is worrying. Equally, Yarmolenko may not prove to be a game-changer either. The Ukrainian attacker has been plagued with injury issues for years and has struggled to produce his best form consistently for a number of seasons. Pellegrini should not be pinning his hopes on the duo.