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.
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.”
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.