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.
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.