West Ham have already made a major improvement on their start to this Premier League campaign. After six games, the Hammers are fifth with 11 points and just one loss.
This time last year, Manuel Pellegrini was recovering from four losses at the start of the year and West Ham had four points. The draw with Chelsea left West Ham in 17th place.
But it is not just the results that have improved under Pellegrini. This season, there has been a notable change in West Ham’s defensive work. After keeping just seven clean sheets last season, this stat has significantly improved.
According to the Premier League’s official website, Lukasz Fabianski’s three clean sheets this season makes him joint-top on the list. Manchester City’s Ederson has also kept three clean sheets and the pair sit top after six matches. West Ham are nearly halfway to last season’s tally after keeping three clean sheets in a row.
Fabianski: The clean sheets
Fabianski had to wait until the sixth game of last season (that 0-0 draw with Chelsea) for his first shut-out as a West Ham player. The Poland international only kept seven clean sheets last season but that said more about the defence – considering he won the Hammer of the Year prize.
West Ham managed to keep Newcastle United at bay twice. There were also wins-to-nil against Fulham and Arsenal. And end-of-the-season clean sheets against Southampton and Tottenham boosted the tally to seven.
But Fabianski now has three clean sheets in a row. After failing to keep a clean sheet in his first three games, the 34-year-old has not been beaten in three matches. Norwich City, Aston Villa and Manchester United have not found a way past the Hammers stopper – with two wins and a draw in those games.
Pellegrini’s preferred centre-back partnership of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna also plays its part. Both players are in top form, keeping Fabian Balbuena on the bench. West Ham look a much better defensive unit this season and we are on course to surge past last season’s figure.