West Ham’s defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last weekend showed up the kneejerk nature of modern football once more.

Going into the game, the consensus was that the Hammers had enjoyed a strong transfer window. The early appointment of a classy manager in Manuel Pellegrini brought more quality thereafter; he made decisive, efficient deals to improve the squad.

Then one heavy defeat against the Champions League finalists and the critics were out in full force.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Manuel Pellegrini of West Ham United and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool give directions during the Premier League debut prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United at Anfield on August 12, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Liverpool will thrash better teams than West Ham this season. Pellegrini’s side will get used to each other and their manager’s style better in the coming weeks.

Some of them still lack match fitness; others are still adjusting to English football. Going from a relegation dogfight to the top half of the table takes time. Some perspective is needed, and two pundits appear to agree.


Michael Owen and Paul Merson are not always the most reasonable or informative pundits; but both of them believe that Pellegrini’s men will bounce back and beat Bournemouth this weekend.

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 11: Ex footballer Paul Merson enjoying day two of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 11, 2015 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The Predictions

For BetVictor, Owen said: “Expectation has been high for Pellegrini’s Irons’ and I think it would be folly to write them off after just one – albeit mediocre – performance.

“Manuel Pellegrini will have another week to work with his new signings and I feel we will see a different Hammers’ side against the Cherries who got off to a winning start against Cardiff on Saturday.”

On Sky Sports, Merson agreed that this weekend should see the Hammers get their first league win of the season: “I watched Bournemouth last week and they weren’t very good. I know they won but it wasn’t the Bournemouth we’re used to seeing; pinging the ball around and playing with a lot of pace.

“West Ham were all over the place at Anfield but they’re not going to come up against Liverpool every week. I’ll go for them to win.”