Lackadaisical defence costs Hammers again
Our hopes of our first 3 points were dashed within 8 minutes of our Premier League clash yesterday with a shabby defence being infiltrated for 2 quick fire Foxes goals. Pedro Obiang gave the ball way in midfield, a poor performance from him before going off injured, to allow Riyad Mahrez a shot at goal, last year’s PFA player of the year curled it into the far corner. Darren Randolph has received criticism for his role in the first goal where the ball seemed to pass under his hand as he was slow to react to Mahrez’s cross-cum shot. Sloppy defensive play was again to blame for the Foxes quick fire second, when an unnecessary free kick was conceded on the edge of the box. The Foxes free kick was taken quickly with our defence slow to react leaving Marc Albrighton free on the edge f the box where he was able to thread a delicate lobbed pass onto the head of Robert Huth and into the back of the net. Defending a set piece was again a major problem for Leicester’s third goal with a ruck of Hammer’s body’s unable to clear a Foxes corner leaving Jaime Vardy to poach home from close range. Injuries also didn’t aid our defence yesterday with centre back Winston Reid and defensive midfielder Pedro Obiang both being taken off injured in the first half and second half respectively. Winston Reid’s injury may pave the way for bright young Academy prospects Reece Burke and Reece Oxford, who both have Premier League experience, being recalled from their lower League loans. Many fans are calling for youngsters being given more of a chance at West Ham and these defensive issues may allow that to happen, however one thing is for sure measures need to be taken to resolve our back 4 problems.
Hammers rue missed chances
Our attacking players came under major fire at full time yesterday due to the catalogue of chances that we were unable to convert, mainly in the second half. Andre Ayew, despite scoring a header from close range, was heavily scrutinized along with Andy Carroll for their influence in front of goal yesterday. Ayew missed a huge chance when he was put in on goal 1 on 1 with Kasper Schmeichel, but the Ghanaian was only able to put over the bar. He also was unable to convert from close range after a set piece as the clock ran down at the London Stadium. Carroll was much criticised for missing arguably the chance of the game when a rebound from a Robert Snodgrass free kick fell at his feet a few yards out only for the striker to shoot straight at the goalkeeper, Carroll also had a second half header narrowly tipped round the post big the big Dane. Being clinical in front of goal has been a problem all season and yesterday was no different.
Our Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini produced a moment of sheer class to curl a first half free kick into the top left hand corner of the Foxes net. Lanzini has excelled since the departure of fellow playmaker Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window. The attacking midfielder made it 7 for the season in spectacular fashion yesterday, beating his goal tally for last season which was 6 goals. As a youngster in Argentina Lanzini was labelled “the Jewell” and in the Premier League with us he is certainly living up to his nickname, it is predicted that big clubs will approach us for Lanzini in the summer.
Leicester game player ratings
Here is a run through of how each our of starting and sub players performed yesterday out of 10: Randolph: 5, Byram: 7, Reid 6, Fonte : 5, Cresswell: 6, Snodgrass: 6, Lanzini :8, Obiang: 5, Fernandes: 7, Kouyate: 6, Antonio: 7, Masuaku: 6, Carroll : 6, Ayew: 7.