It’s now time to analyze some of the Main Talking Points from Saturday’s draw with Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion, if there was any, in a dull affair at The Hawthorns.

Travelling Hammers Fume At Second Half Tactics

Many a West Ham fan was left perplexed on Saturday afternoon by some more odd tactics in the second period from Slaven Bilic, much like last Monday night’s victory over The Terriers.

Bilic started with the 5-3-2 Formation in a Side that was unchanged from that London Stadium win, despite Club-record signing Marko Arnautovic returning from suspension.

However, the system is not fool-proof as the attacking trio of Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez are constantly forced to drop deep to see the ball. While the centre-backs often find themselves high up the pitch in unfamiliar attacking areas.

In the second half at The Hawthorns, an injury to James Collins offered Bilic the chance to make changes to a Formation that was finding it hard to break down a stern Baggies defence.

Instead of opting to lose the extra defender and go for a winner, The Croat stuck with the system that was not serving him well, forcing Michail Antonio back to his previously disastrous position of right wing-back.

Furthermore, the move placed Pablo Zabaleta in an entirely new role of centre-back, he was also featuring on the left side as opposed to the right where his attacking power could not be expressed.

However, this is far from the first time that Bilic’s tactics have placed Players out of position. Many may remember the trials of Michail Antonio, Cheikhou Kouyate and Edimilson Fernandes in that position last campaign.

Not to mention Andy Carroll featuring out wide along with the likes of Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang, in addition to, Angelo Ogbonna at left-back.

One would now feel that Slaven Bilic is reaching a stage in his Hammers Career where fielding Players in unfamiliar places much to the fans anger, will just fuel rumors of his departure.

Was Foster’s Challenge More Than A Bookable Offence?

There is no doubt that the most controversial moment at The Hawthorns was Ben Foster’s second-half tackle on Javier Hernandez.

The Mexican was wonderfully played in by an Andy Carroll flick but had his goalward charge halted by a flying tackle from the England International.

In reaction to the challenge, inexperienced Premier League Referee Paul Tierney pulled out his yellow card for an offense that originally looked to be worthy of a dismissal.

Furthermore, the fact that Foster’s studs were in the air should have been enough to override recent changes to the Law regarding last man tackles.

However, the decision stood and Tierney gained praise from many Pundits for how he dealt with the high-pressure situation. But, the question is: were we cheated out of a first away League victory since the end of the last campaign?

Obiang Magic Almost Proving To Be The Difference In The Midlands

No discussion of Saturday’s affair would be complete without covering the remarkable first half Pedro Obiang effort that almost gave us all three points.

Picking the ball up on the halfway line, the Spaniard sighted Baggies keeper Ben Foster off his line and launched a spectacular shot that thundered against the crossbar.

Had it hit the back of the net, the goal would have gone down in history alongside such efforts as the ones from David Beckham, Charlie Adam and Wayne Rooney as the greatest long-range Premier League goals.

But, who would have thought it had come from a defensive midfielder?

Unexpectedly, Obiang does seem to have some sort of pedigree when it comes shooting from distance, testing many a keeper during his time in Claret & Blue.

It is also worth documenting that Obiang’s only goal under Slaven Bilic did come from outside the box at The St Mary’s Stadium at the beginning of the year. Many a Hammer would feel that it won’t be long before an effort like that will fly In for Obiang.

Zabaleta Influence Proving Vital For Hammers

With Ghosting pace, great vision and unflappable defensive abilities, there is no doubt that Pablo Zabaleta has been one of the surprise packages of the campaign so far.

Signing from Manchester City in June, the 32-year-old was expected to be nothing more than a backup and mentor to young defender Sam Byram this season.

But, the Argentine has, in fact, kept him out of the Team, with some outstanding performances on the right side of the defence, becoming our first choice right-back.

Furthermore, The No5’s unrivaled passion for the Club and Badge is meaning that he is quickly becoming a Cult Hero in East London, sparking a love affair between him and the fans.

After another solid and exciting showing at The Hawthorns on Saturday, he was a Man of the Match contender and will surely continue his wondrous form.

So, with all of the main points of discussion from The Midlands discussed, just what will there be to talk about after Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie with Bolton Wanderers?