Hammers star Kurt Zouma addresses concerns on and off the pitch after West Ham loss in more ways than one in the wake of defeat and a big injury blow.
Losing key man Angelo Ogbonna was always going to hit West Ham hard.
But if anyone was underestimating just how hard, then they got a wake-up call in the defeat to Wolves on Saturday.
That will rule the Italian out for the season. It is a big blow for West Ham and one which has raised concerns – particularly in light of the defeat at the Molineux.
Ogbonna is not only a key, experienced player for West Ham. But he is also a big leader on and off the pitch as well as being Moyes’s only left-footed centre-back.
Kurt Zouma has been immense since arriving from Chelsea. But he looked uncharacteristically out of sorts as he was shifted across to the left-side of central defence to accommodate Craig Dawson.
West Ham start a lot of their attacks through Ogbonna feeding the ball out to the left-hand side. And there was a lack of fluidity with Zouma constantly receiving the ball on his right foot and having to adjust.
Hammers fans are hoping the performance at Wolves was a one-off from a jaded side.
But there are understandably concerns among some supporters that the display might be a sign of the struggles ahead without Ogbonna.
Speaking after the defeat Zouma addressed concerns regarding the loss both at Wolves and of Ogbonna and reassured fans (whufc.com).
Kurt Zouma addresses concerns on and off the pitch after West Ham loss
“I think we lacked a bit of everything today,” Zouma told whufc.com.
“It was a disappointing game because we wanted to keep going in our good form and get the win but obviously it didn’t happen. There are days like this – we started the game well, but after the first 20 minutes I would say we were a bit short everywhere on the pitch.
“We couldn’t press well, they had the ball and made us run a bit more than usual and we conceded the goal in the second half. It didn’t happen at Wolves and it was a bad day, but we have many, many, many more games coming to change it up.
“Hopefully we’ll get a win at Rapid Vienna on Thursday and get a reaction from Saturday. We have time to recover and prepare for the game, so hopefully we go there and win.
“We are all top players here and we have a great squad. We have to keep on working hard and we won’t win every game, but we want to win the majority of them.”
And on the subject of Ogbonna, Zouma admitted he will be missed.
“We are all behind him, we all love him,” Zouma said about Ogbonna (whufc.com).
“He’s an important player for the club and the team and obviously we want him to come back as quick as possible.”
Zouma worried West Ham fans when he was limping heavily following a challenge on him. But he completed the game and there was no mention of any injury in the aftermath of the defeat.
It is highly unlikely he will be risked against Rapid Wien, though, with Man City next up at the weekend. So Issa Diop looks set to come in for Zouma over in Austria.