Last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Burnley saw West Ham United continue on their current losing streak.
They currently sit in 16th place in the Premier League table, just five points ahead of Watford and Southampton who occupy two of the three places in the relegation zone.
The Hammers are without a victory since their 2-0 win over Manchester United back in September.
So what’s going wrong at the East-London club at the moment?
The majority of the blame can be planted at the feet of Manuel Pellegrini, a former Premier League winner.
His team selections have left some Hammers fans bemused. His decision to drop Ogbonna and bring in Balbuena has not been clarified. Since Balbuena’s inclusion to the team, the defence has been pitiful.
Another questionable decision from Pellegrini is the inclusion of Premier League veteran Pablo Zabaleta, particularly in their recent 3-2 defeat to Newcastle at the London Stadium. This defeat saw Newcastle forward Allan Saint-Maximin terrorise Zabaleta for the majority of the match. His explosive pace and dribbling qualities got the better of Zabaleta on numerous occasions.
On the other hand, some of Pellegrini’s more consistent team selections can also be called into question. His decision to keep playing Felipe Anderson consistently is baffling. The Brazilian’s goal-scoring threat has dissipated in recent weeks, and his reluctance to use his proven dribbling power to get past his opponents in recent weeks has been hurting his game.
Pellegrini has been implementing a 4-3-3 formation for his team, with summer signing Sebastien Haller the pinnacle of the strike force in the middle of the front three.
Despite a decent start to the season, recent weeks has seen Haller become more of a hindrance than attacking threat. This is because he finds himself isolated in the attack, every time he gets the ball upfield there is nobody to lay it off too. This results in him constantly giving the ball back to the opposition. A change in formation to accommodate Haller would be a step in the right direction.
One final issue that West Ham find themselves suffering from is the unfortunate injury to first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. Without this being any fault of Pellegrini’s, their second-choice keeper Roberto has not exactly covered himself in glory recently. He has made numerous mistakes and errors that have resulted in or led to him conceding goals.
The bigger picture is that they concede too many goals and haven’t been scoring enough. As the festive fixtures approach, Pellegrini needs to find a solution. Otherwise, he could be in line for the sack, or his team could find themselves in an early relegation battle.