This weekend, West Ham United head to the Emirates Stadium for a London derby against Arsenal.
Both clubs have, to put it politely, endured poor starts to the 2018 / 2019 season with both clubs failing to pick up a single point from their opening two fixtures.
Ahead of the clash, we’ve picked out three areas which could be vital if the Hammers are to get anything from this tricky looking fixture.
The first area relates to the defence.
So far, this season, the Hammers have shipped six goals, four against Liverpool (a) and two against Bournemouth (h), our defence has looked far from secure. But, looking at the statistics neither has Arsenal’s defence. In their two games, they’ve shipped five goals, two against Manchester City (h) and three against Chelsea (a). But it could be argued that Arsenal have faced, slightly, tougher opposition. This weekend, it is essential that the Hammers defence operates as a more solid unit, Arsenal showed, against Chelsea, they are capable of stretching defences, whilst it’s not a tactic we’d like to see deployed, Manuel Pellegrini might, to a degree, have to decide to park the proverbial bus. Perhaps a case of we came with a point and that’s what we’re looking to take away.
The second area relates to the midfield.
In our first two matches, particularly against Bournemouth, it was noticeable how sluggish it looked, Bournemouth sprung forward in a lively fashion whilst those trying to chase back looked as if they were treading in treacle. Noble and Wilshere might not be the answer, is now the time to select a defensive midfielder to sit in front of the defence, someone to add to the numbers and stop the runners from the centre circle.
The third area relates to unity.
Although everyone was expecting great things of the revamped side this season, even more so after the large financial expenditure, it will take time for Pellegrini to select his strongest starting eleven and also for that same eleven to gel. If things do go wrong against Arsenal, and we sincerely hope they don’t, the Hammers support needs to get behind the team and not add to the pressure being behind generates. Let’s go into this game with a united front, all for one and one for all.