West Ham 2-3 Tottenham. Our first London derby of the season ended in defeat with this being our fourth loss from six games. Here are three talking points from the game…
Slaven’s sub does not pay off
It’s fair to say that the game was even in the lead up to the 28th minute. We were defensively solid, creating chances and it looked like we could give Tottenham a tough game. But then Michail Antonio was forced off injured and this changed the game.
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Slaven Bilic decided to bring on Andy Carroll for Antonio and it was clear that this was the wrong decision. We lost our width and running in behind from the wings and Tottenham benefitted from this. They started to grow into the game and Bilic’s decision to change the system ultimately backfired. Andre Ayew may have been the better option to bring on with Tottenham dealing with our attack from the 28th minute with ease.
Arthur Masuaku has to start in our next game
Aaron Cresswell has been a good signing for the club though his performances this season have been poor. He is known for his quality from set-pieces and great delivery from the wings though that has been missing this season. He did struggle in today’s game and Masuaku has impressed when called upon.
He was brought on in the 74th minute and added a new dimension to our attack. Masuaku delivered a great ball into the box to Cheikhou Kouyate to make it 2-3. We have looked short of ideas at points this season when attacking and Masuaku’s attacking threat can change that. He is perfect to play the wing-back role and Bilic has to start him in our next game.
The scoreline flattered us
Tottenham were not at their best today though they undoubtedly deserved to win the game. We made the same mistakes that we did in the big games last season and it is no surprise that we lost. We did miss Pedro Obiang’s defensive presence in midfield with Christian Eriksen having plenty of time on the ball to create chances. But it was always expected that we would lose this game and Bilic should not get sacked on the back of this result. Our next three games are relatively easy and should we not win at least two, Bilic may have to go.