FIVE-POINT PLAN

Australian Four Four Two - - PREMIER LEAGUE -

1 SHORE UP THAT DE­FENCE

The first item on Pel­le­grini’s to-do list was fix­ing the back line, so the Chilean brought in Fabi­an­ski, Diop and Fred­er­icks. New faces alone may not be enough – no side in 2017-18 let in more goals than West Ham’s 68.

2 GIVE AR­NAU­TOVIC A HAND

With­out the Ham­mer of the Year’s 11 league goals, West Ham would have strug­gled to avoid the drop. He can’t do it all on his own, though. To com­pound the is­sue, creative linch­pin Manuel Lanzini will miss the en­tirety of the sea­son with a knee in­jury (just as he’d started to peak, too) and Michail An­to­nio is suf­fer­ing from his own in­jury hell. Javier Her­nan­dez can help if he stays – if – but Andy Car­roll must up his game. Jor­dan Hugill is not the an­swer.

3 SHOW SOME BOT­TLE AWAY

Much was made of fans’ protests in the March home game against Burn­ley, but just as wor­ry­ing is the Ham­mers’ away record. They took one point from the 10 away games in which they con­ceded first, and two of their three most com­mon score­lines on the road were 0-4 (twice) and 1-4 (thrice).

4 STICK WITH A BA CK THREE

Ini­tially a ploy to pack the cen­tral ar­eas with play­ers, hav­ing won just two games be­fore De­cem­ber, West Ham’s switch to a back three also solved a co­nun­drum: how to fit Aaron Cress­well (their best crosser) and Arthur Ma­suaku (their most dy­namic player) into the same XI when both are nat­u­ral left-backs. A wing-back sys­tem gives Ma­suaku ex­tra li­cence to get for­ward and keeps Cress­well’s su­perb de­liv­ery in the team. Pel­le­grini would do well to name both in his start­ing line-up.

5 SHOW A UNITED FRONT

Gold said he “would like to think” Moyes would ex­tend his stay, the day be­fore con­fir­ma­tion that the Scot’s con­tract would not be re­newed. Kar­ren Brady’s Sun col­umn coated off the fans as “mal­con­tents and key­board war­riors”. “The peo­ple who work for me know ex­actly what is ex­pected,” states her own web­site, be­neath the head­ing ‘Rules of suc­cess: com­mu­ni­cate’. “They know what I think, where we’re go­ing.” Few Ham­mers agree on ei­ther point.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.