West Ham grab a point but it really should have been three
PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 November 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Anderson equaliser ends frustrating afternoon at Huddersfield
High expectations and West Ham are two things that never seem to go together.
After the unlucky draw with L:eicester City and the thumping win over Burnley, there was no surprise that manager Manuel Pellegrini picked the same team for the trip to lowly Huddersfield Town.
The Terriers won their first game of the season the previous Monday, but they were still a struggling side.
They had scored only five goals all season, one of them an own goal and not one of their players had scored at the John Smith’s Stadium since last April.
But somehow it took just six minutes for Huddersfield to break that terrible run when Alex Pritchard scored.
And at times in the first half, and then again late in the game, West Ham were outfought and outplayed by a side who are supposed to be relegation certainties.
Both sides carved out chances. Huddersfield hit the inside of the post, forced a fine save from Lukasz Fabianski and rallied with more chances in the last 10 minutes.
For West Ham, Issa Diop had one cleared off the line, Javier Hernandez headed on to the roof of the net, while there were three chances in the same move before Felipe Anderson thumped in the equaliser on 74 minutes.
“I’m happy with the draw because we didn’t play well,” said Pellegrini afterwards. “Most people will thin k that because we won the game before that it would be an easier game, but there are no easy games.”
When it comes to West Ham clearly he is right, there are no easy games, but the Hammers could have helped themselves had they taken a glorious chance after just a couple of minutes.
Grady Diangana put Marko Arnautovic in the clear, but with just the keeper to beat, his effort was tipped into the side-netting.
Normally the Austrian would put that chance away. It would have silenced a noisy crowd with their annoying drum and clappers.
Just four minutes later the home side scored and that noise was never going to stop.
Pellegrini changed things at the break and got the reaction he was looking for.
““In the second half, we improved and got some chances but not enough to win it,” he said.
“After the first half, when you don’t find a way to score, you must try different things in different positions. We tried to make some changes and, as I said, at least we could draw.”
Perhaps we should respect the point. They say that win your home games and draw away and you will have a successful season, but you can’t help thinking that this was two points dropped rather than one gained.
On the plus side, Anderson scored again and West Ham created a host of chances.
On the negative side, Huddersfield created loads of opportunities as well and at times the West Ham passing, especially at the back was horrendous.
“These games that people are expecting you to win are the most dangerous ones,” said the boss.
“They are a good team with a good style, a good intensity and play with pace.”
Are they? They certainly haven’t shown that all season and West Ham should really have won this game with plenty to spare.
The fact that they got a draw and could have nicked it, despite a poor display, tells us exactly that.
Keep those high expectations to yourselves!