West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes the Hammers would be further up the table if they had been able to kill off games this season.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the Croatian cited the recent games against Sunderland and Hull, and even the win against Swansea City, where they have failed to punish opponents due to their profligacy in front of goal:
“In many games this season, in our last two away games for example at Hull and Sunderland, we scored early goals and were on top of them for 15-20 minutes, but we have to punish them.”
“Against Swansea we won 1-0, but in the second half we created three or four chances and we really had to score goals. At Sunderland, especially when we scored our second goal and when a point was not good enough for them, so they were risking and throwing bodies up front, they were leaving space behind and we should have exploited that and used that to our advantage and killed the game off.”
The facts are though West Ham did score in all of those matches. They scored two goals against Sunderland, once against Hull and Swansea respectively, and came out with four points. The four goals conceded against those teams is the major worry for most fans.
Whether they are wasteful in front of goal or not, West Ham had scored just eight more goals after 33 games last season, sitting in sixth place at this stage of the campaign. The 59 goals conceded this season however is 19 more than the 40 after 33 games at the same stage in 2015/16. With Winston Reid returning to first team action however, hopefully this will help to shore up the shaky backline.