West Ham United defender Pablo Zabaleta has revealed where the team can improve after their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last Friday.
The Hammers had been enjoying a renaissance in recent weeks after struggling in the early stages of the season, but that was brought to a halt by the Seagulls at the AMEX Stadium.
Zabaleta, on a reported £75,000-per-week [Source: Spotrac], has explained what happened: “In the first half we gave the ball away often and cheaply,” he told Football London. “This is the Premier League and you can’t make those mistakes – we conceded the goal and then you always need to react.
“You need to be consistent as a team. Week in, week out you need to play well enough to pick up points. This is the most competitive and demanding league, so you have to be ready to play one game against a team who likes to keep possession, then the next against someone who is more direct,” he finished.
Zabaleta is correct, West Ham weren’t good enough against Brighton. It was a strange performance from a team that had played some lovely stuff in the weeks prior to the defeat. To go from thumping Manchester United 3-1 to losing at Brighton is quite a fall from grace and manager Manuel Pellegrini will have been left questioning one or two of his players after the performance. Zabaleta is right about the competitiveness of the Premier League and the stark consequences of not being on top of your game. West Ham do need to be more consistent because they have ballooned between woeful results and soaring victories this campaign. Pellegrini needs to find a way to get his team on a consistent run of good form, otherwise the club are in danger of seeing their huge investment this summer go to waste. If they can find that consistency, though, they’ll be fine this year.