Sky Sports pundit Darren Bent has criticised the West Ham defence after their 5-0 thrashing by Man City on the opening weekend of the season.
The West Ham backline was Ryan Fredericks on the right, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop in the centre, and Aaron Cresswell on the left.
However, they went down to a Raheem Sterling hattrick, and a goal apiece from Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero without reply, and it was acting skipper Cresswell who came in for the most criticism with Bent saying there were no leaders at the back.
Talking to Football Insider, Bent said, “I don’t quite know what is going on. If you look at their team going forward, they look a real threat.
“Defensively they’re all over the place, there’s no real leaders in their back four, there’s no real characters taking authority, there’s no organisation. They seem to defend in ones and twos.
“Rather than being a compact unit, they’re all over the place.”
It wasn’t a good display defensively but this was Man City and there’s no real cause for alarm yet. There are few teams that can keep the Man City attack out. In fact, they can make most teams look disorganized and the 5-0 thrashing probably won’t be the heaviest defeat Man City inflict on a team in the Premier League this season. However, it was far from an ideal start for West Ham and they sit bottom of the league, albeit after just one game. According to WhoScored, the West Ham back four were the worst players on the pitch (along with Felipe Anderson), with Diop getting the lowest rating of any player on the pitch. He was to blame for the Jesus goal and he also gave away a stupid penalty in the second half. However, he was brilliant last season and we can’t see radical changes at the back ahead of the game against Brighton on Saturday. Arthur Masuaku – who wasn’t in the squad for the City game – could come in on the left for Cresswell, who was destroyed for pace by Kyle Walker, but Balbuena and Diop are very likely to keep their spots in the team, along with Fredericks on the right.