The Sky Sports pundit revealed that he couldn’t envision the Hammers building on last season’s 10th placed finish as they give too many rubbish goals away and make mistakes defensively.
“I think this will be a tough season again for them, I genuinely really do, I don’t see them pushing up to eighth, seventh, ninth or anything like that,” said McInally on Sky Sports News (14:35, Saturday, August 17th).
“And how many rubbish goals do they give away? They seem to make a lot of mistakes defensively.”
It’s fair to say McInally has hit the nail on the head by pinpointing what is standing in the Hammers’ way when it comes to aiming to climb up the table, as their record defensively needs addressing.
After their first two league games of the season, West Ham have already conceded six goals and it’s fair to say that some of those were avoidable.
While Leandro Trossard’s goal for Brighton on Saturday bordered on being unstoppable, the Hammers could have easily stopped Man City scoring five against them last weekend if they were more switched on.
The Hammers making mistakes at the back, isn’t a new problem either, as their defensive record in the 2018/19 campaign speaks for itself.
West Ham conceded 55 goals in the league last season and this was despite having the goalkeeper, who made the most saves in the division, between the sticks for them in the form of Lukasz Fabianski. (Source: Premier League)
Given that the veteran keeper was denying more than his fair share of efforts, it shows how the Hammers were their own worst enemy defensively last season, and this is further aided when you consider five unenforced errors were made leading to goals. (Source: Premier League)
When you consider that not much seems to have changed thus far, it’s clear that Pellegrini needs to pull a trick out of his sleeve to somehow stop his side giving away needless goals or face the fact that McInally may be right to be concerned.