Michael Owen shared he got the impression that West Ham would be one of the Premier League’s entertainers this season when predicting their clash with Norwich City.
The pundit pointed out that the Hammers shipped five goals to Manchester City in the opening game of the season, before backing them to take advantage of Norwich City potentially being not defensively strong on Saturday.
“Since the start of last season there have been 164 league goals scored in games involving Norwich and I expect plenty of opportunities for both teams at the London Stadium,” wrote Owen for BetVictor.
“Like everyone else, I was impressed with the way new Irons’ striker Sebastian Haller took his goals at the Amex last weekend and you get the impression that Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be one of the division’s entertainers this season.
“Having shipped five at home to City in their opening home game I would be disappointed if they didn’t pick up all three points against a Canaries side who are likely to struggle for clean sheets this term.”
Owen pointed out that not only was he backing the Hammers to win, but he thought Saturday’s clash is one where he’d expect both sides to have plenty of opportunities.
Given that West Ham have conceded seven goals in their opening three league games and Norwich City have conceded eight, then it’s easy to see why he thinks that.
However, while he uses Norwich’s defensive frailties to make a negative point about them, he claims they’ll struggle for clean sheets, he puts a positive spin on the Hammers being vulnerable at the back by focusing on the fact they’ll be entertaining to watch.
After all, by calling them entertainers in the context he has, he surely expects them to ship as many goals as they score.
While Hammers fans will no doubt lap up the entertaining football that Manuel Pellegrini’s style of play will likely provide based on Owen’s assessment, it is a double-edged sword for the West Ham boss.
As while it would be great to watch some entertaining football, he still needs to deliver results and being vulnerable at the back won’t help his side’s chances of doing that.
After all, while the Hammers did beat Watford 3-1 last weekend in order to register their first league win of the season, considering the Hornets had enough space to have 23 shots at goal, as per Google stats, the result could have been different if the London club were playing a more clinical team.
The Hammers finished 10th last season and you feel Pellegrini is going to have to match, if not improve on that finish, in order to keep his job status at the London Stadium secure.