West Ham fans must have been banging their heads agains a brick wall yesterday.
After a bright start to the season that has seen them flirt with the upper reaches of the Premier League table, a second successive Premier League defeat, this time to Everton, means that they now find themselves 10th in the table.
Obviously, it is still early days, and one bad game doesn’t define a season by any stretch, but the manner in which the Hammers sleepwalked their way to a loss against a side who started the afternoon in the bottom two will have many supporters experiencing worrying deja vu.
This was exactly the kind of performance that the Irons are trying to eradicate as they search for the consistency that can take them to new heights.
If there is one man who has become emblematic of that struggle the season, it is Felipe Anderson.
The £85,000-a-week Brazilian [Spotrac] has not been at his best so far this term, and that was the case again against the Toffees.
The 26-year-old was hauled off at the halfway mark by Manuel Pellegrini, and Sam Inkersole, writing in a piece for Football.London, summed up the situation perfectly.
He said: “Aside from when he absolutely demolished Norwich earlier this season, West Ham’s former club-record sign has looked a bit off the pace in 2019/20 so far.
“Much like last season when he was booed off at home to a defeat to Spurs, things have come to a head.
“The Brazilian was withdrawn at half time against Everton after an ineffective outing and replaced by Andriy Yarmolenko.”
This was an afternoon to forget for Anderson. The South American managed no shots, no key passes, and was dispossessed four times in 46 minutes as he picked up a Whoscored rating of just 6.47.
Quite frankly, that’s not good enough, and if their best player is going to consistently underperform, then it is inly a matter of time before the Irons regress back to more frustrating patterns of behaviour.
Anderson must step up.