Harry Redknapp was asked for his opinion on the current goings-on at West Ham.
The ex-Hammers boss referenced attacker Sebastien Haller before explaining that where the club currently sit in the table, they’re 16th, is frightening when you consider Manuel Pellegrini’s side were tipped to have a great season.
Redknapp recalled Alvin Martin claiming that Haller was one of the best centre-forwards he’d seen at West Ham in years, and implied that he was one of the biggest factors in why the 2019/20 campaign looked like being one to remember.
“I listened to Alvin Martin on the radio one day, Alvin knows what he’s about, and he said this is the best centre-forward I’ve seen at West Ham in years,” said Redknapp in an interview with Abrahams, which was uploaded to the broadcaster’s Instagram.
“He’s big, he holds it up, he can score, West Ham are going to be in for a great season and well…at the moment, look where they are, it’s frightening!”
However, Redknapp recalling Martin’s claim does one thing, and that is that it shows how too much is expected of Haller.
As relying on the 25-year-old to lead the club to success, right after moving from Eintracht Frankfurt, and ranking him among the best forwards the club have seen after the first few games, shows how Haller has a very difficult, and perhaps impossible, job living up to expectations.
After all, Haller arrived at the London Stadium in the summer, having not played in England previously so was always going to need time to settle and time to adapt to the league.
Haller has managed four goals across all competitions this season, averaging a goal every 248 minutes (Source: BBC Sport), which isn’t exactly very good.
To put this in perspective, Southampton’s main striker Danny Ings, the Saints sit 19th in the league, has scored seven goals across all competitions and has averaged a goal every 123 minutes. (Source: BBC Sport)
While the 25-year-old could be doing better, to rely on him solely, probably was a mistake as he was always going to need to be able to lean on his teammates a little bit, and sadly the likes of Felipe Anderson aren’t exactly in great form themselves recently.
This is especially the case when players such as Andriy Yarmolenko and Anderson should be carving out chance after chance for Haller, though he has only managed a total of 19 shots on goal which is telling. (Source: BBC Sport)
With the Hammers’ back-up striker being Albian Ajeti, a player who Pellegrini has only deemed good enough to play for 90 minutes in the league (Source: Transfermarkt), then that just means Haller is unlikely to get the pressure eased on him.
However, with Redknapp recalling how Martin effectively pinned West Ham’s hopes to the 25-year-old as soon as he could, it does remind you that expectations are probably too high for Haller and it’s likely not helping him.