West Ham were shocked and gave a shocking performance in the Carabao Cup to lose 4-0 to League one side Oxford United, and one wonders how long this negative effect will last with the Londoners.
The cup competitions can often serve a surprise as the so-called giant killing teams of the lower leagues play their best games and up their performance. Losing to one of the lower league teams happens to most of the big clubs, particularly those who rest their star players.
However, it is the way West Ham disintegrated which is of most concern. A 4-0 loss is more than poor and 3 of Oxford’s goals were scored in 29 minutes in the second half as the Hammers simply collapsed. For Fantasy Football managers, cup competition can be tricky. For those who look to place bets on cup competitions, you should look no further than Amazing Bet which allows you to take advantage of offers from bookmakers as well as guide you to better betting odds. Amazing Bet also provides you with information on where and how you can place free bets.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini did make changes to his side that beat Manchester United in the league just a few days before, 9 changes in all, but there was still plenty of quality on the field including new signing Pablo Fornals who has been very underwhelming since joining the club on a coat tail of hype from Villarreal.
Pellegrini was forced to bring on regulars early in the 2nd half such as Mark Noble and Sebastian Haller but the irony was that when more experience and quality came on the Hammers lost the plot and Oxford United improved.
It is bizarre to think that the Hammers have started the season well and just beat Manchester United, but this cup defeat was a stark reminder that worse things could be around the corner for the club.
There must be criticism pointed at Pellegrini though- for example why make so many changes? Yes, games come thick and fast and he rightly pointed out that you need to utilize your squad. But what justification did he seek in making those changes? For example, had this been a midweek Champions League game he wouldn’t have made the changes which leads us on to suggesting that Pellegrini in fact disrespected the competition and it has widely backfired onto him and the club.
The irony is West Ham are one of those well-known clubs alongside Everton for example who have not won a major trophy for a long time. Next year will mark 25 years for Everton and 40 for West Ham. Again, did Pellegrini rest players just so West Ham could finish in the top 10? What are their aspirations in a very difficult league? Shouldn’t the club really be chasing a cup and giving it a go?
With this cup gone, West Ham’s season already looks exposed. They aren’t ready for a top 4 place and don’t look prepared to challenge for a Europa League place either. That leaves the FA Cup then which doesn’t start for them until January.
The shock remains for Pellegrini- an experienced coach- who must set as target survival in the Premier League. A late push for a Europa League spot would have been ideal but that is looking increasingly like wishful thinking.