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Hammers sinking fast: Three things we learned about West Ham in defeat against Arsenal

By Matt Farr

Football Insider analyses three key talking points from West Ham’s embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

West Ham are sinking fast

It’s not yet a crisis situation for West Ham, but they sure are getting close. They were impressive in their 1-1 draw with Manchester United in their last Premier League game, but their performance today was the polar opposite. Arsenal ran riot from the very first minute, and West Ham were perhaps grateful to have been just the one goal down at half-time. However, as Arsenal continued their onslaught, the goals kept coming, and suddenly the Hammers were out of sight. It was another miserable defensive display with the Hammers’ defensive unit simply rolling over and showing it’s belly. Alexis Sanchez was sublime for the Gunners, but West Ham’s confidence will have hit rock bottom following the defeat. They are now without a league win since the victory over Sunderland on October 22, and could fall into the relegation zone next week. Given the next game is against high-flying Liverpool at Anfield, they might need something short of a miracle.

Hammers lacking a top-drawer striker

How West Ham missed Andy Carroll. You could see what it meant to the fans when the 27-year-old came on as a second-half substitute, and then scored. The last time these two sides met, Carroll scored a hat-trick to earn the Hammers a point against the title-chasing Gunners. However, the Englishman has been out of action for much of the season, and it is that such impact that West Ham have been lacking all season. Slaven Bilic brought in a number of attacking options during the summer transfer window – including Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza – however both have been poor so far, and run the risk of having their loan deals terminated in January. Diafra Sakho, meanwhile, another of West Ham’s more reliable goalscoring options, is sidelined yet again after a brief comeback in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United in October. They’ve often been second best this season, but they have created chances – but they’ve had no-one to finish the job and put them in the back of the net. Ashley Fletcher looked good when West Ham came more alive in the second-half, but his lack of Premier League experience could hinder him in front of goal. Therefore, Bilic could consider yet another transfer in January. But they will no doubt be more confident having a fully-fit Carroll back in the side again – and they will hope that his injury-proneness does not become a further issue. They’ve got a huge fight on their hands.

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Payet has lost his mojo

It’s no secret that Dimitri Payet has struggled to regain his scintillating form from the last campaign that saw him light up the Premier League, and then play a starring role for France at the European Championships in the summer. Payet has just two goals from 15 appearances in all competitions, and his performances of late have come under immense scrutiny. There have been rumours of clubs looking to sign him in January, and the 29-year-old appears to have welcomed the interest. He has shown little fight for West Ham’s survival bid, and is not playing like a man who wants his side to improve. Today he was visibly frustrated with not getting the ball enough from his team-mates, but instead of turning his frustration into something positive for the Hammers, he became selfish. On one occasion, instead of finding a team mate in a better position, Payet opted to shoot from range – and it sailed harmlessly wide of Petr Cech’s goal. If West Ham are going to survive in the Premier League this season, they need their star performer to come good again. If that means changes have to be made so be it. But West Ham and Payet simply cannot continue on their current path.

In other West Ham news, the Hammers are battling Liverpool for the signature of striker Lukasz Teodorczyk.