One of the most surprising stories to emerge in the opening weeks of the Premier League season is Burnley and West Ham United sitting in the relegation zone after four games. Burnley drew their first game against Southampton and went on to lose three on the trot. West Ham only scored two goals in their first four games, losing every contest.
Given Burnley’s finish of seventh last season and the amount of money that West Ham spent in the summer, both teams were expected to at least be tussling around mid-table by the international break. Are the two claret clubs destined for the Championship?
West Ham should have learned from Everton
Source: Read West Ham,viaTwitter
Last season, Everton forked out around £140 million on nine players in a bid to make Ronald Koeman’s team competitive enough to break into the top six. But, it simply didn’t come together for the Toffees. Too many new faces at once left them with a saturated squad with too many mouths to feed. Koeman was sacked on 23rd October after two wins, two draws, and five losses.
West Ham United signed nine new players for close to £100 million this summer and found themselves without a win entering the international break. The one new signing who has proven to have an instant impact is goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who has had plenty of work since becoming an Iron.
New manager Manuel Pellegrini will need to galvanise this seemingly unacquainted batch of players to pull in some points very soon, lest he face the same fate as Koeman at Everton. But, looking at the fixtures, the Chilean doesn’t stand much chance. West Ham must face Everton away, host Chelsea, play Macclesfield Town in the Cup, host Manchester United, travel to Brighton, host Tottenham Hotspur, and then go to Leicester. The matchup against the Foxes comes on 27th October.
Unless there’s to be a miracle at the London Stadium, it appears as though Pellegrini’s days are numbered, but that doesn’t mean that West Ham are doomed to the Championship. If Pellegrini is on the receiving end of the first sacking of the season, for which he’s at 4/1 in the Premiership betting, there’s little doubt that Sam Allardyce will be the man to come in and rescue the team as he has countless times. In fact, he rallied the relegation-bound Everton to eighth last season and could work similar magic with West Ham.
Burnley should be more focused now
Source: Mr Good,viaTwitter
The big hindrance to Burnley at the start of this season was their participation in the Europa League. Sean Dyche’s regime is known for being well-planned and precise to maximise the potential of their players in each game. Having four games in the Europa League qualifying before the Premier League began as well as two during will have caused many problems to Dyche’s schedule.
Dyche’s set up around each match day has allowed his team to push themselves to the limit in each game. Their non-stop play, team ethic, and strong defending all come from the base of tactical training and ample rest. So, the multitude of goals shipped in the first four games should soon become a thing of the past as players get back into the regular Burnley routine.
Now, they’re out and can focus on the league. Even better, goalkeeper Tom Heaton appears to be closing in on reclaiming his first-team place. Having played against Olympiacos in the Europa League, he has proven himself to be match-ready for the challenges of the Premier League.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Burnley come out of the international break and quickly embark on a strong win-streak to get back on track. With one of their top goalies back and time to focus on Premier League games, they should soon find themselves in safety. For West Ham, however, a very tough set of fixtures look to confine the Hammers to the relegation zone for the time being.