West Ham Leaves Chicharito Alone Up Front, Like The New Kid On The First Day Of School
Get the best email in soccer.
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez walked away from his West Ham regular season debut goalless, creating a few scattered opportunities but, on the whole, looking isolated up front as Andre Ayew and Marko Arnautović dropped into deep positions early.
Slaven Bilic acknowledged as much in post-match commentary, conceding that West Ham's initial 4-3-3 formation left Chicharito on his own.
"We tried to switch to 4-4-2 because we needed another player up-front with Chicharito, who was quite decent but was isolated," Bilic said. "So we put Sakho on with him and took a bit of a risk. We created some opportunities, some good situations which didn't end up with a shot or a good chance, but what we didn't want to happen was concede two goals late in the game.
Fans of Chicharito likely missed a Leverkusen-style press, which saw the Mexican national score 17 goals in the 2015-16 Bundesliga season and another 11 in the 2016-17 season.
As if to put in stark contrast Little Pea's disappointing season debut, Romelu Lukaku ran away with an early brace – which Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba extended into 4-0 thumping of West Ham.
If fans of Chicharito feel despondent, they shouldn't worry too much...yet. West Ham is generally known for its attacking style of play, and we already know Chicharito can score goals in the Premier League.
We'll look for Bilic to make changes to his lineup heading into next week's fixture versus Southampton. And, if he doesn't, we'll look for Chicharito fans to stage organized protests in the streets.