It’s now time to analyse all the main causes for discussion from Saturday’s eventful draw at Turf Moor, as Chris Wood struck to break Hammers hearts in Lancashire and leave us rooted to 15th spot.
Fans Fume At “Liability” Carroll
Over the past few weeks, many have called for the exile of forward Andy Carroll from the starting Xl after some shabby showings, but tensions came to the boil on Saturday at Turf Moor as he was sent-off for repeating the same offence twice in less than a minute.
The former England man gave Referee Stuart Attwell little option but to dismiss him after flying elbows on, first James Tarkowski and then Ben Mee.
Despite winning the ball, the challenges were dangerous and many regarded The No9 as lucky not to have been shown a straight red card for the second and be suspended for three games and not one.
However, Carroll is not the only attacker to have been dismissed for a reckless elbow this season, who remembers Marko Arnautovic’s antics at the St Mary’s Stadium?
In fact, since Slaven Bilic’s arrival in East London, we have been shown three more red cards than any other Premier League team with 12 in just over two seasons.
Ironically, the season before, we were granted entry to The Europa League by winning The Fair Play Award under Sam Allardyce.
However, Saturday’s dismissal was undoubtedly worsened by his recent poor form and goal-costing mistakes in the home tie with Tottenham Hotspur.
Many Hammers are now being left to pose the questions, should Andy Carroll be dropped after his return? And do West Ham United have a serious disciplinary problem under Slaven Bilic and his Staff?
“Cresswell To Blame” For Wood Equaliser
While Aaron Cresswell made his first start for England last week in Lithuania, his domestic form continued to suffer on Saturday as he appeared to be largely at fault for Chris Wood’s Burnley equaliser.
The left-back chose to “dance” away from Johann Berg Gudmundsson instead of tackling him, being easily beaten and allowing the Icelandic International to pick Wood out perfectly to fire home in the 85th minute.
Aside from that, Cresswell was also criticised for his poor delivery into the area once again in Claret & Blue and with such an in-form backup option in the form of Arthur Masuaku sitting on the bench, there have been calls for him to be dropped.
Masuaku has netted and assisted recently in a Hammers Shirt and despite not being able to match Cresswell’s defensive abilities, is certainly providing the favourite of Gareth Southgate and Slaven Bilic with some considerable competition.
Man Of The Match Antonio Back In The Goals
One of the bonuses to take from Saturday’s disappointment was surely Michail Antonio’s first goal of the season and superb Man if the Match display.
The England winger was on hand to benefit from Ben Mee’s defensive mistake and knock the ball around Nick Pope to slot home into an empty net on 19 minutes.
Many felt that, if it wasn’t for Carroll’s red card, that goal would have proved to be the match winner. Aside from the finish, Antonio looked fully-fit and terrorised The Clarets defence with a typical gutsy showing.
Despite having had his start to the campaign plagued by injuries and recovery, the 2016/2017 Hammer of the Year is certainly now back and firing at his best, something that could prove vital in Friday night’s visit of Brighton & Hove Albion.
Lanzini Return Lifts Hammers
Another huge plus point that The Claret & Blue Army were able to take back to East London on Saturday evening was the return and stylish performance of Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini.
Much like Antonio his counterpart, “The Jewel” has had the opening part of his third season in Claret & Blue marred by injury worries, however, he is now back to full fitness.
His return also spelled a more attacking game plan from Slaven Bilic and more attractive style of Football, as he traded passes with attackers, left Burney players for dead and moved the ball with typical precision.
The 2016/2017 Player’s Player of the Season was also lauded for his part in a silky move that almost ended in an Antonio goal in the second period, finally, kicking off what could be a vital World Cup year for The Argentinian International.
So, with all the main talking points well and truly discussed, October has started with a solid draw that keeps us in 15th position, but what will there be to discuss come the end of Friday night? After The London Stadium clash with Premier League new-comers Brighton & Hove Albion.