Premier League crisis team of the week: West Ham

General view of an Adidas soccer ball - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
General view of an Adidas soccer ball - Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

West Ham’s season took a drastic turn for the worse on the weekend as the East Londoners were humiliated 5-1 by a rampant Arsenal.

Had it not been for a last-gasp equaliser at Goodison, Everton may have commandeered West Ham’s position as crisis team of the week. Such is soccer.

West Ham must be as confident as a pre-pubescent teen on a first date after being dismantled at home by Alexis Sanchez and company. Slaven Bilic stood a forlorn, dejected and solemn figure on the sidelines in the dying minutes. He’s probably wondering what has gone wrong.

The Hammers dismal recent form

The Hammers are still on the outside of the relegation zone, barely. West Ham have 12 points from 14 games and sit only a precarious single point above the drop zone. With Sunderland in a rich vein of form, the Hammers are anxiously peering over their shoulders.

The East Londoners have two points out of a possible 15 from their last five games, which includes a heartbreaking last-minute loss to Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Bilic’s team last won about six weeks ago thanks to Winston Reid’s injury-time heroics. That seems like a long time ago.

Thanks to the home drubbing inflicted on them by Arsenal, West Ham, depending on the Hull result later today, now have the league’s second worst defensive record. They’ve conceded 29 goals while only scoring 15.

In fairness, their recent schedule has been unforgiving. They’ve traveled to Spurs, Manchester United and hosted Arsenal in consecutive matches. So, all is definitely not lost.

But it’s the way in which Bilic’s team lost to the Gunners that is most disconcerting. Arguing among themselves, heads hanging low and fans making a mass exodus, West Ham were well and truly embarrassed against their London rivals.

West Ham’s travel sickness

Pundits keep on spouting off about how West Ham are having difficulty performing in their new, lavish home stadium. While the atmosphere will never be as good as it was as Upton Park, their results at London Stadium aren’t terrible. They’ve won two, lost three and drawn two at their brand-spanking new facility.

It’s their road results that should be in the headlines. I’m sure their woeful road form is causing Bilic countless sleepless nights. West Ham have four points from a possible 21 on their travels. The team’s only away victory came against an abject Crystal Palace team, who, thanks to a 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, are currently two points ahead of the Hammers in the standings.

A team plagued by injuries

There is a caveat to West Ham’s current tailspin. The Hammers have been hit hard by the injury bug. According to, West Ham are the most injured Premier League side.

Life for Bilic, with eight regulars on the sideline, is nearly impossible, especially as West Ham already lacked the depth of many other top-flight outfits. Andy Carroll made his return from injury as a sub against Arsenal, which is some long-awaited good news for the Hammers. A fair share of West Ham’s injured players should return in the next month, so Bilic will have to endure at least another four weeks of insomnia before things significantly improve on the injury front.

Is there a way out of trouble?

West Ham are embroiled in crisis more due to circumstance than lack of quality. The Hammers should be okay once they return to full fitness, especially as the schedule becomes less frightening. After traveling to Anfield next week, the East London side have an easier, yet crucial, run of games. The Hammers host relegation contenders Burnley and Hull before traveling to Swansea and Leicester over the busy Christmas period.

Next: Premier League Week 14 round table

I know it’s still early, but these four matches could have a big part to play in whether the Hammers are further dragged into the relegation dogfight.