West Ham United have started the 2022-23 Premier League campaign on a very disappointing note, losing all three of their opening games of the season.
The Hammers suffered defeats at the hands of defending champions Manchester City and newly promoted Nottingham Forest earlier on in the term, and they could not improve against Brighton and Hove Albion, succumbing to a 2-0 loss at the London Stadium on Sunday (21 August).
David Moyes’ side found themselves in trouble after new signing Thilo Kehrer brought down Danny Welbeck just right inside the box 22 minutes into his Premier League debut.
Mac Allister converted the awarded penalty kick and West Ham could not find a way back from that point.
Things did not improve much after the game restarted for the closing 45 minutes, and just 21 minutes later, Leandro Trossard doubled the visitors’ lead after Pascal Gross’s flick split the Hammers’ defence apart.
The hosts put Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to work much later, but he made two brilliant saves to deny them as the Seagulls’ brilliant campaign continued.
Despite impressing over the last two seasons, finishing in the European places, three consecutive league defeats surely would have gotten Moyes and the fans worried.
West Ham have not splashed the cash this summer, but they have made key recruitments up-front and at the back with the additions of Gianluca Scamacca and Kehrer.
However, it appears that is not enough and they could be forced to make more key signings in the coming days following their woeful start to the new season.
While it is still early days, a top-four finish looks to be already beyond the Irons’ reach and they need a change in fortunes sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, the impressive Brighton could be the ones challenging for the European places if they manage to stay consistent and convert their chances.
Graham Potter’s side have had one of the best expected goals (xG) in the Premier League for a while, and after two wins and a draw so far, they will be keen to finally break into the top seven this season.
Brighton have now equalled their longest unbeaten run (eight games) in the Premier League after going unbeaten in their last five games of last season.
As a result, they are fifth in the table, while goalless (despite 38 shots) West Ham are rooted to the foot of the table as the only side without any point so far.
Nevertheless, Moyes believes it is too early to start panicking, telling the BBC after the game:
“We finished seventh, then sixth, and we take positives from that. We’ve lost a wee bit. We need to get away from that position.
“Last year we were one of the top goalscorers. But we are struggling a bit for goals. We’re aware we are not as free-flowing as we have been.
“I am concerned, but also I’m having to bed people in.”
Potter reacted thus:
“The result is what we are here for. To see out some tough periods when he had to, create two goals and keep a clean sheet is pleasing. We started off not great and with their transition, they have big spaces and were difficult to cope with.
“I thought we scored at a good time but we weren’t perfect in the first half, it’s not easy out there, it was hot and the pitch was slow, so to move the ball wasn’t too easy but the boys did what we asked and deserved the three points.
“There is always a different role you have to play away from home but the results have been better away so far.”