Snodgrass admits defensive concerns

West Ham United
Snodgrass

Robert Snodgrass admits West Ham conceding five goals in their season-opener is symptomatic of what has been happening for some time.

The Hammers early-season optimism after winning their final three games of 2018-19 campaign was short-lived as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City secured a 5-0 triumph at the London Stadium on Saturday.

It was not a surprising result and many better teams will also fall to the Citizens over the next 10 months but the margin of defeat will be worrying for the East End outfit.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini alluded to the fact his side ship too many goals in the aftermath of the mauling and they will hope to put that right when visiting the Amex Stadium to face Brighton on Saturday.

Snodgrass, who came on in the 56th minute at the weekend, agrees and confessed that the run-up to the opening fixture was not encouraging in that department.

“The thing is we were conceding goals in pre-season as well,” he told West Ham’s official website. “The manager’s touched on it saying after the game we cannot keep conceding goals.”

The Hammers conceded 12 times in six pre-season matches and, although friendlies mean little in the overall context of the 38-game campaign, no defender or goalkeeper likes to see the ball flying in the net with regularity.

 

West Ham’s defensive problems last term were highlighted by the fact Lukasz Fabianski made one of the highest total number of saves in all of Europe in 2018-19 and the side still shipped 55 in the Premier League.

Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena forged a decent partnership but defending is a team exercise and fingers may well be pointed elsewhere if the goals against column continues to bulge.

Goncalo Cardoso has been recruited but Pellegrini cannot expect to rely on an 18-year-old to shore up his rearguard.

The one positive for Snodgrass is that the heavy loss has come early in the campaign as it gives the players a reality check and also means there is plenty of time to put things right.

“If anything, it’s probably sometimes the best thing that can happen because you need to go back to the drawing board and realise what this Premier League’s all about,” he added.

“They will punish you the one chance they get, and they showed it at many stages.”

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