West Ham United winger Robert Snodgrass has said that the club must “learn quick and adapt fast,” after losing their first two Premier League matches of the 2018/2019 season.
The Hammers, under the guidance of new manager Manuel Pellegrini who arrived in May and with nine new first-team players on board, were defeated by Liverpool at Anfield on the opening day, before losing out at home to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
The Scottish International Snodgrass, fresh from his first competitive start for the East Londoners in well over a year, stated the following in an interview with West Ham’s official website, WHUFC.com, earlier in the week.
“You need to be ready, you need to learn quick and adapt fast, people said last week, ‘well it’s Liverpool and they’re going to do that to most teams,’ but you need to get away from that,” insisted the January 2017 signing.
He continued: “You need to be resilient and solid – that’s your base as a defence first and foremost.
“I think when you look back at the goals on Saturday, we’ll be very disappointed, but the only way to get better is by sticking at it, working on the training ground and trying to stop the mistakes like that.”
The Irons’ defence came under heavy fire after both matches, off the back of letting in four goals on Merseyside and then conceding two against Eddie Howe’s Cherries, in their first London Stadium encounter under the Chilean veteran Pellegrini.
But, how does Snodgrass, who has been in inspired form since returning from a successful loan spell at Aston Villa last term, think his new boss should combat the defensive problems that the team has continued to suffer with, even under previous gaffers?
“It’s up to the manager what he does, what rotation he makes and what squad he picks to stop goals like that. He will look at the game and try to assess it, and I think whoever it is we need to learn quick.”
However, it’s not just the backline that Pellegrini has felt needed tinkering with over the two league matches thus far, it has also been the Scot’s area of the pitch, the attack.
He was introduced at half-time during the 4-0 thrashing by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, after West Ham had started the tricky match with an attacking midfield three, supporting line striker Marko Arnautovic.
Influenced by a positive 45 minutes at Anfield for Snodgrass, Pellegrini then opted to start him for the Bournemouth clash, though his role was slightly different, along with the whole formation.
This time, the 25-cap Scotland star featured on the far-left side of a 4-4-2, his job, to provide service for the duo of Javier and Arnautovic up front, and he managed to get a full 90 minutes under his belt.
Later in the same Interview, the 30-year-old also shared his thoughts on his contribution to Pellegrini’s Hammers so far, as well as reflecting further on the unexpected Bournemouth defeat.
“I played 45 at Anfield and 90 on Saturday and I’m just glad to be playing. I’m glad to get a chance, but I thought we were cruising in the game, so it’s disappointing.”
Ever since he joined West Ham from Hull City, Snodgrass himself has endured a rough time, being publicly criticised by the club’s ownership, dropped from the team and loaned out to Aston Villa.
However, with a strong pre-season under his belt and seven goals and 14 assists in the Sky Bet Championship last season to give him confidence, Snodgrass could well be key to Pellegrini’s team turning around their early-season ill-fortunes and enjoying a successful first campaign.