West Ham 1 Bournemouth 2: Cherries fight back to win at London Stadium – Daily Star
West Ham 1 Bournemouth 2: Steve Cook celebrates his winner
The Hammers may have spent £100m in the transfer window and shelled out big money to tempt former Man City boss Pellegrini to east London.
But they look like a team already in trouble after their new signings flopped at a soulless London Stadium.
Having been pummelled 4-0 by Liverpool last week they threw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at home to a vibrant Cherries side inspired by striker Callum Wilson.
Not even a 33rd-minute penalty from Marko Arnautovic was enough to change the atmosphere as Bournemouth roared into the top three with a stunning goal from Wilson and a winner from defender Steve Cook.
Now Pellegrini has urged fans and players to forget about last year’s disastrous campaign, in which they narrowly avoided relegation under David Moyes, and think about the future.
He said: “We knew before that we need time – when you have so many new players, a new manager and a new style of play.
“But most of all we need to forget last season and recover trust as a club.
“I think last season is still on the players’ minds. That was one of the reasons why we changed so much in the second half, trying to keep 1-0 instead trying to score a second. It’s a lack of confidence.”
West Ham fans left in their droves and groaned at the final whistle after what was a woeful display.
Marko Arnautovic put West Ham in the lead from the penalty spot
In fact, even when the home team were ahead the atmosphere was pretty dead – not what you would expect at a club which has had such an exciting summer in the transfer market.
Jack Wilshere, Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena and Felipe Anderson all made home debuts while Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko and Lucas Perez joined them from the bench.
But for most of the match you could have heard a pin drop.
“I don’t think it’s the stadium,” insisted Pellegrini. “They don’t need to have any fear of playing here. What they need is to try work for 90 minutes in the way we did only for the first 45 today.”
What will frustrate Pellegrini the most is that his side were pretty good in the first half, certainly in an attacking sense.
Javier Hernandez had two efforts saved and won a penalty when brought down by Nathan Ake, which Arnautovic despatched with aplomb.
But Bournemouth still created at least three good chances on the break, most notably when Fabianski – the best of West Ham’s new boys – saved well from Wilson.
David Brooks also headed wastefully wide for the the Cherries, the only blemish on an excellent performance from the former Sheffield United man.
West Ham have now lost both of their matches this season
So the warnings were there. But West Ham didn’t heed them.
Instead Bournemouth dominated the second half as the Hammers got more and more nervy at the back.
It was a tough baptism for the new signings – and Balbuena had the toughest day of all against a rampaging Wilson.
The Cherries hitman scored a stunning individual equaliser on the hour when he picked the ball up in midfield with four West Ham defenders ahead of him.
But he managed to get past all of them and fire beyond Fabianski for 1-1.
Then Bournemouth deservedly went ahead in the 66th minute when a Ryan Fraser free-kick from the right was headed home by Cook – with Angelo Ogbonna unable to hold him back.
Delighted Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said: “Callum’s individual moment of brilliance swung the game in our favour, it was a very good goal – a very good finish at the end of a great run.
“I thought Callum did well and his partnership with Josh King is really developing.
“We have never won here before and it was a very good afternoon for us. And I would like to give our players credit rather than criticise West Ham because they are a good side.